PAGC2301 Asia Pacific DefenceIn this episode we look at some of the politics around Defence – and especially the AUKUS part of it. In Australia we have effectively two part-time Ministers responsible for a massive and troubled portfolio and it raises questions about whether the government has the appetite for, or the ability to carry out, reforms and improvements.

Even if the nuclear-powered task force has a plan to acquire second hand Virginia class submarines that doesn’t guarantee success – history is full of failed military plans.

Unfortunately, AUKUS is developing a cult-like atmosphere where only believers in the plan are included in discussions, which is a recipe for disaster. We might be looking at a combination of another Donald Trump Presidency and a minority ALP government – just imagine the consequences of that.

To listen to the podcast, click here.


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Kym Bergmann
Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.


  1. Àgain, an interesting and informative Podcast. It seems that the Government is contradicting it’s self on Defence every time it opens its mouth. One must wonder why Mr Marles was given the Portfolio over Mr O’Connor who held it in the Shadow Cabinet. On the one hand Mr Albanese and Mr Marles speak glowingly about building Australia’s Sovereign Defence Industry and then sign off on purchasing equipment from the U.S. with little or no Australian content, Committing to Purchases that are virtually cast offs from the U.S.( Apache Helicopters with half the range of the Reconnaissance Helio they are replacing, Abrams tanks that are to heavy for Australian Conditions, Towed array Sonars that are being replaced by the USN and a MLRS that the Supplier is having trouble delivering to its own Armed Forces). We need to start realising that our Allies need us as much as we need them and start equipping our Armed Forces with Equipment that suits the needs of Australia instead of pandering to High Ranking Officers that want the bright shiny Cadillac and Politicians that nievely follow the advice of people with their own agenda…

    • I agree with all of that. Mr Marles was given Defence because he wanted it, so Brendan O’Connor – who had done a good job as the Shadow Minister – was kicked out of the way.


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