Prof John Blaxland


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Personal profile


John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU).

He has been appointed Director of the ANU North America Liaison Office from September 2023.

He is the first Australian recipient of a US Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative grant (2015-18). He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He is a former military intelligence officer and has previously been a Chief Intelligence Staff Officer (J2) at HQ Joint Operations Command, defence attaché to Thailand and Myanmar, exchange officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC, Head of SDSC and Director of the ANU Southeast Asia Institute. At ANU, he teaches “Honeypots and Overcoats: Australian Intelligence in the World” and supervises several PhD students.

In recent years he has lectured regularly at the ANU National Security College (on the Geostrategic SWOT Analysis for Australia) and Australian Defence College (including the Defence and Strategic Studies Course, Command and Staff Course, Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College, Duntroon).

He has also addressed conferences and workshops on security in Australia (RUSI, U3A, Army Research Centre, Seapower Conference, etc) Malaysia, Korea, Thailand (Thammasat, Chulalongkorn and military academies), the Philippines, Taiwan, UK (Kings College London), the USA (Minerva, CSIS, East West Centre, etc) and Canada and offers commentary with The Australian Institute of International Affairs, The Guardian, The Age & Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times, The Australian, The New York Times, Bangkok Post, The Straits Times, The Jakarta Post, Asia Times, Australian Foreign Affairs, The Conversation, The Saturday Paper, Lowy Interpreter, The Mandarin, East Asia Forum, SCMP, World Politics Review, The Diplomat, Policy Forum, The RAND Blog, Voices of War, Security Challenges, The Australian Army Journal, Defence Connect and the Journal of Global Strategic Studies.

He also occasionally offers comments on television and radio including on the ABC, BBC, CNN, SkyNews, TRT World, Arirang, WION, France24 and CNA.

Some of his recent articles include:

John has also published articles and chapters in edited works on how wars enddrones, leadership, intelligence, Second World War intelligence arrangements, Australian Army infantry, US-Australia security ties, Australia-Canada military relations, Defence Cooperation in Asia and Southeast Asian security.

His books include Revealing Secrets: An Unofficial History of Australian Signals Intelligence and the Advent of Cyber (UNSW Press, 2023)The US-Thai Alliance and Asian International Relations, (Routledge, 2021), Niche Wars: Australia in Afghanistan and Iraq (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, ANU, 2019), MANIS: Time for a new forum to sweeten regional cooperation (SDSC, ANU, 2016), The Secret Cold War: the official history of ASIO, Vol. III (Allen & Unwin 2016), The Protest Years: the official history of ASIO, Vol., II (Allen & Unwin, 2015), East Timor Intervention: a retrospective on INTERFET: (MUP, 2015), The Australian Army from Whitlam to Howard (CUP, 2014), Strategic Cousins: Australian and Canadian Expeditionary Forces and the British and American Empires (MQUP, 2006), Revisiting Counterinsurgency: A Manoeuvrist Response to the ‘War on Terror’ for the Australian Army (Duntroon, Land Warfare Studies Centre, WP No. 131, 2006), Information Era Manoeuvre: The Australian Led Mission to East Timor (LWSC WP No. 118, 2002), Signals: Swift and Sure (Signals Committee, 1998), & Organising an Army: The Australian Experience 1957-1965 (SDSC, ANU, 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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