I recently gave my "National Security and Counterterrorism" Masters students a syndicate exercise at the end of their course requiring them to prioritise the most serious threats to Australia's national security (with national security being defined as safeguarding the "wellbeing" rather than "survival" of Australia – "survival" being more relevant to the Cold War era).
They were given 13 threats or potential threats to consider: adverse global trends and challenges to the international system; terrorism and piracy; instability and failed or failing states; poverty, inequality, and poor governance; serious and organised crime; WMD proliferation; climate change; civil emergencies, including natural disasters and pandemics; state-led threats (such as rising powers and balance of power issues); competition for energy and resources; social cohesion; sovereignty issues (including illegal fishing and illegal entry to Australian waters and airspace) and; cyber threats.
They then had to rank them by scale of impact, geographic proximity and urgency in time, and come up with a 1-13 list in order of priority.
For the complete article, please see the Canberra Times.
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