In this episode of the National Security Podcast, ANU National Security College Senior Research Fellow Dr David Brewster and Ric Smith – former Australian Ambassador to China and Indonesia and Secretary of Defence – join Professor Rory Medcalf to explore what a deeper Australia-Bangladesh security relationship should look like.

As part of its Indo-Pacific strategy, Australia needs to broaden its engagement in South Asia. For at least a decade, Australia has rightly concentrated on its partnership with India, but it is now time to broaden that strategy to include other countries in that region. Bangladesh should be an important part of that new focus. With its thriving economy and a population of more than 160 million, it has the potential to become the next ‘Asian tiger’. In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Dr David Brewster and former Australian Ambassador to China and Indonesia Ric Smith join Professor Rory Medcalf to discuss why Australia should develop its defence and security relationship with Bangladesh as part of broader political and economic engagement.

David has authored the College’s latest Policy Options Paper, New Indo-Pacific Partnership: Building Australia-Bangladesh Security Ties, and Ric is the author of a compelling working paper published by the ANU National Security College in 2016, Forgotten Friends: Australia, India and the Independence of Bangladesh.

Dr David Brewster is Senior Research Fellow at the ANU National Security College. His research focuses on security in India and the Indian Ocean region, and Indo-Pacific maritime affairs.

Richard C Smith AO PSM served in Australia’s diplomatic missions in India, Israel, the Philippines and Hawaii. He became Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1992 and then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence in 1994. He served as Ambassador to China from 1996-2000 and as Ambassador to Indonesia in 2001-2002, before being appointed as Secretary of the Department of Defence in 2002.

Professor Rory Medcalf is Head of the National Security College at The Australian National University. His professional background involves more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks, and journalism.

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