NPIHP is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of "NPIHP Issue Briefs." These brief papers offer useful insights and perspectives on contemporary nuclear policy issues from international nuclear historians. More than just formulaic ‘lessons from history,’ Issue Briefs provide archivally-grounded background, context and nuance to current issues for political scientists and government officials who are confronted with complex nuclear challenges.

Issue Brief #1 "Chasing Mirages: Australia and the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella in the Asia-Pacific" was written by 2011 NPIHP Nuclear Boot Camp alumna Christine Leah along with Austrailian National University PhD candidate Crispin Rovere. Leah and Rovere argue that Australia's decision to forego their nuclear ambitions in the 1970s was not due to blind reliance on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but rather because of the changing geopolitical climate in Asia at the time. The authors examine a recently unearthed 1974 Australian government document to describe how a reversal in geopolitical trends in the future could make Australia reconsider its policy of nuclear abstinence, even in the presence of an American nuclear security guarantee.

Christine M. Leah recently completed her PhD at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University. Previously, she was a summer associate at the RAND Corporation, a research intern at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Singapore, the French Ministry of Defense, IISS London, and a research analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Crispin Rovere served as ACT International Affairs Policy Committee convener for the governing Australian Labor Party (2010-2012), founding member of the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN) (2010-2012), and Pacific Forum Young Leader at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (2011-2012). He is currently completing PhD Research at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), ANU.

Read NPIHP Issue Brief #1 here.