With China-US tensions on the rise, does Australia need a new defence strategy? (Greg Raymond)

What strategic developments did the 2016 Defence White Paper not anticipate? Do any of these point to a need to radically change Australia’s defence posture? Which of these equate to risks that increased defence spending can obviate?

Author: Greg Raymond | The Conversation (Australia) | 22 November 2018

Although written in late 2018, it’s arguable that this article’s observations and judgements have stood the test of time, perhaps taking on greater resonance in the wake of the release of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.

Greg Raymond (from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre) asks and answers the key questions:

  • What exactly has changed in the “shifting strategic landscape in the Asia-Pacific region, which has led to greater concerns about China’s long-term intentions and rising tensions between China and the US”?
  • Of the strategic developments involving China since 2016, [do] any undermine the fundamental judgements of the 2016 Defence White Paper? Do they point to a need to radically change Australia’s defence posture?
  • What regional developments could the 2016 Defence White Paper not have anticipated? And of these, which equate to risks that increased defence spending can obviate?
  • Would China use its forces against other countries in the region, like Australia, without the US getting involved?

Read the full article (external link to The Conversation)