RAN honours CAPT J P Stevenson

Commander of HMAS Melbourne at time of Evans collision

On 15 February, the Royal Australian Navy honoured the life of a highly regarded and greatly admired retired officer who had an extraordinary career, marked with distinguished service in war and peace, tragedy and controversy, Navy Daily reports.

Captain John Philip Stevenson died on Wednesday, 30 January 2019, at the age of 98. His career will forever be remembered in Australian naval history.

In 1969 he was in command of HMAS Melbourne (II) when the United States Navy destroyer USS Frank E Evans turned under the Australian aircraft carrier’s bow and was cut in half.

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The US, nor Australia, should not go to war over Taiwan

By Hugh White*

Paul Dibb writes that America’s strategic position in Asia would be fatally undermined if it didn’t go to war with China if China attacked Taiwan, and that Australia’s alliance with America would be fatally undermined if we didn’t then go to war with China too. The conclusion he draws is that, in the event of an unprovoked Chinese attack on Taiwan, America should go to war with China, and so should Australia.

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Maritime dimension of northern defence

By Richard Brabin-Smith*

Once governments have decided that their defence policies will focus on the defence of Australia, two conclusions immediately follow. First, priorities for the development of the Australian Defence Force will have a strong maritime dimension. Second, because of the nature of Australia’s strategic geography, there will necessarily be a focus on operations in or from the north of the country.

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Russia’s nuclear push in Europe

World Naval Developments – January 2019  by Norman Friedman*

Late in January the U.S. Government announced that it was suspending the Cold War agreement to ban Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) from Europe, in response to what it saw as blatant Russian cheating. NATO backed the U.S. action; the Russian missiles had been a matter of great concern to many in the Alliance. Russian President Vladimir Putin then announced that he was withdrawing from the agreement.  

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Brexit might mean more RN presence in SE Asia

By Geoffrey Till*


Although it should not be exaggerated, a persistent British naval presence in Southeast Asia should be expected now that commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan have reduced.


SPARKED BY recent comments by the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, there has been a good deal of excited speculation about the prospect of a large-scale British military re-appearance in Southeast Asia complete with aircraft carriers and new bases. Its critics argue that this can be simply attributed to the country’s desire to reinvent itself after Brexit. Is there a nostalgic desire to try to return to the days of Empire? In fact, it’s all a bit more complicated than that.

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