Australian National Security

Australia's strategic environment is being reshaped by a raft of emerging challenges to security that are complicating policy and operational responses. Traditional, state-based threats, while still important, no longer dominate Australia's threat perceptions, while defence and foreign policy are increasingly being subsumed in whole-of-government approaches to national security. This is evident in the number of new players in the national security space, the blurring of the boundaries between domestic and international policy, the expansion in the tasks of the Australian Defence Force and dramatic increases in the ADF's operational tempo in the first decade of the 21st century. This program illuminates the political and strategic drivers of Australia's national security policy, the main institutional players and the relationship between defence, foreign policy, intelligence and homeland security. Particular attention is given to the historical evolution of Australia's threat perceptions and the way in which these have shaped contemporary debates about diplomacy, military strategy and national capability.

Middle East Challenges to Australia's Security Environment

The 2007 Defence Update identifies the Middle East as an unstable region, the consequences of which have both a direct and indirect impact on our strategic and broader national interests, particularly on the funding and support for transnational terrorism. Building on another CISS research project, Middle East Security 'After Iraq', this project investigates the extent to which Middle East security challenges, such as terrorism inspired by religious extremism, WMD proliferation, environmental and demographic challenges, stagnant economies and poor political governance, impact on Australia's security environment. Further, it considers policies which might contribute to combating terrorism and enhancing state and regional security.