The National Security Podcast-logo

The National Security Podcast


Chris Farnham and Katherine Mansted bring you expert analysis, insights and opinion on Australia and the region's national security challenges in this pod from Policy Forum. Produced with the support of the ANU National Security College.

Chris Farnham and Katherine Mansted bring you expert analysis, insights and opinion on Australia and the region's national security challenges in this pod from Policy Forum. Produced with the support of the ANU National Security College.




Chris Farnham and Katherine Mansted bring you expert analysis, insights and opinion on Australia and the region's national security challenges in this pod from Policy Forum. Produced with the support of the ANU National Security College.






Disinformation - from climate change to COVID-19

How do Australia’s experiences fit into the global contest over the climate change narrative and why is that contest now bleeding into discussion about the coronavirus pandemic? On this National Security Podcast, Chris Farnham is joined by Chris Zappone to tackle a growing spread of disinformation in the media and how it can affect a crisis. Australia’s recent bushfire crisis saw the nation’s computer screens, airwaves, and television screens dragged into the global disinformation storm...


The implications of climate change for national security

How do the impacts of climate change make it a national security issue, and how is climate change going to affect Australia’s preparedness for national resilience and even war? In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Chris Farnham speaks with Associate Professor Matt McDonald about where major risks likely lie for national defence, societal resilience, and regional security in the face of the climate crisis. Associate Professor Matt McDonald is Reader in International Relations...


Rory Medcalf on the contest for the Indo-Pacific

On this episode, Chris Farnham chats with Professor Rory Medcalf about the future of the Indo-Pacific region and Australia's place in it. Will any one country have the power to map the future of a region so central to global prosperity and security? If diplomacy fails, the Indo-Pacific will be the theatre of the first general war since 1945. But if its future can be secured, the Indo-Pacific will flourish as a shared space. In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Chris Farnham...


Ask Policy Forum: The podcast where you ask the questions

Join us at the pod squad members’ lounge as we field your questions on all sorts of issues, from how countries are performing on emissions reduction to which politician you’d least like to be stuck in conversation with at the annual Midwinter Ball. On the first episode of our special Ask Policy Forum series, regular hosts and special guests crack a beverage and chat about what you want to know. Led by Chris Farnham of the National Security Podcast, kick back as Mark Kenny of Democracy...


Populism and Australia’s future in Asia

In this episode of National Security Podcast, Sam Roggeveen joins Chris Farnham and Katherine Mansted to talk about his recent paper Our Very Own Brexit: Australia’s Hollow Politics and Where It Could Lead Us. Is Australia seeing a surge in conservative sentiment, or is the nation being led by political parties in search of a new identity? On this National Security Podcast, we are joined by Sam Roggeveen of the Lowy Institute to discuss where and how domestic politics and foreign policy...


Freedom of the press and the year that was 2019

Is press freedom a national security issue? If it is, what does that mean for Australia’s regional relations and its fight against foreign interference? In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted and Rory Medcalf discuss their recent submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and National Security on freedom of the press. They also unpack pivotal national security issues for the region in the past year and discuss what policymakers should keep an...


Impeachment, foreign policy, and national security

In this National Security Podcast, Dr Charles Edel and Dr Gorana Grgic discuss the details of the new United States Studies Centre report, Impeachment: The insider’s guide. Dr Edel explains the origins of the impeachment process and how it works, and when it was designed to be applied. Dr Grgic takes us through President Trump's peculiar brand of foreign policy-making, what it means for states in Eastern Europe facing Russian aggression, and how it came to be that Rudi Giuliani was able to...


Women in National Security: Hon Mariya Didi, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Maldives

In this National Security Podcast, Defence Minister Mariya Didi explains what drives the Maldives to look to its democratic neighbours, India and Sri Lanka, as the nation’s security partners and most important relationships. She talks of the impact of climate change on the island nation and tells us what it is like to live on and make policy for islands whose highest elevation is less than 5 metres above sea level as oceans rise. In a very candid and personal way, Minister Didi also details...


Techlosophy and the future of security

In this National Security Podcast, Zac Rogers and Katherine Mansted talk about why political leaders have long been attracted to the idea that technology is a revolutionary key to progress and power. They also discusses how ideas about technology and modernity have animated brutal political regimes, global business models, and ideologies – from Leninism to Maoism. From China’s emerging brand of 'techno-authoritarianism' to the 'technological nihilism' of some Silicon Valley companies, we ask...


