John Blaxland is a Professor in International Security and Intelligence Studies and Head (acting) at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU. He holds a PhD in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MA in History from ANU, a BA (Hons) from UNSW and is a graduate of the Royal Thai Army Command and Staff College and the Royal Military Colllege, Duntroon (Blamey Scholar). He is a former Director Joint Intelligence Operations (J2), at Headquarters Joint Operations Command and was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Thailand and Burma/Myanmar. He is a member of the ANU Academic Board as well as the Australian Army Journal editorial board and also an occasional commentator in the media.
His books include The Secret Cold War: The Official History of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation 1975-1989 (Allen & Unwin 2016), East Timor Intervention (MUP, 2015), The Protest Years (A&U, 2015), The Australian Army From Whitlam to Howard (CUP, 2014), Strategic Cousins (MQUP, 2006), Revisiting Counterinsurgency (LWSC, 2006), Information era Manoeuvre (LWSC, 2002), Signals (RASigs, 1999) and Organising an Army (SDSC, 1989).
In 2014 he was awarded a Minerva Research Initiative grant for a project entitled "Thailand's Military, the USA and China: Understanding how the Thai Military Perceives The Great Powers and Implications For the US Rebalance".
Canberra Writers Festival events
Secrets and Codebreakers
Festival audiences will get a glimpse into the shadow world with two authors who draw back the curtain on Australia’s colourful and fascinating history of intelligence and codebreaking.
Sunday 27th August 2017, 3:00pm. Univeristy House, Australian National University.
Tickets: Adult $24.00; Concession $21.95; Junior $11.75
About the book
The inside account of Australia's national intelligence organisation as it grappled with continuing espionage from foreign agents and the rise of terrorist attacks on Australian soil during the years of the Fraser and Hawke governments. This is the third and final volume of the Official History of ASIO.
The Cold War between the West and the Soviet Bloc didn't end with detente in 1975: it just went underground. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, tensions between the superpowers continued to play out across the world.
Until now, few would have known of the surprising extent of clandestine operations in Australia by foreign intelligence operatives and the violence-prone activities of local extremist groups from the Middle East, Armenia and Croatia in the 1970s and 1980s. Meanwhile, prompted by probing royal commissions and reviews, ASIO was being systematically transformed into a modern intelligence organisation.
The Secret Cold War uncovers behind the scenes stories of the Hilton bombing in Sydney, assassinations of diplomats, the Combe-Ivanov affair, and the new threat from China. It reveals that KGB officers were able to recruit and run agents in Australia for many years, and it follows ASIO's own investigations into persistent allegations of penetration by Soviet moles.
The Secret Cold War is the third and final volume of The Official History of ASIO.
'The Secret Cold War concludes the seminal trilogy of the Official History of ASIO, and provides an unabashed perspective into ASIO’s inner workings throughout the 1970s and 1980s.' - His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Secret Cold War is published by Allen & Unwin.
Buy the book from the festival's bookshop partner Dymocks.