Strategy (Spotlight Brief 2/21)
“Logrolling” in Antarctic governance: Limits and opportunities
Source: Polar Record – Dec 20
In this article, McGee, Carpi and Jackson offer two simultaneous areas of consideration: addressing China’s increasing international influence and assertiveness regarding the Antarctica Treaty, and providing a case study in ‘log-rolling’ as a strategic approach. The former is of increasing importance to Australia given we have significant responsibilities and interests in Antarctica. Matters which undermine either the intent or letter of the Antarctica Treaty are concerning. They may require Australian policy and diplomatic attention. ‘Log rolling’ is where members (in this case, China) trade favours to achieve passage of their agenda. While the authors use Antarctica as their exemplar, the opportunities and risks they discuss may also apply to other scenarios. Critically, such an approach can lead to the erosion in norms and strengths of the rules that govern a relationship or institution.
Small Island Strategies in the Indo-Pacific by Large Powers
Source: The Journal of Territorial and Maritime Studies – Winter/Spring 21
The wars of the Indian and Pacific Oceans throughout history are linked with their islands as much as their continental littorals. Islands offer a permanent foothold in a precarious watery domain, can be used to control swaths of ocean (with corresponding economic and security benefits), or provide access rights. While there is a belief that any future conflict in the Indo-Pacific region will be unlike previous ones, islands retain geopolitical-economic significance germane to conflict. In this article, Scott reviews how major players in the Indo-Pacific (US, China, France, India, and Japan) use islands, including looking at some of the paradoxes their behaviour generates. The author further examines the complication of islands that can appear (by being built) or disappear (through climate change). His findings that islands will retain their importance highlights the need for ongoing development of amphibious and littoral manoeuvre capability by land forces.
The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.
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