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Members may be interested to learn that the History Channel will air the series The Australian SAS: the Untold Story on Tuesdays at 9.30pm AEST from ANZAC Day until 20 June.
USI of the ACT member, Ian Dudgeon, publishes regularly on issues of national security and defence, with a particular focus on South Asia.
In November last year, Ian wrote a piece for the Lowy Institute highlighting the risk to Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, arising from his direction to the Inter-Services Intelligence group that it crack down on international terrorist groups and their support networks.
In December, Ian wrote for the Australian Institute of International Affairs on possible future developments in Afghanistan, including prospects for reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
We are delighted to have such a prolific commentator as a member, and will continue to draw his articles to your attention.
On Thursday 9 March 2017, Mr Graham Fletcher, First Assistant Secretary North Asia at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, addressed USI of the ACT members and guests at the Defence College on Australia's complex relationship with China. Read more.
On Thursday 9 March 2017, Group Captain Pete Mitchell DSC, OAM gave a short account of his experiences commanding 75 Squadron RAAF on operations in the Middle East. Speaking informally in the ADC Mess at Weston Creek, Pete described vividly a day of flying operations and sketched some of the lessons learned on the tour.
This was the first time USI of the ACT has presented an operationally focussed speaker in the Mess ahead of the principal speaker. Similar events focussing on maritime and land operations are planned for later in 2017.
On Thursday 23 Feb, Professor Clive Williams MG from ANU sketched the complex environment that is the Battle for Mosul for around 80 members and guests of USI of the ACT at the Defence College, Weston Creek.
Clive outlined the strategic setting and the operational plan, then talked through many of the tactical challenges confronting the Iraqi security forces and their allies. His thought-provoking analysis, including a range of lessons learned, sparked a wide range of questions.
On 9 February, ANU's Dr John Blaxland likened Australia's security dilemma to walking a tightrope while balancing on the one hand its economic relationship with China and on the other its security relationship with the United States.
Speaking to an audience of nearly 100 USI of the ACT members and guests at the Australian Defence College, Blaxland gave a wide-ranging assessment of Australia's security challenges. He described in depth China's growing assertiveness in the face of receding US influence in the region and canvassed the concerns arising for Australia from the early indicators of the Trump era. He argued in part that the 2016 Defence White Paper's emphasis on a rules-based global order is misplaced, and that Australia should instead re-focus on its more immediate region.
This presentation is the first of a series in the ACT that will explore Australia's security in the region.
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