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Vanessa Newby in 'ASPI The Strategist' about hospital ships during pandemics and climate change

If the recent bushfire crisis and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that Australia has an opportunity to evaluate its coordination on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

Vanessa Newby, assistant professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, wrote an article on why Australia and its ANZUS treaty partners need to work more closely together, and non-traditional security threats need to be factored more heavily into Australia’s military strategy, particularly its naval strategy.

ANZUS alliance

The ANZUS alliance gains enormous benefits from its members’ shared culture and language. However, an investigation of the extent of cooperation among their militaries reveals that, despite broadly similar regional goals and a shared need for interoperability, strategic coordination on HADR is absent. All three states are more engaged with building and maintaining individual relationships with states in the Asia–Pacific. According to Newby, the failure to use ANZUS as a platform for HADR remains a puzzle from a logistical perspective. And so, the need for greater HADR cooperation at the military level falls under the radar of the media, government and academics. 

In the article, Newby also discusses the current situation in Europe, and how the capacity of local hospital that have to deal with the coronavirus have already been overwhelmed. Hotels and cruise ships are viable quick-fix alternatives for this problem, but hospital ships are solutions for the long run. 

To read the full article, click here

Vanessa Newby is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University with the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs - Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) and is the PhD Coordinator at ISGA. Vanessa is also the lead researcher for the Gender and Peace research stream of the Chair of UN Studies in Peace and Justice. Vanessa’s research interests include peacekeeping, peacebuilding, informal institutions, gender and security and the international relations of the Middle East.

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