John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies in the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.

Professor Blaxland lectures at ANU and the Australian Defence College and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon (Blamey Scholar), Royal Thai Army Command and General Staff College and Royal Military College of Canada (PhD in War Studies).

He is a former military intelligence officer with postings including as J2 HQ JOC, Defence Attache to Thailand and Myanmar, US intelligence exchange officer, and to the Defence Intelligence Organisation, Defence Signals Directorate and as Brigade S2 for INTERFET. He is also a former Head of SDSC and Director of the Southeast Asia Institute at ANU.

In addition to journal articles and chapters in edited works, Professor Blaxland’s publications include The US-Thai Alliance and Asian International Relations (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), 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), and Organising an Army: The Australian Experience 1957-1965 (SDSC, ANU, 1989).

Professor Blaxland is also an occasional media commentator.

Please note Professor Blaxland is based in Washington, DC.

Fields of expertise



Revealing secrets strengthens our intelligence services

In the intelligence business, the secret of success lies in keeping one’s successes secret. After all, were a…


The much-anticipated defence review is here. So what does it say, and what does it mean for Australia?

The Albanese government on Monday released a declassified version of the much-anticipated defence strategic review, authored by former defence…


AUKUS submarine plan will be the biggest defence scheme in Australian history. So how will it work?

The agreement to deliver Australia nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS tripartite security pact was announced today with great…


Where does Australia stand one year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

One year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world looks different. The war has triggered what German…

22 February 2023


Two major announcements about Australia’s defence force are imminent. Here’s what to expect

The United States’ shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina over the weekend points…


Unpacking Solomon Islands’ security pact with China

The tide is turning on the security of Solomon Islands after its Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed a…


Nuclear future looms for Australia’s sub-par submarines

The announcement of a new security pact today between Australia, the UK and the US echoes the strong…

16 September 2021


Suu Kyi detention marks return to the Myanmar of old

The detention of Aung San Suu Kyi appears to mark the inevitable end of a trajectory that has…

1 February 2021


Rival superpowers may exploit chaos in the US

China and Russia will be tempted to exploit the chaos facing the United States, according to national security expert Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb from The…

7 January 2021


Why we are in for a dangerous decade

Two leading strategic studies experts outline the national security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cascading strategic shocks Professor…

22 December 2020


Revealing the inside story of ASIO

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975-1989, the third volume of the Australian Security Intelligence…

13 February 2017


The essence of being Australian: 100 years since Gallipoli

In April 2015 it was 100 years since the storming of Gallipoli. Four ANU academics discuss what the…

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