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This week Scott Morrison announced the most important changes to Australia’s defence policy since the end of World War II. Previous military crises in places such as Korea and Vietnam and the Confrontation with Indonesia did not place us in such grave danger as we now face in the post-pandemic Asia-Pacific region.
As the editorial in The Australian observed on Thursday: “We have arrived at a pivotal moment in history.”
The Prime Minister gave a powerful speech heralding a significant defence policy change in a much more pessimistic world.
He talked about a “poorer and more disordered” post COVID-19 world that was less benign and more unpredictable. He saw great danger in the US relationship with China that was fractious and could lead to miscalculation or even military conflict. He remarked that he saw today’s strategic situation as reflecting a more dangerous and disordered world not seen since the 1930s. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds observes that “the world we all grew up in is no more”…..
Paul Dibb AM is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre.
Image by the Australian Embassy Jakarta and sourced from Wikimedia.