SDSC 50th Conference Session 4: Strategic Studies in Practice

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of SDSC’s founding and the 25th anniversary of the Cold War’s ending. To mark its 50th anniversary, and drawing inspiration from the 1980 event (‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking’), SDSC hosted this conference at ANU entitled ‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0’.

As in 1980, the conference in 2016 considers major trends which have taken place in strategic thinking since the ending of the Cold War, and where these developments might lead over the coming decade.


Admiral Chris Barrie

Adjunct Professor, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Professor Admiral Chris Barrie retired after 42 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy, to include that as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) in July 2002. Since then he has concentrated on strategic leadership issues as consultant, teacher, and mentor through work at the University of Oxford, the National Defense University in Washington, DC, and The Australian National University. At ANU, Professor Admiral Barrie is Chair of the London Foundation and a Director for the Tuckwell Foundation. He teaches on campus and at the Australian War College. He has co-facilitated short courses for the National Security College on risk, and facilitated induction courses for new entrants into the Department of Defence. He also conducts scenario war games on strategic and security policy issues. Off campus, Professor Admiral Barrie is Chair – PTSD ANZ (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Australia New and Zealand), intended to assist about 6 million Australians and New Zealanders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or living with a sufferer of the disorder.


Professor Hugh White

Professor, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Professor White’s research interests include Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs. He has worked on these issues since 1980 as an intelligence analyst, journalist, ministerial adviser, departmental official, think tanker and academic. Professor White was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. His recent publications include Power Shift: Australia’s Future Between Washington and Beijing, 2010, and The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power, 2012. In the 1970s, Professor White studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford universities.

Mr Peter Ho

Senior Advisor, Centre for Strategic Futures

Mr Ho is the Senior Advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures and a Senior Fellow in the Civil Service College. He is also the Chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and Chairman of the Social Science Research Council. When he retired in 2010 after 34 years of public service, Mr Ho was Head, Civil Service, which was concurrent with his other appointments of Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs), Permanent Secretary (National Security & Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary (Defence). Mr Ho was also the founding Chairman of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore.

Professor Eliot Cohen

Robert E. Osgood Professor, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University

Professor Cohen founded and directs the strategic studies program at SAIS and the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies and has twice won the SAIS Excellence in Teaching Award. For 10 years he led an SAIS partnership with the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Professor Cohen is the author of the prize-winning Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (2002). His other books include Commandos and Politicians (1978) and Citizens and Soldiers (1985). Professor Cohen is co-author of Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (1990); Revolution in Warfare, Air Power in the Persian Gulf (1995); Knives, Tanks, and Missiles: Israel’s Security Revolution (1998); and Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles Along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War (2011). His next book, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force will appear in 2017. From 1991 to 1993 he directed and edited the official study of air power in the 1991 war with Iraq, for which he received the Air Force’s decoration for exceptional civilian service. He also served as Counselor of the Department of State, 2007–09. Professor Cohen is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and former senior adviser on foreign policy and national security policy to Governor Mitt Romney.

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