How does the current Russian Standoff with the West compare with the Cold War in the 1970s and in the 1980s

Paul Dibb is Emeritus Professor of strategic studies in the College of Asia and the Pacifi  at Th e Australian National University, where he was Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre from 1991 to 2004.
During the Cold War, as Head of the National Assessments Staff in the 1970s, he was responsible for draft ing Australia’s national intelligence assessments on the Soviet Union. He visited Moscow in 1976 as a declared intelligence offi cer. His book, written at the ANU in the early 1980s, “The Soviet Union: the Incomplete Superpower” was published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London in 1986, reprinted 1987, second edition 1988. From 1986 to 1991, as Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation and later as Deputy Secretary of Defence for Intelligence and Strategy he was responsible for managing Australia’s defence intelligence priorities, which included cooperating with the US about highly sensitive Soviet intelligence targets.
Paul Dibb will draw on his 20 year experience in the Cold War in Australia’s intelligence and academic communities as an expert on the Soviet Union. He will compare the points of acute tension then and
now in relationships between the Soviet Union/Russia and the West, focusing on such issues as: crisis management; diplomatic signalling; the management of the central nuclear balance; and how regional crises
were addressed politically in Moscow and Washington. He will analyse how dangerously close the world came to nuclear war in 1986 and its implications for military transparency and understanding the adversary
in current circumstances. He will conclude by setting out how potentially dangerous the current tensions are between Russia and the West and the risks of miscalculation leading to armed confl ict in Europe.
The event's flyer is available here.


Date & time

Tue 15 Mar 2016, 12am


ANU Centre for European Studies, Th e Nye Hughes Room, Bldg 67C, 1 Liversidge St, ANU Acton ACT 2601


02 6125 9896


Updated:  11 June 2016/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications