This would require question coming into the debate like "Can Australia's spending on strategic military items make any difference to the strategic balance of the Asia-Pacific region? The question here is "How much is the current US alliance arrangements worth? And incidentally this would be an excellent way to sell any new radical shift from existing doctrine to the public of Australia. However not since the days of the Whitlam Government has Australia had a truly independent outlook on the world.
This came with grave consequences. So changing Australia's strategic direction would take great courage, long consultations with the Australian electorate, and then with friends and allies. This requires a major social shift away from Australia seeing itself not as overseas Europeans residing as a middle power, but as an Asian society on the Asian-Pacific rim, to rid policy formulation from the shackles of history. And remember Paul Keating tried to achieve this once, but was rejected by some of Asia's more vocal politicians, although circumstances may be very different this time round.
However there is an immense threat from Indonesia which is rarely discussed in terms of Australia's strategic defense. Java is located on Asia's "ring of fire" and has had a number of volcano eruptions over the last century. A massive natural disaster could leave millions homeless in appalling conditions, just North of Australia. This scenario would be an immediate threat to the security of Australia if a mass exodus via anything that could float headed towards Australia, creating a refugee situation Australia would find very difficult to handle.
What are Australia's Strategic Defense Options? If the coming White Paper on Australia's strategic defense policy canvasses options, these could be summarized as follows; 1. This is the easiest scenario for the white paper as it requires no fundamental change in Australia's defense doctrine. However Australia under the scenario of strategic competition, should the Obama Administration pursue this direction will lose independence to form its own policy towards its largest trading partner China.
If Australia becomes locked into the scenario of strategic competition between the US and China, then its emerging influence within the Asian region will also be weakened with the perception that Australia is not confident of making its own way in the world. However if the US adopts a much more cooperative approach towards China, then the US alliance will be valuable to Australia. A more cooperative approach would empower Australia within the alliance due to the potentially good relationship that it could develop with China.
The US alliance is the preferred option of the government and would mean a continued emphasis on purchasing strategic assets to perform Australia's perceived responsibilities within the alliance. There is also a possibility that Canberra may develop the resolve within the relationship to change the assumptions of the alliance to fit the changing realities of the region. Going back to "fortress Australia" If the US alliance is deemed to be of limited value to Australia strategically in the future, then a withdrawal from the region to develop a tactical self defense capability would be an option.
This 'back to the future' scenario was the conclusion of the White Paper on defense under the Fraser Liberal Government. The postulation was that Australia should be able to defend itself from regional powers without the assistance of any other nation. Australia would need a much larger air force. Joint strike fighter aircraft would need refueling capabilities to keep in them in the air longer and provide the ability to strike forces on their way to Australia. The size of the professional army would have to be larger and the small numbers compensated with very sophisticated equipment.
New technologies like the use of drones for surveillance will cut costs. Smaller submarines that can patrol shallow waters would be preferred to the larger submarines Australia is buying. Smaller ships that can patrol, search and destroy other shipping are necessary, rather than large warships. Australia already has assets like JORN over the horizon radar that can view approaching aircraft across Northern Australia. Sea and air denial would be the key to the Australian defense strategy, taking advantage of the air-sea gap around Australia.
This would be a tactical rather than a full strategic defense capability, because a strategic defense strategy is not affordable. The major premise of this tactical defense is to make it too difficult and costly for any enemy to attack Australia. This expenditure would take Australian defense spending back to s and 70s levels. The ANZAC frigates currently configured to escort amphibious forces long distances could be reconfigured for other purposes. These were all inherited from the Howard Government which purchased them on advice from Defense with little questioning at the time.
The advantage of this option is that Australia becomes independent in terms of defense. Ironically this option actually corrects the situation where Australia with its current military configuration today is technically at risk because it could not defend itself. Of course this option requires a deep public debate and eventual political bipartisanship.
A committed bureaucracy to plan and develop this option is also very essential. Purchase decisions must be made according to specific needs rather than commercial considerations. With the right choice in hardware a sea air denial capability can be achieved. Australia could look at the Singapore Defense Force model which has been built around the Israel model of defense, utilizing a small force with a brutally effective defensive power. The paramount question with this option is What forces does Australia actually need? This option will most probably not be discussed at any length in the forthcoming White paper.
Towards Asian Integration The third option which should be well canvassed in the coming White Paper, at least as a supplementary strategy is developing integration with the Asian region, based upon the old "Thai" adage that "good relations with your neighbors are your best form of defense". The integration option is about promoting a stable new regional order using diplomacy and 'soft power' options of trade, business investment, cultural, and other social endeavors.
This recognizes that Australia can only handle its threats through diplomacy and non-military means. This doesn't mean that Australia abandons its defense completely. The major focus in the integration option is finding innovative ways to build a new order that will accommodate China's new power aspirations and US interests in the region. This is challenging as the US will be very hesitant to give up primacy to accommodate China.
