Defence: a quick guide to key internet links

Updated 26 September 2018

PDF version [315KB]

David Watt and Nicole Brangwin
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section

This Quick Guide provides key internet links to websites that relate to defence issues domestically and internationally. 

Australian Parliament

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade—considers defence-related matters such as departmental annual reports and Auditor-General reports.

Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade—comprises two committees: the Legislation Committee considers Bills referred by the Senate, conducts the Estimates process and reviews departmental performance. The References Committee deals with all other issues referred by the Senate.

Defence portfolio

The Defence portfolio comprises a number of organisations that support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the broader Defence organisation, including the following:

The ADF comprises three Services:

Defence publications

Regular publications produced by Defence include:

Key issues

Topical pages on the Department of Defence website are listed below.

  • Defence white papers—from 1976 to 2016, including links to public consultation papers.
  • Defence UXO (unexploded ordnance in Australia)—lists sites that are at risk of contamination from UXOs such as ammunition, grenades, bombs, etc.
  • Environmental management—includes the Department of Defence’s environmental policies and information about activities including per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) investigations.
  • Exercises—provides some information about military exercises involving the ADF.
  • Freedom of Information—explains the legislative framework around freedom of information requests and provides access to documents released as a result of those requests.
  • Global Operations—provides information about current ADF deployments, including the number of personnel deployed on each mission.
  • Hot Issue Briefs—advisory briefs sent to the Minister for Defence by the Department of Defence on relevant issues.
  • Inquiry reports—reports from Commissions of Inquiry or Inquiry Officer Inquiries between 2006 and 2016 have been published on the Defence website.
  • Reviews—includes force posture, the reorganisation of the Defence Organisation, accounting and procurement review reports.

Other Australian Government sites

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) assists veterans and their families in the provision of pensions, health care, counselling, rehabilitation, home care assistance, and many other services. DVA is also responsible for the following related areas:

The Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC)—formed in November 2008, the ACMC focuses on developing effective approaches to civil-military collaboration in conflict areas and disaster management. Staff comprising the ACMC are drawn from various organisations, including the Attorney-General’s Department, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Aid section), Australian Council for International Development, the ADF, Department of Defence, Australian Federal Police and the New Zealand Government.

It’s an Honouran Australian Government website that provides an easy reference to Australia’s system of honours and awards, and protocols for the use of Australian symbols such as the Australian National Flag and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. The website includes a database listing Australia’s honours and awards recipients.

Nominal rolls

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial hosts the Nominal Rolls for:


DVA hosts the Nominal Rolls for the following conflicts:

  • Second World War—users can search around 1,117,400 names in the Second World War nominal roll by service, service number, name, honours and place (birth and enlistment) from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945. This includes the details of 3,500 merchant mariners.
  • Korean War—contains service details for more than 18,000 Australian personnel who served in the Korean War from 27 June 1950 to 19 April 1956.
  • Vietnam War—lists service information for about 61,000 Australian military and civilian personnel who served in the Vietnam War between 23 May 1962 and 29 April 1975.
  • Preliminary Gulf War Nominal Roll—includes service details for 1,872 ADF personnel who served in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to September 1991.

Military history

Anzac Centenary—this Australian Government portal was established to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac (2014 to 2018); it includes information about commemorations and grants.

DVA’s Anzac Portal—contains a wealth of information about the history of Australians at war from the First World War to the Vietnam War.

Australian War Memorial (AWM)—a combination of shrine, museum and archive, the AWM’s mission is ‘to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society’. The AWM’s website provides online searching of its collection, which includes war records, the Roll of Honour and the Commemorative Roll.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC–United Kingdom)—an organisation that built and maintains the cemeteries and memorials of the approximately 1.7 million Commonwealth personnel killed during the two world wars. The CWGC website hosts archived documents about the history of the organisation and a search function that easily locates specific memorial sites and war graves.

National Archives of Australia (NAA)—provides access to information about service records held at the NAA. The NAA wartime service holdings date back to the Boer War and include documents from the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force, personnel records and case files, film footage and other defence-related matters. The NAA also administers the Discovering Anzacs website, which has a searchable map of Australia that enables the user to find lists of people who served during the First World War and are associated, through birth or enlistment, with particular towns and cities. Individual service records are also available.

The AIF Project—hosted by the University of New South Wales Canberra, this site contains an extensive database of information about individuals who served overseas during the First World War.

Defence—strategic studies and education

Australian Defence Force Warfare Training Centre—an education and training centre primarily focused on the joint and combined operational environment.

Australian Defence College—a joint professional education and training facility for military officers that includes the Australian Defence Force Academy, Australian Command and Staff College and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies.

Sea Power Centre—Australia—the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime strategy and historical research facility. The Sea Power Centre produces a number of research publications including Working Papers and the regular series Semaphore.

The Australian Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre provides a forum for debate and discussion on strategic issues relevant to the Army and regularly produces publications such as Working Papers (hard copy) and the Australian Army Journal. The Australian Army History Unit develops policy for the preservation and promotion of Army history through oral history, museum networking and primary materials (archive items).

Air Power Development Centre (APDC)—provides strategic analysis and advice to the Chief of Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. The APDC also releases regular publications such as Pathfinder and Working Papers.

Australian think tanks and non-government organisations

Air Power Australia—provides research and analysis on air power ‘in the context of a modern integrated joint national force structure’ and contributes to air power debates.

ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre—an academic facility that conducts research on strategic developments, Australian defence and Asia-Pacific security issues. The Centre produces a variety of publications, including defence and strategic working papers and commentary on key defence and security issues.

Australian Defence Association (ADA)—a self-described ‘public interest watchdog’ and ‘think-tank’ that advocates on behalf of ADF members and veterans on a variety of defence-related issues. The ADA is funded by membership fees and small donations from individuals and companies.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)—established in 2001 as an independent think tank and partially funded by the Australian Government. ASPI produces analysis and commentary, hosts key industry events and maintains a blog, The Strategist, which covers a range of strategic and defence-related issues. ASPI also produces the annual Defence budget review publication The Cost of Defence.

Future Directions International—a Perth-based independent research organisation that produces regular publications on strategic issues from an Indian Ocean perspective.

Institute for Regional Security (formerly the Kokoda Foundation)—a think tank with a mixture of private and public funding. Publications include the Security Challenges journal, the Discussion Papers series and the Regionalist series of online papers, which feature contributions from prominent experts in the field of regional strategic security.

Lowy Institute for International Policy—an independent think tank that provides research and analysis on a wide range of foreign affairs and strategic policy, defence and security issues. Lowy produces a number of publications and promotes debate and commentary on key issues via its blog, The Interpreter.

Sir Richard Williams Foundation—an ‘independent research organisation whose purpose is to promote the development and effective implementation of national security and defence policies as they impact on Australia’s ability to generate air power appropriate to its unique geopolitical environment and values’. The Foundation produces papers and commentary on strategic air power issues.

International think tanks and organisations

Brookings Institution (United States)—a non-profit public policy organisation that produces a range of publications on relevant national security issues.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)—formed in 1910, Carnegie is a self-described ‘global network of policy research’ that centres on international affairs, defence and security.

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA; United States)—established in 1983 as an independent, non-profit public policy research facility, the CSBA produces studies and briefs on national security and strategic defence planning matters.

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS; United States)—a think tank focusing on international relations and global security issues. CSIS produces a wide range of publications and commentary to inform public and private decision makers about key defence and strategic issues.

Chatham House (United Kingdom)—a think tank that provides a forum for discussion in the areas of energy, environment and resources, economics, international security and international law. Key publications include International Affairs and The World Today.

Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands)—provides analyses and training and promotes public debate on international issues, including security and defence.

Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP)—established in 1993, CSCAP is a non-governmental organisation involving strategic studies centres from 21 nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

European Union Institute for Security Studies (France)—set up in 2002 as an autonomous agency to provide analysis on foreign, defence and security policy issues to the European Union and its member states. Its core mission is ‘to assist the EU and its member states in the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as well as other external action of the Union’.

International Centre for Defence and Security (Estonia)—specialises in foreign policy, defence and security research.

International Crisis Group (ICG)—an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation that deploys field analysts in key locations around the world and develops reports and briefing papers on crises at those locations. These reports and briefing papers lend support to the ICG’s high-level advocacy efforts on appropriate response mechanisms to various crises.

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS; United Kingdom)—founded in 1958 as an independent organisation that focused on arms control and nuclear deterrence issues. The IISS assesses the capacity of foreign armed forces and provides research and analysis via a number of key publications, including the Armed Conflict Database (subscription) and Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. The IISS’s flagship annual publication, Military Balance, (since 1961) summarises trends in military developments by country and region.

Jane’s 360 (United Kingdom)—provides in-depth analysis and reports on key defence, security and industry issues. Jane’s offers a wide range of products via subscription.

RAND Corporation (United States)—established over 60 years ago as an international think tank to provide research and analysis on a wide range of public policy issues, including defence and international relations. RAND (and its subsidiary, RAND Australia) produces special reports and undertakes detailed commissioned studies such as Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise: Preparing for the 21st Century and Australia’s Submarine Design Capabilities and Capacities.

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI; United Kingdom)—a think tank founded in 1831 that specialises in defence and security issues. RUSI Australia has chapters located in each state and territory.

S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS; Singapore)—originally established in 1996 as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, RSIS focuses on security and international affairs studies in the Asia-Pacific region. RSIS produces a range of publications including monographs, working papers, policy briefs and papers, and commentaries.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI; Sweden)—established in 1966 to conduct research and analysis and advise stakeholders on arms control and conflict issues. SIPRI’s military expenditure database provides data on 171 countries going back to 1988. The SIPRI website also feature databases on multilateral peace operations, arms transfers and arms embargoes.

Foreign defence agencies and information

North America

Congressional Budget Office (United States)

Department of Defense (United States)

Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (United States)

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)

Missile Defence Agency (United States)

Strategic Studies Institute (United States Army War College)

Commanders’ area of responsibility (United States):

Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (Canada)

Government Accountability Office (United States)

National Security Council (United States)

North American Aerospace Defense Command (Canada and United States)


Department of National Defense (Philippines)

Ministry of National Defense (China)

Kementerian Pertahanan Republik Indonesia (Indonesia–no English version)

MINDEF Singapore

Ministry of Defense (Japan)

Ministry of Defence (Malaysia)

Ministry of Defence (New Zealand)

New Zealand Defence Force

Ministry of National Defense (Republic of Korea)

Papua New Guinea Defence Force

Royal Thai Armed Forces


European Defence Agency

Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany)

Ministère des Armées (France)

Ministry of Defence (Denmark)

Ministry of Defence (Netherlands)

Ministry of Defence (Sweden)

Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)


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