Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Music: Franz Ferdinand and The Last Shadow Puppets

Franz Ferdinand: No you girls

The Last Shadow Puppets: Meeting Place

Monday, July 20, 2009

Australia's National Security Strategy

Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030

Australia's most basic strategic interest remains the defence of Australia against direct armed attack. This
includes armed attacks by other states and by non-state actors with the capacity to employ strategic capabilities,
including weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This most basic strategic interest abides irrespective of the
perceived intentions of others, and is a function of our geography and levels of current and future capability in
the region around us. Before we attend to anything else, we must secure this strategic interest.

Our next most important strategic interest is the security,stability and cohesion of our immediate neighbourhood,
which we share with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, New Zealand and the South Pacific island
states. While we have a wide range of diplomatic, economic, cultural and other links with those countries, from
a strategic point of view, what matters most is that they are not a source of threat to Australia, and that no
major military power, that could challenge our control of the air and sea approaches to Australia, has access to
bases in our neighbourhood from which to project force against us.

Beyond our immediate neighbourhood, Australia has an enduring strategic interest in the stability of the wider
Asia-Pacific region, which stretches from North Asia to the Eastern Indian Ocean. In particular, we have a deep
stake in the security of Southeast Asia. Strategically, our neighbours in Southeast Asia sit astride our northern
approaches, through which hostile forces would have to operate in order to sustainably project force against
Australia. A stable and cohesive Southeast Asia will mitigate any such threat and is in our strategic interests.
More broadly, we have a deep stake in the maintenance of an Asia-Pacific regional security environment that
is conducive to the peaceful resolution of problems between regional countries and can absorb the rise in
strategic and military power of emerging major players.

Beyond our region, Australia cannot be secure in an insecure world. We have a strategic interest in preserving
an international order that restrains aggression by states against each other, and can effectively manage other
risks and threats, such as the proliferation of WMD, terrorism, state fragility and failure, intra-state conflict, and
the security impacts of climate change and resource scarcity.

Other recent national security strategies from the Anglosphere:

The National Security Strategy of the UK

Securing an Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A couple of links...

Here is a video of Anne Marie Slaughter (DOS Director of Policy Planning) speaking at the Navy War College's Current Strategy Forum.

And thanks to google books here's an interesting chapter: Alexander Hamilton and the Grand Strategy of the American Social Compact by Karl Walling.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Well it's been a while since I've been around, but I've been busy trying to start a new career which is finally, after a lot of hard work and what seems like endless waiting, moving in the right direction. My internship has turned into a job doing freelance work at a tv station. The station has treated me very well and has been willing to teach and allow me to try my hand at things even though I'm new. So I've been getting a lot of good experience in a variety of different areas. I've done audio and cameras for studio and field productions among other things. Last week on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg I worked on a video crew recording tours of the battlefield (I carried the tripod) following the paths of different units as they fought their part of the battle. I have a much greater understanding of the battle than before. One of my ancestors fought in the 27th Indiana and was wounded at Gettysburg and I got to stand where his unit fought and hear their story. That's a very powerful experience.

I've also been going through a transition of ideas. For a few years now I've argued that we need to update classical liberal ideas for the 21st century but it has been in the last 8-9 months that I have started to really work towards that goal. I made a conscious decision last year to change the way I think. The generally libertarian worldview that I had been operating with for several years no longer worked for me and my commitment to "updating classical liberal ideas for the 21st century" eventually led me to a point where I realized that I needed a different way of thinking. And so I began a little at a time to force myself to think differently and eventually I had a kind of breakthrough, a point where some new possibilities opened up. It's still very general and there is historical precedent for it. It's funny how entire genres of thinking just drop out of our awareness even though they were prominent in their time. I'm thinking that I might start a new blog, completely separate from this one to explore some of these ideas. I need a new hobby and that might be a worthwhile thing to do.