Published daily by the Lowy Institute

James Brown

James Brown no longer works for the Lowy Institute. He is currently Director, Alliance 21, at the University of Sydney's US Studies Centre. James was the Military Fellow at the Lowy Institute from 2010 to 2014. His research focuses on military issues and defence policy. Previously he coordinated the Lowy Institute MacArthur Foundation Asia Security Project (exploring security cooperation in Asia) and was the lead researcher on a multi-year project investigating the evolution of private security companies. James served as an officer in the Australian Army prior to joining the Lowy Institute. He commanded a cavalry troop in Southern Iraq, served on the Australian task force headquarters in Baghdad, and was attached to Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was awarded a commendation for work in the Solomon Islands and as an operational planner at the Australian Defence Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command. James also instructed at the Army’s Combat Arms Training Centre. James studied economics at the University of Sydney and completed graduate studies in strategy at the University of New South Wales. He is the author of Anzac's Long Shadow: the cost of our national obsession (Black Inc), which was shortlisted for the 2014 John Button prize.

Articles by James Brown (32)

  • Australia-US defence deal: What it means

    This morning Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Barack Obama announced the conclusion of a series of agreements between the US and Australia. Chief among these is the US–Australia Force Posture Agreement.
  • Anzac casts its long shadow over the Army History Unit

      For the last few months, anyone who's been unlucky enough to blunder into my path has been assaulted with the arguments in my book Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession. If you're time poor, this review in the Spectator Australia does a great job of capturing them.
  • Australian defence exports: Beyond Bushmaster

    Since 2007, the Defence Materiel Organisation has run an office charged with boosting Australia's defence exports. The Defence Export Unit, as it was initially known, was established with a budget of $34 million. It had a relatively inauspicious start – in 2009 it was unable to conduct its own business and strategic planning so called in the consultants.
  • General Hurley previews the Defence White Paper

    Twenty months ago the Chief of the Defence Force delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute outlining how he thought the 2013 White Paper would be developed. Today at the University of Canberra's National Security Institute, the CDF again gave a speech foregrounding a Defence White Paper.
  • The men who would minister war (II)

    Part 1 of this profile of Labor's prospective new defence minister Mike Kelly MP and shadow Defence Minister Senator David Johnston appeared yesterday. For men who will have responsibility for administering war if their party is elected tomorrow, neither David Johnston nor Mike Kelly want to talk much about the prospect of violent conflict. But I'm interested to tease out their views on what I see as the big issues in the defence portfolio: Australia's changing strategic environment, the US all
  • The men who would minister war

    Mike Kelly's got a plane to catch and a marginal seat to win, but offers some final advice for a defence minister: 'the first report you ever get in Defence on anything is invariably incomplete or wrong. Be very careful about rushing to judgement on anything'. It's good advice for the vastly important and now ominously creaking defence portfolio.
  • Coalition defence policy avoids tough spending and strategy calls

    The most important line in the Coalition's defence policy document, released this morning, comes on p.4: 'the bottom line is that our military forces should always be at least as capable as they were when the Howard government left office'. Amid a blizzard of aspirational statements on defence policy from both sides, this is the most important for a Coalition government. Almost everything Tony Abbott knows about defence he learned from John Howard.
  • Moving the navy north: Is it necessary and can we afford it?

    This morning at the Lowy Institute we heard Kevin Rudd's vision of Australia's strategic situation, national security, and Australia's interconnected economy. I'll leave analysis of what he had to say on the Syrian situation to my colleagues, but suffice to say Rudd has a better grasp of international security dynamics than almost anyone else in the parliament.
  • US reveals new Darwin Marines move

    Cameron Stewart writes in The Australian today about the announcement by the US Chief of Naval Operations (from his Navigation Plan 2014-2018) that he aims to 'provide amphibious lift for US marines operating out of Australia by establishing a fifth amphibious readiness group in the Pacific by financial year 2018'. The US Navy already has one amphibious ready group (ARG) and a carrier strike group based in Japan with the 7th Fleet.