Australia needs to up-talk trade and economic integration over military competition. This new order has to be achieved very quickly due to Chinese and US aspirations. If achieved then the region can turn to the issues of financial markets, climate change, trade, oil, food production, and regional security with the production of regional public goods to achieve desired mutually agreed ends.
The one positive force for this option to become a future reality is increasing economic integration between the states of the region. Both Australia and Indonesia want good relations with both China and the US, and share visions about regional cooperation. Under this scenario Indonesia would become Australia's best defense asset.
Indonesia is a natural geo-buffer between Australia and the rest of the region, and current Indonesian foreign and defense policy is compatible with Australia's interests. Through Indonesia, Australia would develop an effective forward defense as was Australia's policy back in the s. If Australia's relationship with Indonesia is handled poorly, then Indonesia will become a massive liability from Australia's point of view, as the Timor Leste incident back in showed. Where Australia was once able to defend itself against any potential Indonesian threat, this is not the case today.
There is no certainty about how the US would react in any altercation between Australia and Indonesia. Consequently it is paramount for Australia to build Indonesia into a strong ally. This requires opening up a new chapter in Australian-Indonesian relations.
Australian interests are more closely aligned with Indonesia's than the US, a point still not understood in Canberra today. With the Howard Government in basically tearing up the security treaty that the Keating Government signed with Indonesia. The integration option still requires an Australian Defense Force that has the capability to go to trouble spots to assist in peace keeping, disaster relief, and special operations in accordance with Australia's strategic interests. This is particularly important in a region where there are still a number of tensions and potential "flash points" that may arise in various parts of the Pacific, West Papua, and Sabah, etc.
There will enviably be some major natural disaster on the Island of Java that Australia will need to assist. The doctrine of integration requires Australia to become comfortable with different views of democracy and government. Australia should not try to make the rest of the region resemble Australia and will have to accommodate different value sets throughout the region.
Australia must focus on both the bilateral and multilateral relationships , independence and succession movements, political Islam, and human rights in a very skillful manner.
This requires a deep change in the national psych. One of the paramount barriers Australia has to overcome is an understanding that its own cultural values are not necessarily universally accepted across the region. Australia's acceptance of the wide array of Asian views within the region is necessary, so that Australia can one day become an equal partner within it. If there is no enemy to defend against, then this option is best.
This option requires Australia to invest in cultural and intellectual infrastructure that will lead to a better understanding of the region, just like the Australian National University ANU was established in to assist in the development of foreign policy . The 'New Zealand' Option Finally something should be mentioned about the New Zealand option, although it is totally unlikely that Australia would ever consider this posture. This was done by cancelling and order for 28 F fighters and disbanding a squadron of Skyhawks and Aeromacchis . Most of these aircraft have been sold off.
Today, the RNZAF only flies logistic and support operations primarily involved in peacekeeping missions and natural disaster assistance both domestically and internationally. New Zealand's Army consists of 4, fulltime, and 2. Netanyahu concluded his speech by quoting Moses, whose portrait appears inside of the U.
Chuck Schumer D-N. Lee Zeldin R-N. Iran continues to get by with billions of dollars in relief from sanctions, as they continue to successfully buy more time and continue to pursue nuclear capability. He made U.
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I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. The leadership referred to as "compromised by terror" was that of Yasser Arafat, who was already isolated in his Ramallah compound. Bush continued, "Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, not opposing, terrorism. This is unacceptable. And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure emphasis added.
It follows that if Arafat, who had formally recognized and signed peace treaties with Israel, had to be removed before Palestinian statehood could be achieved, clearly Hamas was not the "new leadership" Bush had in mind. President Bush discussed the linkage between Palestinian statehood and a new Palestinian leadership at a press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair just two days later on June 26, , at the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada. I also made it plenty clear that if their [Palestinian] leadership is compromised by terror, we won't be on the path to peace.
Prime Minister Blair used the term "precondition" to describe the linkage between statehood and a peace-oriented Palestinian leadership.
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One, we've got to have leadership we can negotiate with that is serious about peace and resists and totally rejects terrorism So if in the end you want, as we want It's not a question of saying we're going to tell people who they elect or not elect - that's for them. But it's for us to say the consequences of electing people who aren't serious negotiating partners is that we can't move forward.
At another joint news conference nearly two years later April 16, , Bush and Blair were asked how Israel's decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza would affect the Roadmap. Bush stipulated that "it's going to require a commitment by the Palestinian people to find leadership that is committed to peace and hope As we gain confidence in a Palestinian leadership In a speech to AIPAC one month later May 18, , Bush again stressed the need for new leadership not compromised by terror: "The Palestinian people deserve democratic institutions and responsible leaders First the Palestinian people must reject corrupt and failed leaders, and insist on a leadership committed to reform and progress and peace.
