Australian Defence with Rory Medcalf

Australian Defence with Rory Medcalf

Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University and author of Contest for the Indo-Pacific. We cover a lot to do with Australian defence including China, nuclear weapons for Australia, political interference in defence procurement, where he sees potential for technology obsolescence in the next war, lessons from his time as diplomat in India, and much more including his book recommendations.

  • What is the importance of steering Australian defence strategy towards the Indo-Pacific?

  • What are the key military threats facing Australia over the next 50 years?

  • Looking back, Australia first relied on British imperial support, then on the post-WWII US liberal order. What does Australia standing on its own look like going forward?

  • How do you think about Chinese threat to Australia? Where else could realistically a threat come from, and over what time horizon?

  • Should Australia get nuclear weapons?

  • What’s going to be the big military surprise next conflict? That aircraft carriers are rendered obsolete by drones?

  • How at risk is our strategic execution from provider capture and politically motivated employment schemes?

  • What’s your biggest learning and fondest memory while a diplomat in India

Book recommendations: 

  • The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s by Piers Brendon

  • Everything Under The Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power, by Howard W. French

  • The Leopard: by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa