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Australia's Defence after September 11: a quick guide to the issues

Release of an Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Occasional Paper 

Over the next few months the Government will be reviewing Australia's long-term defence policies. Inevitably it will focus on ways to adapt our policies to the consequences of the terrorist attacks which occurred in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 

These reviews will be important for Australia's future defence and security, and there will be significant public interest in them. 

To help stimulate public discussion and input to the process the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has compiled a quick guide to some of the defence and security issues that the reviews will need to address to help stimulate public discussion and input to the process. 

Some of the issues the guide considers include.

  • Are the events of 11 September 2001 the start of a new era in global security?
  • Where is the United States is heading?
  • Has 11September reduced the regional challenges to Australia's security?
  • How much greater is the terrorist threat to Australia now than on 10 September last year? What can we do to respond to the threat of terrorism in Australia?
  • Do we need different capabilities in our defence force, or a different defence philosophy? Do we need to spend more on Defence?

Contributions to the debate can be made through a number of ways:

  • following the links on our web site at
  • writing to us at the address in this publication.
  • attending one of the public seminars which will be held in some capital cities. Details of these seminars will be available on our web site and advertised in the local press.

Later in the year after receiving feedback from the community ASPI will publish some firm conclusions and proposals in our own strategic policy review. 

ASPI's Operations and Capability Program, headed by Mr Aldo Borgu, prepared the Paper with the assistance of ASPI's Director, Mr Hugh White, and ASPI's other Program Directors. 

ASPI is a new federally funded Centre, set up to provide fresh ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy choices. We will help to inform public debate by publishing information on the strategic issues that confront Australia, and providing the Commonwealth Government with alternative perspectives on defence policy issues.


Date: Friday, 19 July 2002 
By: Australian Strategic Policy Institute