Australia woke up this week to the rather bizarre news that we are being promoted to “enhanced partner” in the NATO military alliance. For many, NATO is a Cold War relic, relegated to the same part of obscure memory as the Star Wars defence system and tearing down walls. It played almost no part in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has otherwise been featured on front pages more as a rhetorical device than as a military coalition (recent machinations over Ukraine are a great example).

But with Australia’s newly enhanced role in this coalition I decided to find out what NATO does get up to nowadays, and what it means for Australia specifically. The answer was surprising (put away your grainy stock images of Cold War NATO). The following is the quick chat I had with Dr Adam Lockyer, Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University and a fellow at the United States Studies Centre at Sydney University:

 

 

(Image: UK Ministry of Defence/Flickr)

As before, I am unable to embed audio in the email blast. You can take a listen at Soundcloud.