Trust as a Strategic Resource for the Defence of Australia


Author:  Emily Bienvenue, Zac Rogers, Sian Troath

The strategic environment that Australia inhabits is rapidly changing. The most noticeable aspect of this change are shifts in the regional balance of power and competing influence in the region to Australia’s north. This is complicated by the uncertainty being generated by the presidency of Donald Trump, both within a United States that has long been Australia’s great and powerful ally, and regionally. Yet in many ways, shifting power balances based on often conflicting interests among geopolitical actors are the normal cycles of international politics. Of greater concern are fundamental changes in how power flows between actors and how conflicts of interest are being contested.

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Dr Emily Bienvenue is a Senior Analyst in the Defence Science and Technology Group’s, Joint and Operations Analysis Division. Her research interests include trust as a strategic resource, the changing nature of warfare, and competition below the threshold of conflict.

The views expressed here are her own and do not represent the official view of the Australian Defence Department.

Dr Zac Rogers is a lead researcher at the Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security and Governance (JBC).

Sian Troath is a PhD candidate (submitted) at Flinders University, and a combined Flinders University-DST Group research associate working on Modelling Complex Warfighting (MCW) Strategic Response (SR) 4 – Modelling Complex Human Systems. Her areas of expertise are international relations theory, trust theory, Australian foreign policy, Australia- Indonesia relations, and Anglo-American relations.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.


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