Personal profile


John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies and former Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.

John is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, a member of the Australian Army Journal editorial board, and the first Australian recipient of a US Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative grant. He holds a PhD in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MA in History from ANU and a BA (Hons 1) from UNSW. He is a graduate of the Royal Thai Army Command & Staff College (dux, foreign students) and the Royal Military College, Duntroon (Blamey Scholar). 

He has extensive experience in the intelligence community including as the principal intelligence staff officer (S2) for the Australian infantry brigade deployed to East Timor in September 1999, as an intelligence exchange officer in Washington DC, as Director Joint Intelligence Operations (J2), at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, as a principal author of the three-volume official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and a one-time official historian of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). In addition he was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Thailand and Myanmar.

At ANU, he teaches undergraduate students “STST3003: Honeypots and Overcoats: Australian Intelligence in the World”; and "Southeast Asia's Security Choices" New Colombo Plan Mobility Course. He is an occasional commentator in the media.

His publications include: The US-Thai Alliance and Asian International Relations: History, Memory and Future Developments (Routledge, 2021); Niche Wars: Australia in Afghanistan and Iraq, 2001 to 2014 (ANU Press, 2020); In from the Cold: Reflections on Australia's Korean War, 1950-1953 (ANU Press, 2020); A Geostrategic SWOT Analysis for Australia (SDSC, 2019); Tipping The Balance in Southeast Asia? Thailand, the United States and China (SDSC, 2017); The Secret Cold War: The Official History of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation 1975-1989 (Allen & Unwin, 2016); East Timor Intervention (MUP, 2015); The Protest Years (Allen & Unwin, 2015): The Australian Army From Whitlam to Howard (CUP, 2014); Strategic Cousins (MQUP, 2006); Revisiting Counterinsurgency (LWSC, 2006); Information era Manoeuvre (LWSC, 2003); Signals: Swift and Sure (Signals Assoc., 1998); and Organising an Army: The Australian Experience 1957-1965 (SDSC, 1989).


Research interests

Intelligence, Cyber and Security

Australian Military History and Strategy 

Military Operations (including Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan)

International Relations, on Asia Pacific security affairs, notably South-east Asia/ASEAN (Thailand, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Indonesia, South China Sea) and North America, (Canada and the United States)

Defence Studies

Australian Flag


PhD (War Studies), MA (History), BA (Hons 1), psc (RT)


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