ASPI suggests
22 Nov 2012|

Welcome back for the second round-up of news and articles in the defence and strategy world, coming to you from Jakarta.

Being in Indonesia, I’ve been naturally thinking a lot about reform of the Indonesian military and Australian military engagement. Evan Laksmana’s 2011 paper on American military assistance and defence reform in Indonesia identifies how limits in the design of military-military engagement can seriously hinder long-lasting reform. And there are lessons here for Australia.

This week’s capability piece is an essay from a serving USAF officer who argues that the service’s focus on high-tech stealthy aircraft (PDF) is the wrong path.

Social media is becoming an inextricable part of modern warfare. It’s also now part of a developing area of intelligence analysis called Dynamic Twitter Network Analysis which uses data from Twitter and other social media outlets to gauge public opinion in zones of insecurity and instability. And as the conflict continues between Israel and Hamas, both on the ground and (bizarrely) in the Twitterverse, here’s an Atlantic article that looks at whether this is a violation of Twitter’s terms of use.

This New York Times article on the demographics of the US electorate contains some statistics on the views of Americans on the relative merits of capitalism and socialism which might be surprising—although they mirror the Lowy Institute’s findings that ‘just 60% of Australians say democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, and only 39% of 18 to 29 year olds’.

While in the US, the Washington Post takes a look at the lifestyle of four star generals.

Journal roundup

From the people who brought you Infinity Journal, a free peer-reviewed online journal on strategy, here’s the new issue of the Journal of Military Operations. You’ll need to sign up to view their articles but if the quality is anything like Infinity, it will be well worth the effort.

Sticking with a journal theme, the Australian Defence Force Journal has released its latest issue (PDF), including an article from Strategist contributor Albert Palazzo as well as pieces on Japanese subs for Australia, ANZUS, Australian influence in the South Pacific and UAVs.

The new issue of the Kokoda Foundation’s Security Challenges has articles on ballistic missile defence and China’s multilateral engagement so get your hands on a hard copy unless you can wait until it’s available online. Previous issues are available online and contain articles by most of the well-known names in Australian strategy discussions.

Natalie Sambhi is an analyst at ASPI and editor of The Strategist.