Peter Dean

Professor Peter Dean is the University of Western Australia’s first Chair of Defence Studies and the inaugural director of the University of Western Australia Defence and Security Institute. He has previously worked at The Australian National University and was the founding editor of the Melbourne University Press Defence Studies Series. He has authored a number of books including MacArthur’s Coalition: US and Australian Military Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area, 1942–45 and The Architect of Victory: The Military Career of Lieutenant General Sir Frank Horton Berryman, and edited books on Australia in the Second World War, Australia’s Defence policy and the ANZUS alliance.

Fighting Australia’s Cold War »

The Nexus of Strategy and Operations in a Multipolar Asia, 1945–1965

Publication date: 2021
In the first two decades of the Cold War, Australia fought in three conflicts and prepared to fight in a possible wider conflagration in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In Korea, Malaya and Borneo, Australian forces encountered new types of warfare, integrated new equipment and ideas, and were part of the longest continual overseas deployments in Australia’s history. Working closely with its allies, Australia also trained for a large conventional war in Southeast Asia, while a significant percentage of the defence force guarded the Papua New Guinea–Indonesian border. At home, the Defence organisation grappled with new threats and military expansion, while the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation defended the nation from domestic and foreign threats. This book examines this crucial part of Australia’s security history, so often overlooked as merely a precursor to the Vietnam War. It addresses key questions such as how did Australia achieve its security goals at home and in the region in this new Cold War environment? What were the experiences of the services, units and individuals serving in Southeast Asia? How did this period shape Australia’s defence for years to come?