Second, they must renounce terror and violence that frustrate their aspirations and take so many innocent lives. In the spring of , Secretary of State Colin Powell adopted a radically new framework for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather than preserving for the U. Essentially, the Quartet mechanism allowed Washington to provide the Europeans and the Russians a quid pro quo for their acquiescence to U.
For a while, this policy seemed to work when the Security Council adopted Resolution on November 8, , that warned Iraq that it was in "material breach" of UN resolutions and faced "serious consequences" for its actions. But ultimately, the Security Council went no farther. The Quartet proved to be a poor instrument of policy in light of the anti-American positions that would surface in Paris, Berlin, and Moscow as the Iraq War commenced in March On July 16, and again on September 17, , the principles Bush laid out in his speech were actually adopted by the Quartet.
However, these principles soon mutated into a practical program called the Roadmap, whose implementation was to be overseen and monitored by the Quartet. He was the "new leadership" Bush had in mind. While some experts have dubbed the Roadmap "a poor translation of President Bush's speech," 14 and indeed the Sharon government accepted the document only after adding fourteen stipulations to it, the Roadmap did not backtrack on the linkage between a new democratic leadership and statehood made by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.
A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. Echoing Bush's warning, it stipulated that "non-compliance with obligations will impede progress. Inherent within the Roadmap is the understanding that without the implementation of phase 1, there is no movement to phases 2 and 3 in which the Palestinian state is to be realized.
Lack of compliance in effect means that the Roadmap becomes a roadblock. Hamas was also mentioned in President Bush's speech of June 24, He demanded that Hamas be dismantled, and that "every nation actually committed to peace will stop the flow of money, equipment and recruits to terrorist groups seeking the destruction of Israel - including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah.
On July 31, , just two weeks after the Quartet's endorsement of the Bush speech, a Palestinian terror attack on the Frank Sinatra International Student Center at Hebrew University in Jerusalem took seven lives, five of them Americans. During a rally in Gaza City, Hamas took responsibility for the bombing. In reaction, President Bush said: "First, I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack that took place in Israel. There are clearly killers who hate the thought of peace, and, therefore, are willing to take their hatred to all kinds of places, including a university I also want to make it clear to the killers that it won't stop us from rallying the world to fight their kind of terror I look forward to continuing to work with all responsible parties in the region, starting to insist that they work with us to stop this terror - use all their power to stop organizations such as Hamas from taking innocent life.
In an attempt to revive the stalled Roadmap, Bush, Abbas, Sharon, and King Abdullah of Jordan met in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba on June 4, , where Abbas disavowed terror: "We repeat our renunciation, a renunciation of terror against the Israelis wherever they might be We will exert all of our efforts The armed intifada must end, and we must resort to peaceful means Our goal is clear and we will implement it firmly and without compromise: a complete end to violence and terrorism.
Seven days later, on June 11, , a Hamas bomber exploded on a crowded Jerusalem bus, killing 17 people. President Bush responded: "It is clear there are people in the Middle East who hate peace To the people in the world who want to see peace in the Middle East, I strongly urge all of you to fight off terror, to cut off money to organizations such as Hamas, to isolate those who hate so much that they're willing to kill to stop peace from going forward.
On June 15, Bush told a press conference: "[T]here are people that want peace to go forward, and there are people that don't. And for those of us who want peace to go forward, we must combine our efforts to prevent people like Hamas from sabotaging peace And so the mission of the free world, those who care for peace, is to deny the people like Hamas the ability to destroy and to kill It is clear that the free world, those who love freedom and peace, must deal harshly with Hamas and the killers.
The Relevance of the Roadmap in the Aftermath of the Hamas Victory -
At a July 29, , press conference together with Prime Minister Sharon in Washington, Bush noted: "[T]he most effective campaign to enhance the security of Israel, as well as the security of peace-loving people in the Palestinian territories, is to get after organizations such as Hamas, the terrorist organizations that create the conditions where peace won't exist. On August 19, , Hamas blew up another packed bus in Jerusalem, murdering twenty-three people, six of them children, and injuring over one hundred, forty of them children. Just hours prior to the attack, Bush had said: "I can assure you that they [the Israelis] are interested in dismantling organizations such as Hamas I think that the Palestinian Authority needs to continue to work with the U.
More lethal Hamas attacks took place on September 9, On the following day, President Bush said: "The Roadmap is still there. Nations need to cut off funding to terrorist groups. From the time Abbas made his public commitment to dismantle Palestinian terror organizations in Aqaba in until the next time he was welcomed at the White House on May 26, , another Israelis were killed in twenty-two different homicide bombings.
Hamas was responsible for ten of those attacks in which ninety-three people died. At the time, President Bush repeated: "All who engage in terror are the enemies of a Palestinian state, and must be held to account. At the time, President Bush rejected the option of prohibiting Hamas participation in the parliamentary elections.
He was sure they would not win:. As elections go forward, of course, we want everybody to participate in the vote. I don't think they're going to get elected, because I think Palestinian moms want their children to grow up in peace just like American moms want their children to grow up in peace.