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French policemen investigating the abandonment of a car packed with gas cylinders near Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Women’s key role in Islamic State networks, explained

The recent arrest of female terrorists in France brought attention to the role women play in IS. A group of American academics studied this issue – with a surprising result.
John Howard confirms the nation’s involvement in the war in Iraq in March 2003, a decision subject to remarkably little oversight by comparison to Australia’s allies. AAP/Alan Porritt

When Australia goes to war, public trust depends on better oversight

It is important to restore public trust in any future decision for Australia to go to war. For this, a system that provides better democratic accountability is essential.
The French submarine, Shortfin Barracuda, designed by the DCNS group, to be the design base for Australia’s new fleet. AAP Image/DCNS Group

What do we want from Australia’s new submarines?

Australia's new submarine fleet will be designed for a range of different missions in our challenging maritime environment.
If Tony Abbott is disappointed by the failure to choose Japan to build Australia’s new submarines, the only one he can blame is himself. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Submarines decision ultimately shows the merits of partisan debate on defence

Like oil and water, party politics and good defence policy are presumed not to mix. And the process to buy Australia's next fleet of submarines has been all about party politics.
DCNS’ ‘Shortfin Barracuda’ was the winning design for Australia’s next submarine fleet. AAP/DCNS Group

French company DCNS wins race to build Australia’s next submarine fleet: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to key aspects of the announcement that French company DCNS will be build Australia's next fleet of submarines.
Defence Minister Marise Payne inherited a draft of the defence white paper last year, but wanted to put her own stamp on it. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Defence white paper: an extra $29.9 billion spending over a decade

The defence white paper will pledge an additional $29.9 billion in defence spending over the coming decade and support for businesses to innovate in areas such as cyber security and aeronautics.
South African National Defence Force soldiers help to unload maize for flood victims in. Mozambique. Reuters

Why South Africa’s plans to militarise humanitarian work are misguided

The South African military's capabilities for socio-economic development are questionable, even in its own country. The force is in critical decline, but is expected to aid humanitarian efforts.
Defence’s year in 2015 will be defined primarily by its response to the forthcoming white paper. AAP/Hugh Peterswald

Shaping 2015: Andrews must show $30b defence budget is well spent

Australia has decisively responded to the strategic uncertainty of contemporary East Asia by forming committees and undertaking reviews. 2015 brings with it Australia’s third defence white paper in six…

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