Australian Strategic Policy Institute
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ASPI's offices are located at 40 Macquarie Street in the Canberra suburb of Barton
|Headquarters||Barton, Canberra, ACT|
|Fields||Defence and strategic policy|
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is a defence and strategic policy think tank based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, founded by the Australian government and partly funded by the Australian Department of Defence.
ASPI was first established in 2001 under Prime Minister John Howard to provide "policy-relevant research and analysis to better inform Government decisions and public understanding of strategic and defence issues". ASPI was officially launched at ANZAC Hall at the Australian War Memorial on March 13, 2002 by then Australian Minister for Defence, Sen the Hon Robert Hill.
ASPI's inaugural director was Hugh White, who served as director from 2001 to 2004. White was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence at the Department of Defence between 1995 and 2000, and previously worked for the Office of National Assessments and as an adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Defence Minister Kim Beazley. White is now Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.
White was succeeded by Major General (retired) Peter Abigail in April 2005. Abigail is a former senior Australian Army officer whose positions included Deputy Chief of Army (1998–2000) and Land Commander Australia (2000–02). Abigail served as Executive Director of ASPI until 2012.
In February 2012, the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced the appointment of Peter Jennings PSM as ASPI's new Executive Director. Jennings assumed the role of Executive Director in May 2012. Jennings "has worked at senior levels in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security. Career highlights include being Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Advisor for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03)".
ASPI was established by the Australian Government in 2001 as a company limited by guarantee under the 2001 Corporations Act. ASPI receives partial funding from the Department of Defence "with other sources of revenue including sponsorship, commissioned tasks, a membership scheme, sale of publications, advertising and event registration fees."
The share of ASPI's funding provided by the Department of Defence decreased from 100 percent in the 2000-01 financial year to 43 percent in the 2018-19 financial year. Other government entities are the next-largest source of funding, and it receives funding from a large number of private companies for specific areas of analysis or individual reports. ASPI also accepts sponsorship from companies. ASPI's 2018-19 annual report states that it received some funding from the Embassy of Japan and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, as well as from state governments and defence companies, such as Lockheed Martin, BAE, Northrop Grumman, Thales and Raytheon.
ASPI regularly publishes a range of different publications. ASPI currently publishes three different kinds of reports:
- Strategic Insights
- Special Report
ASPI also publishes The Strategist, a daily analysis and commentary site. The Strategist aims to "provide fresh ideas on Australia's critical defence and strategic policy choices as well as encourage and facilitate discussion and debate among the strategy community and Australian public."
In October 2018, the ASPI was strongly criticised by the Australian Government's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) after it published a report into digital identity that "was inaccurate and contained many factual errors", and which "demonstrate a clear misunderstanding of how the digital identity system is intended to work".
ASPI was criticised by Senator Kim Carr in February 2020 for taking funding from the US state department to track Chinese research collaborations with Australian universities and exaggerating the threat China poses to Australia. Former foreign minister Bob Carr accused it of having “one-sided, pro-American view of the world”. Other politicians have defended the institution and its analysis of China.
- "Charter". Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
- "Launch of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016.
- Smith, Stephen. "Minister for Defence". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Peter Jennings". Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
- "Company Constitution". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- "About ASPI". Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
- Australian Strategic Policy Institute (2019). "Annual Report 2018-19" (PDF). Annual Report. Canberra: Australian Strategic Policy Institute: 18–21. ISSN 2651-8694.
- Robin, Myr (15 February 2020). "The think tank behind Australia's changing view of China". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "About, The Strategist". Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
- Julian Bajkowski. "DTA attacks China-style social credit claims about Govpass digital identity?". ITNews.com.