In this National Security Podcast extra, we speak to Professor Hugh White AO about his new book, How to Defend Australia. Hugh argues for a radical shift in the way we view America’s role in Asia, and that Australia can no longer count on US support should it find itself under the threat of being attacked. The discussion includes how China’s expanding economic and military power is dominating the region and what that means for the structure of Australia’s defence forces.
As the region shifts and China flexes its military and economic muscles, how should Australia structure its national defence for the coming decades?
Throughout his book, Hugh suggests that Australia should abandon its current plans for 12 French submarines and building 24 submarines, sell most of its newer vessels, and double the purchase of Joint Strike Fighter aircrafts. Little has set a fire under Australia’s national security community this much since his last book, The China Choice. Join us for an in-depth conversation where we test some of Hugh’s assumptions and detail his thinking of why the country needs to completely rethink the way it defends itself.
Hugh White AO is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. His work focuses primarily on Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs especially as they influence Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, as a senior adviser on the staffs of Defence Minister Kim Beazley and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and as a senior official in the Department of Defence, where from 1995 to 2000 he was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence, and as the first Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Chris Farnham is the presenter of the National Security Podcast. He joined the National Security College in June 2015 and is currently Senior Outreach and Policy Officer. His career focus has been on geopolitics with experience working in and out of China for a number of years as well as operating in Australia and Southeast Asia.