FCA briefing with John Blaxland

The United States has a beautiful multi trillion dollar ‘hammer’ to which China refuses to present a ‘nail’…it is deeply frustrating..

John Blaxland

FCA briefing with Prof. John Blaxland, Professor of International Security & Intelligence Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU Canberra.

The online briefing took place on 24 September 2021.

Professor Blaxland spoke on the new three-way strategic defence alliance between Australia, the UK and US (AUKUS).

AUKUS will see the three countries working together in a transfer of nuclear submarine technology to Australia for its own manufacture of submarines, alongside sharing of other security and defence technologies that will include cyber and artificial intelligence, along with various supply chains. 

Professor Blaxland says:

  • We use the words war and peace…using those words are actually unhelpful. What we are facing today is a space between what I call…Cooperation, Competition, Contestation and Conflict. It is a spectrum.
  • China is masterfully playing in that Competition, Contestation and borderline conflict space below the threshold to trigger a kinetic Western response.
  • The failure to push back in the past has made things worse.
  • In Australia’s unique set of circumstances….it to operate submarines, it must transverse long distances, even for it to get around its own coastline, without even worrying about anyone else’s domains…for which a diesel electric submarine presents risks..
  • China has not effectively been deterred….this (AUKUS) is a move that will help balance and deter..

Video Recording of the Briefing
FCA members can view the briefing session below.
(Please contact FCA Hon Secretary April Pressler to access the video recording. Email – aprilp@ozemail.com.au)


Professor Blaxland is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected military historians and also a former intelligence officer with the Australian Defence Force who co-authored The Official History of ASIO. For further background on him, please see https://researchprofiles.anu.edu.au/en/persons/john-blaxland

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