Aletho News


Australia’s Defense Review Shows Its Readiness to Side With US in Possible Conflict With China

By Oleg Burunov – Sputnik – 25.04.2023

Implementing all the tasks outlined in Australia’s defense review is a challenge that will take plenty of time, Professor Joe Siracusa, US political expert and dean of Global Futures at Curtin University, told Sputnik.

Australia has rolled out its new defense strategic review, billed by the government as the most significant update of its military planning in nearly 40 years.

The document outlined at least six “priority areas for immediate action,” including the development of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine capability and longer-range strike capacity, speeding up the integration of new technologies into the military, defense workforce retention and recruitment, plus improving strategic cooperation between Canberra and its key partners in the Indo-Pacific.

“These are major changes which are going to take a great deal of effort to realize, because they have neither the capability to produce the boats right now or the ability to manufacture the missiles unless they buy them off the shelf from the Americans,” Siracusa said, referring to nuclear­-powered submarines.

The expert argued that the review “does two things: shows that [Australia’s] Labor [Party] is changing the battle plan for the country, and number two, that it’s serious about funding it.”

“It’s been very hard to get this kind of money up in Australia because Australians don’t like to pay a lot of money for defense. […] And so this is a major decision. And once again, it’s a decision taken by a government on a proposal that will take years to come to fruition, when and if it does. This defense plan is sort of a promissory note,” Siracusa claimed.

Joseph Camilleri, emeritus professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne and one of Australia’s leading international relations scholars, in turn, told Sputnik that the goal of the country’s new defense review is “to equip Australian military forces to support the US in any future military confrontation with China.”
According to him, the Australian government looks “to demonstrate that it remains a close ally of the United States and that it will side with it in any future conflict with China.”

Camilleri was echoed by Scott Burchill, Honorary Fellow in International Relations at Deakin University and author of The National Interest in International Relations Theory and Misunderstanding International Relations.

He recalled that the review stipulates a shift in Australian defense policy towards a closer alignment with the US military in the Asia-Pacific outlined under the AUKUS arrangements, which he said “is an incremental rather than a revolutionary change.”

“The emphasis on greater ‘self-reliance’ is welcome and sensible, but the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines and the ‘interchangeability’ foreshadowed under the AUKUS procurements suggest Australia is heading in the opposite direction: to an even closer alignment with US maritime interests in the region,” Burchill pointed out.

He said that Canberra deciding to side with Washington is “a development that will not be lost on the other countries of the region, Australia’s neighbors, who will again question the sincerity of Australia’s desire to more fully integrate with the Asia-Pacific.”

April 25, 2023 - Posted by | Militarism | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The defence review is just a net curtain to obscure the fact that Australia has never had an independent foreign policy or defence strategy since World War 2. Gough Whitlam was the only prime minister who entertained ideas of independence for Australia, but he was soon pushed out (by the CIA, it is suggested), and Washington continued to give the orders. Even PM John Howard was regarded by Australians as the ‘deputy sheriff’ to George Bush, and he pushed the country to illegally attack Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Australia has a land area of 7.68 million sq. kilometres, and a population of 25 -26 million, most of which is concentrated in the south-east corner of the country. The least densely populated areas are adjacent to the Asian land mass, from where any likely military invasion would come. So what good are a couple of nuclear powered submarines to defend such a large country? In reality they could not defend anything. They are just an extension of the American navy, and will undoubtedly be used to further the foreign policy objectives of the US. But the Australian public will pay billions of dollars for that privilege, and get no benefit.

    As regards China, there are two salient facts that seem to be overlooked. Firstly, China has not embarked on foreign wars of aggression, in spite of its military might. Secondly, it is Australia’s largest trading partner. So why should the Australian government consider China as a threat? Answer: because Washington told them, and they are too stupid or too cowardly to see or think otherwise.


    Comment by Bill Francis | April 26, 2023 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: