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SI152 North of 26 degrees South. V2. Banner

North of 26° south and the security of Australia: Views from The Strategist Vol. 2

By John Coyne

North of 26° south and the security of Australia Volume 2’, is a new report by ASPI’s The North and Australia’s Security Program. The report builds on Volume 1 by presenting an all new series of articles by a range of trusted and up and coming authors exploring the continued importance of Northern Australia to national security and defence strategy.

Northern Australia had become key political, military and economic terrain in a new era of major-power competition. Despite those developments, Australian policymakers have struggled to develop a cohesive northern Australia strategy. While Australia has a long-term defence capability plan, we need to continue to test our assumptions about the defence of northern Australia and the north’s significance to national security.

In December 2019, Defence had finished the first draft of its internal review of Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper. The review was meant to test the White Paper’s underlying assumptions. Arguably, the economic, social and geopolitical changes driven by Covid-19 will be historically significant, and that will require all-new thinking about northern Australia.

This report provides much needed contemporary analysis of the criticality of the North to Australia’s national security and defence.