Mr Peter Connolly

Mr Peter Connolly

Adjunct Fellow Levels A-C

Doctor of Philosophy in International, Political and Strategic Studies – ANU, 2023

Thesis: “Statecraft and Pushback: delivering China’s grand strategy in Melanesia 2014-2022”

Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors – GAICD, 2021

Strategic and Defence Studies Course - CDSS - ADF ‘War College’, 2014

Masters of Arts in International Relations - Deakin University, 2002

Thesis: “Australia and the War on Terrorism”

Masters of Management Defence Studies - University of Canberra, 2002

Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC) 2002

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics – UNSW (Canberra) 1991

Thesis: “The strategic armature: understanding Australian-Indonesian relations”

Royal Military College, Duntroon 1990

Australian Defence Force Academy (Majors in Politics and History) 1987-89

UNSW Canberra
School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Pete Connolly is a security and strategy expert with a PhD in International Relations, Politics and Strategy from ANU and a BA (Hons) in Politics and History from UNSW, Canberra. He has thirty-six years’ experience in Defence, including service in combat, Parliament House, and the Pentagon. As an infantry officer in the Australian Army, Pete commanded teams on active service from platoon through to battalion level in Somalia, Timor-Leste and Afghanistan, directed International Engagement for Army and directed the Australian Army Research Centre.

His dissertation is entitled Statecraft and Pushback: Delivering China’s grand strategy in Melanesia 2014-2022. His research has included the Australia-Indonesia Relationship (1991), Australia’s whole of government response to terrorism (2001-02), and Chinese interests in the Pacific (2014-22). He is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and UNSW, Canberra, and advises Commander Joint Operations on the Pacific.



Connolly, Peter. Counterinsurgency in Uruzgan 2009. Canberra: Land Warfare Studies Centre, 2011.

Connolly, Peter. “Aodaliya ruhe yingdui zhongguo de xin waijiao zhengce.” [“Australia engaging China’s new foreign policy”]. Center for Oceania Studies Working Paper Series No.8, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, 20 June 2015.

Connolly, Peter J. “Engaging China’s new foreign policy in the South Pacific.” Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol.70 (2016) Issue 5: 484-505.                                              

Connolly, Peter. “Accidental Friction on the Belt and Road.” The Strategist, ASPI, Canberra, 5 June 2017.

Connolly, Peter. “Chinese evacuations and power projection (part 1): overseas citizen protection.” The Strategist, ASPI, Canberra, 12 December 2018.

Connolly, Peter. “Chinese evacuations and power projection (part 2): a movie genre is born.” The Strategist, ASPI, Canberra, 14 December 2018.

Connolly, Peter. “Protecting Citizens Overseas: The Policy, the Power, and Now the Movie …” In China Story Yearbook: Power, edited by Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin, Paul F. Farrelly and Sharon Strange, 319-325. Canberra: ANU Press, 2019.

Connolly, Peter. “The Belt and Road comes to Papua New Guinea: Chinese Geoeconomics with Melanesian characteristics?” Security Challenges Vol.16, No.4, Geo-Economics in the Indo-Pacific (2020): 41-64.

Connolly, Peter. “Grand Strategy: Inside China’s statecraft in Melanesia.” Australian Foreign Affairs, Issue 17, February 2023.

Green , Michael J., Jude Blanchette , and Pete Connolly. “Chinese Statecraft in the Pacific Islands”, Podcast Episode, The Asia Chessboard, CSIS, published 12 December 2022.

Lin, Bonny, and Pete Connolly, “China’s Influence in Melanesia: A Conversation with Pete Connolly”, Podcast Episode, China Power, CSIS, published 2 August 2023.