Hugh White


18 ENTRIES Hugh White is an emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.


Friday prayers at Pul-e Khishti mosque in Kabul soon after the Taliban took control on August 15, 2021


War of error

US failures in Afghanistan and the folly of Australia’s unquestioning support

Image of Mike Pompeo and Marise Payne


Choppy waters

Australia’s assumption that China will give up its Pacific rivalry with the US is dangerously misguided

Without America: Australia in the New Asia


Without America: Australia in the New Asia

Making sense of a new reality and the return of power politics – a Quarterly Essay extract



Relying on Trump

Australia needs to rethink its approach to regional security

Lines in the sand


Lines in the sand

The US and China’s struggle for power in Asia

Indonesia on the brink of change


Indonesia on the brink of change

Elizabeth Pisani’s ‘Indonesia Etc.’ and Hamish McDonald’s ‘Demokrasi’

© Beawiharta Beawiharta / Reuters


Rethinking Indonesia

Australia needs a new perspective on its northern neighbour

The ANZAC Ethos and the Justification for War. Hugh White (audio)


The ANZAC Ethos and the Justification for War. Hugh White (audio)

At his thoughtful and thought-provoking best, academic, intellectual and author Hugh White addresses the Thinking For Yourself conference (La Trobe, February 2013) about the national mythology about war. Each time Australia goes to war, we should ask …

Julia Gillard visiting the Forbidden City, Beijing, April 2011. © David Foote/Commonwealth of Australia

Julia Gillard

White-papering the Cracks

A blueprint for the Asian Century?

A ceremonial sunset aboard the HMAS 'Manoora' off Vanuatu in 2006. © Commonwealth of Australia

Australian Defence Force

A Middling Power: Why Australia’s defence is all at sea

In trying to explain the purpose of our armed forces, defence ministers often fall back on that plangent phrase “the defence of Australia”. In a recent speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Defence Minister Stephen Smith …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Summit season

Julia Gillard, foreign policy and the summit season

Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan addresses the nation about the worsening situation at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, 25 March 2011. © Tomohiro/Bloomberg/Getty Images


The foundering miracle

Reflections on Japan

Stanley Melbourne Bruce in the early days of his prime ministership, c. 1923. © Newspix/News Limited


Balancing acts

David Lee’s ‘Stanley Melbourne Bruce’ and David Bird’s ‘JA Lyons’

'Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Battle for Supremacy in the 21st Century' By Robert D Kaplan, Black Inc., 384pp; $34.95


‘Monsoon’ by Robert D Kaplan

Monsoon melds two very different books into one. One book is a geopolitical treatise, conceived on a grand oceanic scale. It argues that global power shifts mean the Indian Ocean is becoming again the fulcrum of world power and will be the main …


The Defence Minister

It seems so unfair. Stephen Smith is one of the nicest people in politics. What did he do to deserve defence? Consider the record: in the past 40 years, 17 men (yes, all men) have served in the job he now holds. Few of them left it with their reputations …