Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

As great power competition intensifies, the role of deterrence and the potential for escalation have taken on renewed importance in the security calculations of Australia and other US allies. How to manage deterrence and escalation is an inherently political question. For deterrence to be effective, allies have to find ways to agree and credibly commit to what they are willing to do for each other.

His Excellency Ambassador Shingo Yamagami will speak on the challenge of deterrence in the Indo-Pacific that is facing the three allies Japan, Australia and the United States, followed by a panel discussion by contributing authors of Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence.

Dennis Richardson, former Secretary of Department of Defence will reflect on the late Brendan Sargeant's chapter, Australia's management of the US Alliance.

The Ambassador will also launch the book and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the launch and can be purchased here.


Professor Helen Sullivan is a public policy scholar whose work explores the nature of state-society relationships, and their interaction with public policy systems. Her latest book (co-edited with Helen Dickinson and Hayley Henderson) is The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant, a major reference work published by Palgrave (2021). Helen is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Past President of the Australian Political Studies Association (2020-21). She currently serves as the Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University.


HEShingo Yamagami has served as the Director-General of Economic Affairs Bureau, and of Intelligence and Analysis Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as at the Japan Institute of International Affairs. He graduated from the University of Tokyo and also studied at Columbia University.

Professor Stephan Frühling teaches in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and has widely published on Australian defence policy, defence planning and strategy, nuclear weapons and NATO.

Stephan was the Fulbright Professional Fellow in Australia-US Alliance Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC in 2017. He worked as a 'Partner across the globe' research fellow in the Research Division of the NATO Defense College in Rome in 2015 and was a member of the Australian Government's External Panel of Experts on the development of the 2016 Defence White Paper.

Professor Andrew O'Neil is Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School at Griffith University. He has published widely in the broad areas of international relations and strategic studies and is currently chief investigator on projects focusing on the Australia-US alliance funded by the Australian Research Council and Australia's Department of Defence.

Andrew is a former member of the Australian Foreign Minister's National Consultative Committee on Security Issues and is a member of the Australian Research Council's College of Experts.

Dr Oriana Skylar Mastro is a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an inaugural Wilson Center China Fellow.

She continues to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve for which she works as a strategic planner at INDOPACOM. For her contributions to U.S. strategy in Asia, she won the Individual Reservist of the Year Award in 2016.

A light lunch box will be provided following the event.

Please note: Masks must be worn at this event.

Date and Times


Room: China in the World Lotus Theatre