Hugh White


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


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Australian Defence Force chief Angus Campbell stand together at Parliament House.


Our directionless defence policy

The new Defence Strategic Review makes it clear the government has made no serious commitment to either supporting the US against China or defending ourselves

Portrait of Penny Wong


Penny Wong’s next big fight

Does the foreign minister believe AUKUS positions Australia for an inevitable Pacific war, or does she still think we needn’t choose between the US and China?

Image of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 6, 2022. Image © Lukas Coch / AAP Images


Five steps to getting real about China

The Albanese government’s duty, and its opportunity, is to recast Australia’s relationship with China

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