Nuclear Iran: Diplomacy still the best strategy

Mellisa attended the IISS Regional Security Summit: the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Mellisa Is an airborne Tactical Coordinator in the Royal Australian Air Force. and she is also studying a Masters of Science, focusing on Operations Research and Statistics.


After thirty years of heavy sanctions and the constant threat of military intervention, Iran has failed to be deterred from its ambitious nuclear intent. Recently, Tehran has indicated it will cease higher enrichment of uranium if sanctions are lifted and its right to enrich is duly recognised. With Iran showing increasing flexibility in recent negotiations, the best way forward is a diplomatic one. Previous attempts for diplomacy by a number of countries, notably the P5+1, have failed as a result of breakdowns in communication due to public hard line statements by each of the nations, concurrent sanctions and military threats delivered by Israel, the United States and on occasion the European Union (EU). Sidelining sanctions, removing immediate threats to their sovereignty and then making a shift for private bi-lateral negotiations between the United States and Iran have a greater change of yielding a successful outcome. The involvement of Washington may also help allay particular security fears by Israel whose influence on previous negotiations has been unhelpful. Removing the crippling sanctions and a shift for diplomacy should not be viewed as a reward, but a pragmatic tool for achieving a successful outcome for all relevant parties. The West can ensure that by lifting sanctions and removing direct military threats, they have done everything in their power to discourage nuclear proliferation and prevent an ongoing conflict rather than encourage both.

Read More

Australia: A global member for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Melissa Houston attended the 2012 Nato Leaders Summit in Chicago where she represented the Department of Defence. Melissa is an airborne Tactical Coordinator in the Royal Australian Air Force and she is currently studying a Masters of Science, focusing on Operations Research and Statistics.


Over the last decade, Australia has strengthened its relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). At the last two NATO summits, the Australian Prime Minister has been in attendance and this practice will continue at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago this month. NATO was initially formed as an instrument for safeguarding North Atlantic security and values. The Alliance achieves this through a strong membership of 28 European and North American nations and an extensive partner network including the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Istanbul Cooperation and Partners across the Globe, including Australia.   

This paper will address NATO’s development and evolving security roles. It will demonstrate the growing need for an adaptive organisation, one which includes global members. Firstly, the paper will discuss a shift in geographic reach and developing military and peacekeeping roles. The importance of collective defence will then be considered with respect to NATO’s latest Strategic Concept.  The concept reflects an ‘indirect approach’ to Asia Pacific security. The paper will then discuss Australian relationships with NATO nations and commitment to NATO led operations. Next, the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty’s relevance is addressed with a view to global stability and security in the 21st century. The paper will conclude with member nations’ views on Asian additions to the Alliance.  

Read More