The rapid moves to expand the military aspects of Australia’s foreign policy are deeply concerning. This Brief outlines the extent of the changes being undertaken, and offers some reflections and suggestions for practical action in response.
Foreign Policy Developments
The story of Australia’s relations with the rest of the world is mixed. It has included significant contributions to international efforts for peace, notably through the United Nations and peacekeeping. There have been constructive initiatives to build links with countries of our region (e.g., Colombo Plan, ASEAN, Pacific Forum) but at the same time there have been numerous examples of Australia joining in wars and armed conflict in support of the UK and USA over the years, in areas well beyond our shores.
The past decade has seen a marked emphasis on intelligence and security, and the extension of military budgets at the expense of non-military spending.