Australian Leadership Series

Is Australian Sovereignty Secure?

Tuesday 26 October – 2pm to 3pm AEDT


No longer can we take peace for granted in the world – if we ever could.

Australia has been made an example of by our largest trading partner, as the world watches on. We see the return of great power conflict and yet the prospect of living in the spheres of influence of any great power has never been pretty


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We now have AUKUS and submarines anew sometime in the future (or “AWKERS” as the kids say). The risk of the undoing of international order is well underway while we continue to wave the virtuous flag in hope and in need.

Taiwan, which ranks above both the United States and Australia on the The Economist’s annual Democracy Index (even prior to the pandemic), is being threatened militarily, and invasion is discussed, again as the world watches on. We are reminded of the vast differences between rhetoric and action around the international order and global “community”.

Two decades ago we saw the uncivil barbarism of the Taliban in Afghanistan replaced two decades later again by the Taliban, and we have already moved on. We have seen many disturbing challenges to the sovereignty of states in recent history and we are living in a warming world where great power conflict may no longer be the most probable existential threat – yet as an international collection of states we are hamstrung by it.

Key Discussion Points

  • What meaning and implication is to be drawn from the Afghanistan fiasco?
  • Does it matter that Australia is vastly unprepared to confront offensive military action against itself, and why isn’t strategic autonomy even on the table?
  • What exactly does Australian leadership fail to understand about the world, and why does it fail to forecast dire threats to its sovereignty?
  • What are the strategic, national security, defence force structure and materiel imperatives for Australia and what is the preferred way forward?

Our Panelists

  • Admiral (Ret) Chris Barrie AC – Honorary Professor, Australian National University and former Chief of the Defence Force;
  • Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb AM – Chairman of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University;
  • Dr David Kilcullen – President and CEO, Cordillera Applications Group

Panel Moderation

This discussion will be moderated by Anton Roux, Chief Executive Officer, ADC Forum

We look forward to you joining us.

How to Register

ADC online briefings take place via Zoom.

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