[AustCham Korea Webinar]
70 Years On: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War with Professor John Blaxland
June 25th marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. To mark this important occasion, AustCham Korea is pleased to collaborate with the Defence team at the Australian Embassy in Seoul to invite you to join our upcoming webinar, ‘70 Years On: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War with Professor John Blaxland’. The webinar will feature a presentation by Professor John Blaxland, Professor of International Security & Intelligence Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, at the Australian National University. It will be moderated by the Australian Defence Attache in Seoul, Colonel Nick Bolton and AustCham Korea’s Executive Director, Rowan Petz.
Drawing upon Professor Blaxland’s recent publication, ‘In from the Cold: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War‘, the session will explore Australia’s contribution to the defence of South Korea during the Korean War, reflecting on how this important moment in history continues to shape our bilateral relations to this day.
The webinar will be conducted via Zoom video conferencing and will provide a platform for attendees to ask questions prior to and during the session.
Date: Friday, June 26, 2020
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (Seoul time)
The webinar is complimentary. Please RSVP below.
Speaker & Moderator Introductions:
John Blaxland is a Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies and Official Historian of the Australian Signals Directorate, for which he has been commissioned to write a two-volume history. Prior to this appointment he was Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.
John is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the first Australian recipient of a US Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative grant. He holds a PhD in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MA in History from ANU and a BA (Hons 1) from UNSW. He is a graduate of the Royal Thai Army Command & Staff College (dux, foreign students) and the Royal Military College, Duntroon (Blamey Scholar).
He has extensive experience in the intelligence community including as the principal intelligence staff officer (S2) for the Australian infantry brigade deployed to East Timor in September 1999, as an intelligence exchange officer in Washington DC, and as Director Joint Intelligence Operations (J2), at Headquarters Joint Operations Command. In addition he was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Thailand and Myanmar.
At ANU, he teaches undergraduate students “Honeypots and Overcoats: Australian Intelligence in the World”; and “Southeast Asia’s Security Choices” New Colombo Plan Mobility Course.
His publications include: In from the Cold: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War, 1950-1953 (ANU Press, 2020); A Geostrategic SWOT Analysis for Australia (SDSC, 2019); Tipping The Balance in Southeast Asia? Thailand, the United States and China (SDSC, 2017); 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 (Allen & Unwin, 2015): The Australian Army From Whitlam to Howard (CUP, 2014); Strategic Cousins (MQUP, 2006); Revisiting Counterinsurgency (LWSC, 2006); Information era Manoeuvre (LWSC, 2003); Signals: Swift and Sure (Signals Assoc., 1998); and Organising an Army: The Australian Experience 1957-1965 (SDSC, 1989).
Forthcoming publications include “Niche Wars: Australia in Afghanistan and Iraq, 2001 to 2014” (ANU Press), and “The US-Thai Alliance and Asian International Relations: History, Memory and Future Developments” (Routledge)
So what did Australia contribute to the Korean War from June 1950 to July 1953? What were the Australians doing there? How significant was the contribution and what difference did it make? What has that meant for Australia since then, and what might that mean for Australia into the future?
Australians served at sea, on land and in the air alongside their United Nations partners during the war. They fought with distinction, from bitterly cold mountain tops, to the frozen decks of aircraft carriers and in dogfights overhead. This book includes the perspectives of leading academics, practitioners and veterans contributing fresh ideas on the conduct and legacy of the Korean War. International perspectives from allies and adversaries provide contrasting counterpoints that help create a more nuanced understanding of Australia’s relatively small but nonetheless important contribution of forces in the Korean War. The book finishes with some reflections on implications that the Korean War still carries for Australia and the world to this day.