Professor Richard Tanter is a writer, researcher, and activist. He has worked on issues around militarization in Asia, nuclear weapons, and the role of intelligence agencies in Indonesia, Japan and Australia. He has worked as teacher on these and related subjects at universities in Australia, including the Australian Defence College in Canberra, and for more than a decade in Japan. He was campaign coordinator of the Nuclear Disarmament Party in Victoria in the 1984 election campaign, and climbed the Pine Gap fences (with another thousand people for protection) in 1988. Working with the Berkeley-based Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (with its director, sometime local boy Peter Hayes) Richard was involved in research and policy advocacy on the realities and dangers of nuclear deterrence in East Asia and Australia.
More recently Richard and the late Des Ball produced eight forensic research papers on Pine Gap, in detail probably unmatched for any similar intelligence facility – or any of the other 800 plus US bases outside the United States. He has also worked to provide accessible accounts of Pine Gap, nuclear weapons, issues, and Australian foreign policy in newspapers and on television and radio. This work underpinned Richard’s campaign role with other colleagues on the Australian board of ICAN, including as chair when ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in helping in the passage of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations.
Richard is a frequent guest on Late Night Live.