Published daily by the Lowy Institute

James Goldrick

James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1974 and retired in 2012 as a two-star Rear Admiral. He commanded HMA Ships Cessnock and Sydney (twice), the multinational maritime interception force in the Persian Gulf and the Australian Defence Force Academy. He led Australia’s Border Protection Command and later commanded the Australian Defence College. A Visiting Fellow of the Sea Power Centre-Australia, an Adjunct Professor of the University of NSW at ADFA and a Professorial Fellow of ANCORS, his research interests include naval and maritime strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the response of navies to changing technologies and operational challenges. His books include: The King’s Ships Were at Sea: The War in the North Sea August 1914-February 1915 and No Easy Answers: The Development of the Navies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Navies of South-East Asia: A Comparative Study, co-authored with Jack McCaffrie, will be published later in 2012.


Articles by James Goldrick (19)

  • Will Beijing's South China Sea 'land creation' lose it the peace?

    China's leadership faces difficult decisions in the South China Sea. China is at some risk of achieving what it sees as a military success at the price of losing the peace. There is increasing evidence that its land creation (for they are not 'reclamation') activities in the South China Sea are developing a network of bases that will support fixed sensors, such as radars and underwater arrays, as well as the operations of air and seaborne surveillance units.
  • Why China's next aircraft carrier will be based on Soviet blueprints

    China has at last formally acknowledged that it has a new aircraft carrier under construction, the first to be built in China and the second in the People's Liberation Army-Navy's order of battle. The PLA Navy appears to have embarked on a substantial carrier program, probably with the intention of creating four and perhaps up to six carrier battle groups (Chinese commentators have publicly acknowledged the need for at least three units in order to have an effective carrier capability).
  • China and the sea: Will it come to prize trade flows over a maritime fortress?

    As tensions grow in the South China Sea, two key questions remain unanswered: just what is China’s maritime strategy and do its actions represent the execution of a coherent approach to the maritime domain? As set out in this review, originally published in the journal Frontiers (Xueshu Qianyan), Chinese maritime thought has become progressively more sophisticated. It has also become more comprehensive, as demonstrated by this document from the PRC's State Office Information Council.
  • Four myths about Australian naval shipbuilding

    In light of the new surface warship construction program announced by Prime Minister Abbott in Adelaide last week, some misconceptions need to be dispelled. First is the idea that, under the Government's new plans, the ANZAC class frigates will be replaced well before their due date. The first ANZAC commissioned in 1996. It will be 24 years old when production of the new ships starts.
  • China's navy showing its inexperience on the open oceans

    The US Navy has formed the view that the November 2013 incident between the American cruiser Cowpens and the Chinese carrier group arose directly from the PLA Navy's lack of experience with oceanic operations and the formal and informal rules which govern interactions between foreign navies. That's the implication in an address given by US Pacific fleet commander Admiral Samuel Locklear to the Navy Surface Association Conference in January. In the past, the vast majority of encounters between th