Desmond Ball

BEc (Hons), PhD

Desmond Ball


Emeritus Professor

Research interests

Australian defence; nuclear strategy; Asia-Pacific security.

Key publications

Politics and Force Levels: The Strategic Missile Program of the Kennedy Administration, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1980.

A Suitable Piece of Real Estate: American Installations in Australia, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1980.

Can Nuclear War be Controlled?, Adelphi Paper No. 169, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, Autumn 1981.

Targeting for Strategic Deterrence, Adelphi Paper No. 185, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, Summer 1983.

(ed. with Jeffrey Richelson) Strategic Nuclear Targeting, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1986.

A Base for Debate: The US Satellite Station at Nurrungar, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, London and Boston, 1987.

Pine Gap: Australia and the US Geostationary Signals Intelligence Satellite Program, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1988.

(ed. with Helen Wilson) Strange Neighbours: The Indonesia-Australia Relationship, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1991.

(ed.) Aborigines in the Defence of Australia, Australian National University Press, Sydney, 1991.

Signals Intelligence in the Post-Cold War Era: Developments in the Asia-Pacific Region, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1993.

(with Pauline Kerr) Presumptive Engagement: Australia's Asia-Pacific Security Policy in the 1990s, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1996.

(ed.) The Transformation of Security in the Asia/Pacific Region, Frank Cass & Co, London, 1996.

Burma's Military Secrets: Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) from the Second World War to Civil War and Cyber Warfare, White Lotus Press, Bangkok, 1998.

(with David Horner) Breaking the Codes: The KGB's Network in Australia, 1944-1950, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1998.

(with Hamish McDonald) Death in Balibo, Lies in Canberra, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2000.

The Boys in Black: The Thahan Phran (Rangers), Thailand's Para-military Border Guards (White Lotus, Bangkok, 2004).

The Probabilities of On the Beach: Assessing 'Armageddon Scenarios' in the 21st Century, Working Paper No. 401, SDSC, May 2006.

Career highlights

Head of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (1984-91); personal chair in RSPAS (1987); FASSA (1986); member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (1995-2001); Co-chairman of the Steering Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) (2000-2002).

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