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How to Defend Australia

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A brilliant and important book about Australia’s future
Can Australia defend itself in the Asian century? How seriously ought we take the risk of war? Do we want to remain a middle power? What kind of strategy, and what Australian Defence Force, do we need?

In this groundbreaking book, Hugh White considers these questions and more. With exceptional clarity and frankness, he
Paperback, 330 pages
Published July 2017 by La Trobe University Press
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Martin Dunn
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand Australian defence policy and the challenges it currently faces.

I worked for Hugh White, nearly 20 years ago now, when he was the deputy secretary responsible for strategy in the Australian Department of Defence. Thus many of the arguments were familiar to me, but with an important twist – what if Australia cannot rely on the United States as the ultimate guarantor or its security when confronted with a much more powerful China.

Jul 06, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

{Not a Review}


My notes:
Seen in Paul Monk's review
Paul Monk was the head of the 'China desk' at the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO). So he probably knows what he's talking about and think's Hugh White is full of it (which we knew anyway and I agree). Seems the DIO has churned out some half-decent analysts afterall ;-p
Mar 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
I think White is just a tongue in cheek reference to the text. The author only lacks the bed sheets to make a full Klan member.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hugh White's 'How to Defend Australia' provides clarity and insight into the key debates surrounding (or that should surround) Australia's defence policy. The structure of White's argument walks the reader through key questions that link the four parts of his overarching thesis, which I took to be that Australia needs to seriously reconsider what it needs to be able to defend itself from, and as a result, must re-design the force that is currently being procured (and fast).

Part geopolitics, part
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Provides a very good history and insight into current defence policy.
Stanley Xue
Most people would agree that after decades of US hegemony, the rise of Asia has made the world a more uncertain place and increased our strategic risks (the risk of a threat to Australia).

My first time reading about issues to deal with Australia's defence - most people would agree that some semblance of a defence force is necessary for a nation like ours (somewhere between no defence force at all and conscription of every living and breathing organism). White seeks to find out where the optimum
Adam Lines
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
White provides clarity on how Australia's current defence policy came about and where it's going wrong. While also charting a course for us to follow if we choose to become a middle power nation capable of independent defence in the future.

He shows how on our current path we'll likely remain stuck between a small power and middle power status, spending vast sums for little reward. And how as a nation we must decide if we're happy to become a small power (and there's no shame in that - many coun
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
White explains the advantages of strategic independence and why maritime denial is the key. The author explains why to achieves this we will need to spend both more and more efficiently in defence. Geography is certainly on our side but our demographics, when compared with the expected trajectories of our neighbours, are not that flash. The prose is very clear and can be easily followed by the lay reader. Strategic policy is indeed a fascinating and immediate discipline and White manages to make ...more
Luke Radic
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: defence
Not a bad book
Could do with more mathematics, graphs and information to back up more statements otherwise good questioning of a lot of rationale within the military establishment
Agree with the logic of a lot of his conclusions
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very easy to read and detailed analysis of Australia's potential defense needs. It's an interesting and sobering read.
Alex Whigham
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book that really changed my thinking and understanding about where Australia sits in regards to its neighbours and the rest of the world in regards to defence
Peter Hawkeye
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A compelling, thought provoking publication, that I think should be required reading for all literate persons to form a qualitative debate on what is a very important question posed by the author.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Hugh White (born 1953) is a Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, long time defence and intelligence analyst, and author who has published works on military strategy and international relations. He was Deputy Secre

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