The AIIA ACT Branch are pleased to be joined by Dr Ross Babbage to present on The Risk of Major War Between China and the United States: Issues and Options for Australia and its Allies.
Despite slightly improved atmospherics in recent weeks, China and the United States remain at loggerheads over several important issues – most notably the future of Taiwan. Xi Jinping has promised his people on numerous occasions that Taiwan will be incorporated into mainland China and he clearly wants to deliver on his watch. However, President Biden, has stated clearly on four occasions that if Taiwan is attacked American forces will be committed to the fight. So while war is not inevitable it is a serious risk.
The challenges for Australia and its allies are immense. Amongst the complications are that the two sides are planning to fight quite different types of war, they have different strengths and weaknesses, they are at different states of preparation and they are focusing on fighting for very different periods. This presentation will briefly address the issues and options for Australian and allied decision-makers.
The AIIA ACT Branch will also be holding our end of year Christmas Party prior to the presentation. We invite all members to join us for a light meal and drinks, and to celebrate another great year discussing international affairs. Please not the earlier start time of 5pm for the Christmas fare.
Dr Ross Babbage is Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Forum Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation committed to fostering high-level discussions and debates on the primary security challenges confronting Australia and its close allies.
Dr Babbage is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington DC. In addition he is Managing Director of Strategy International (ACT) Pty Ltd, a national security consulting and education service delivery organization.
Dr Babbage served as a special advisor to the Minister for Defence during the preparation of the 2009 Australian defence white paper. He also served on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London for a maximum six-year term.
Dr Babbage served for 16 years in the Australian Public Service holding several senior positions, including Senior Strategic Analyst in the Office of National Assessments and leading the branch in the Department of Defence responsible for ANZUS policy. Dr Babbage was Assistant Secretary, Force Development in the late 1980s, carrying responsibility for the analysis of all major defence capability proposals and the preparation of recommendations for the senior Defence committees and for Cabinet.
Through the 1990s, Dr Babbage moved to the corporate sector, working with the team that reformed and re-shaped the Office of Defence Production with its loss-making, government-owned defence factories. What emerged was a modern, profitable corporation known as ADI Limited that grew to become Australia’s largest defence company.
Dr Babbage has served a period as Deputy Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University (1987-1990) and also a period as Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (2001-2003).
As Founder, Chair and CEO of the Kokoda Foundation, he designed, developed and organized the first high-level Strategic Dialogues between Australia and the United States and subsequently he organized the first trilateral Strategic Dialogue between Australia, the United States and Japan.
Dr Babbage has Bachelor and Master degrees in economics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University. Amongst his publications are: Game Plan: The Case for a New Australian Grand Strategy (Menzies Research Centre, Canberra, 2015), Countering China’s Adventurism in the South China Sea – Strategy Options for the Trump Administration (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C. 2016) Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West Can Prevail (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C.,2019), Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific: Issues and Options for Allied Defence Planners (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C.,2019) and Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory, (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C., 2020). His most recent book is The Next Major War: Can America and its Allies Win Against China? (Cambria Books, New York, 2023).
Dr Babbage was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2011.
AIIA National Convention Centre
Thesiger Court 32
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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