Right-wing extremism and domestic terror (part two)

In this National Security Podcast, Nicholas Rasmussen, former director of national counter-terrorism in the United States, and Jacinta Carroll, Australian policy professional in countering violent extremism, join Chris Farnham to talk about how current policy is hampering a whole-of-government response to domestic terrorism. The panel discuss how extremism policy differs from country to country, the role of politicians, and the tech sector's responsibility to recognise the difference...


Right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism (part one)

What poses the greatest risk, Islamic terrorism or far-right extremism? First exploring whether right-wing extremism is a new challenge and why conspiracy theories seem to have such great influence with the ‘alt-right’ and ultra-nationalists, the panel ask if there is a counter-balance to the threat of right-wing extremism. In the second pod of the series Nick Rasmussen, the former head of US national counter-terrorism, and terrorism expert Jacinta Carroll will talk policy options to deal...


Fintech and the geopolitics of crypto-currencies

As Facebook advances its plan for a new cryptocurrency – Libra – we ask what the fintech revolution means for national security. Will a major player like Facebook take crypto mainstream, and if so, how could that reshape global financial flows and economic power? In this National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted explores what is shaping the cryptocurrency landscape - from the invisible creators of Bitcoin, to nation-states with a penchant for fintech innovation. We discuss the...


In the middle of the Indo-Pacific: Japan, Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands

Too often, discussion of the 'Indo-Pacific' is heavily focused on China, the United States and India. While these nations are the biggest actors in the region, it is important to note that they are not the only nations with influence. As security policy evolves, we ask how other nations, from big economies such as Japan and Indonesia, to smaller states like Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, are internalising the concept and incorporating it into national strategy. In this week's episode, Chris...


Identity, geopolitics, and Europe’s place in the new world order

As technology alters the constraints that geography poses on nations, societies, and individuals, how will national security change? How will the fragmentation of society along lines of proximity, ethnicities, and belief systems evolve in an increasingly networked world? Is Brexit the beginning of disintegration for Europe, can Russia ever be brought in from the cold, and what role, if any, does the EU have to play in the tensions between the US and China? In this National Security Podcast,...


Kelly Magsamen on US National Security Policy

In this episode of the National Security Podcast we talk to Kelly Magsamen about American national security policy - what is driving it, where it is going, and if we’re headed into a cul-de-sac of policy failure. We also find out if the Obama administration moved too slowly to counter China’s militarisation of the South China Sea or whether it was a mistake by Beijing to even build bases amongst its Southeast Asian neighbours. And we ask considering the global rules-based order, why should...


National Security Podcast extra: Hugh White on How to Defend Australia

In this National Security Podcast extra, we speak to Professor Hugh White AO about his new book, How to Defend Australia. Hugh argues for a radical shift in the way we view America’s role in Asia, and that Australia can no longer count on US support should it find itself under the threat of being attacked. The discussion includes how China’s expanding economic and military power is dominating the region and what that means for the structure of Australia’s defence forces. As the region...


National security and the media in Southeast Asia

As geopolitical competition intensifies again in the region, Southeast Asia finds itself increasingly pressured by China and the US. Whilst China aggressively pursues its claim over Southeast maritime territory, it also commits to large investment programs throughout the region. And as the US defence establishment works to convince East Asia that American commitment to the region is not waning, President Trump continues to sow uncertainty with diplomacy by Twitter. How is Southeast Asia...


Battlefield singularity, AI pixie dust, and the future of war

Is artificial intelligence (AI) the game-changer many think it will be? Will advances in AI change the nature of competition and conflict between states, or lift the fog of war? Do the American and Chinese militaries even have what it takes to fully operationalise AI, and what are the weaknesses and risks of each country’s approach? In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted learns about the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) military modernisation and China’s drive...


Economic warfare and the globalisation of innovation

Technology and innovation are key drivers of social progress and economic prosperity. At the same time, emerging technologies can be 'double-edged swords' used to undermine security and democracy. Innovation is also no longer something driven by genius individuals or major government projects. It is a highly comercialised, globalised endeavour. This means that the private sector is often caught in the middle of nation-state power plays. It also finds itself increasingly on the front-lines...


The Quad pod

After a rocky start, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is seeing somewhat of a renaissance. What is driving the renewed interest from the US, Japan, Australia, and India? What are these countries looking to achieve out of the dialogue? Is the Quad going to emerge as a method of containing China, or is this minilateral more mythical than meaningful? Listen here: In this episode of the National Security Podcast, four experts representing the thinking from each of the Quad nations put...