AUSTRALIANFOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY
Today,trends in globalization have been categorized as security threats inmost countries and are the recurrent agenda in global gatherings. Theplatforms are used to brainstorm on how to overcome pertinent issuesrelating to financial recession, global warming and security threatsas proactive measures of curbing the global crises are formulated.Australia, being the case study in this paper, has been quiterobustly evolving and revolutionizing foreign and defence policiesand aligning them to the international agreements. Nations feltthreatened and ratified agreements about the betterment of securityof the citizens after September attack of the World Trade canter inthe US. Australia, being a developed country, has its foreign anddefence policy formulated to respond to the rise of the Asianeconomies like China and India, and this has affected the operationsof the nation`s sectors that drive the economy therein.
Conceptsof Foreign and Defence Policy
Financialcrisis, economic recess, global warming, international terrorattacks, nuclear attacks and the emergence of economic blocs arerealities in Australia that require sound national and foreignpolicies for them to be handled earnestly1.The new agenda on the table has now been international terrortargeting and eventually hitting various nations, crippling majorsectors of the economy. At the end of the Second World War, Australiaformulated a foreign and defence policy, but was much influenced bytheir colonial masters (the British) and such policies did not bearfruits as they were considered Imperialistic2.There was the provision that before early national policies wereadopted in Australia London-based colonizers had to approve theplans. The areas of contention pertained to the relations with Japan,immigration, and regional security3.As a result, there has been a slow growth in developing a currentforeign and defence policy, not because the government was unwilling,but there was no diplomatic independence against the British, and theCanberra-based policymakers had no power to make the policy4. During the World War I and II, Australian defence policy could notgo further than basic security requirements for the citizens as theyhad a close relationship with the British, and so found no reason toretain and have a powerful military regime5.Further, the British security force was hovering over Australia, andso the citizens of the nation felt safe, and the government had nopower to form a military group to defend the country since they hadto confer with the colonial masters for any development of thatmagnitude.
Changeof allegiance during the World War II by Australia initiated realchange in policy, a change that could be felt as the country startedlooking towards the United States rather than the traditionalBritish. The British released their grip, lost power and failed toprevent Malaysia and Singapore from economic failure in 19426.The dominance and aggression of the Japanese towards the Pacific andAustralian two coastal cities attack by Japanese made policy makersin Australia realize that the capacity of Britain to protect theinterests of Australia was diminishing and so the change of interestwas the only remaining option7.Also, the policy change was clearly seen through the major roleAmericans played during the Pacific war, and when they also deniedthe Japanese a chance to occupy South East Asia which guaranteed theAustralians that America could protect their interest by providingforward defence in Asia8.That guarantee led to the perception that Americans were the betteroption, and the loose ties between Australians and Britain madeduring the World War II resulted in a vibrant and robust evolution inthe Australian foreign policy. It was noted that Australia changedfrom one defender to another and continued to see its plans tightlyhooked to global goals of principal external powers9.
TheAustralia`s defence policy was enhanced by the Americans who requiredthat those states allied to America should have their defencestrategy so that Americans could only compliment what the nation hasin the case of an emergency10.Through that, Australia found the reason why they had to form andmaintain an active military in the clamour to have a defence policyin place. Between 1972 and 1975, Australian government startedshowing focus on their defence that was assessed based on being anational policy and not as part of American public policy11.Besides, the Australian government eliminated the American forwarddefence and played a primary part of emphasizing on regionalintegration and self-sufficiency, which was fully adopted as part ofAustralian foreign policy in the early 1990s.
Asmentioned previously, in 1997, Australia signed security agreementswith Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam, where China appearedregularly and engaged in matters of safety as an agenda therein. Inthe same year, Australian and Indonesian governments signed amaritime accord for the nations of Arafuna and the Timor Sea, andalso those in eastern Indian Ocean12.Continued alliance with the American government has been greatlyaccepted by the present Australian government since the relationshiphas been for the greater good of the Australian people. The PacificAsia has not been very friendly as Japan has struck Australian coasttwice and only American army came to their defence13.Thisshows the inability of self-defence policy to deter armed attacks.Also, Australian military resources can easily be stretched and thepolicy acknowledges the Australia can only respond to securitythreats “to the limits of our capability”.14If Australia sits back, its strategic position is likely to bechallenged by other states interested in south Asia. Moreimportantly, Asian states are on an up-ward trend in economicdevelopment, an opportunity Australia cannot seize withself-defensive strategy.
Itcan be argued that the self-defence policy brings operations closerto the mainland Australia and it is cheaper than distant operations.However, In 1997, Australia signed undertakings with Thailand, China,Philippines, and Vietnam for security purposes and the authoritieswere regularly engaged in security conversation so that they canconduct common defence mechanism through joint efforts of the membercountries. In the same year, the Australian and Indonesian governmentsigned a maritime accord for the nations of Arafuna and the TimorSea, and also those in eastern Indian Ocean15.The continued alliance with the Asian governments has been greatlyaccepted by the present Australian government since the relationshiphas been for the greater good of the Australian people.
Theagreements with the South East Asia have been instrumental increating calmness in Australia and the government of the day hasextended the engagement with the region as it has maintained bettercontent in the country`s foreign policy. In 2001, Australian adopteda new foreign policy different from the 1997 version and stated thatthe new way was focusing on the increasing sense of crisis overundocumented arrivals though the coast resulting from Tamper Crisisvictims seeking asylum in Australia, and American terror survivors16.Therefore, cooperation with South East Asia was a better option forthe country for out of a good relationship and collective securityagreements there were a greater peace and content in the policy asopposed to engagement with larger powers of Pacific Asia who alwaysstruck and forcefully took hostage of the South East Asia.
In2001, after the incident of September 11, the greatest concern forAustralia was to enhance and foster a stronger relationship with theother states, which was successful, and thereby, the culminatingbilateral agreement that concentrated on four key pillars wasreached17.In the same year, Australia through its foreign and defence policy,the authorities spotted a boat outside its territorial waters and inthe process of being defensive against external aggression theyrescued 435 lives from sinking. Those were asylum seekers and wantedto enter Australia but were taken to Indonesian port18. Besides the post-September 11 policy, the prime minister ofAustralia then came up with a three-point concept of internationalrelations, which were adopted and personalized by everyone who workedin the foreign department. The pointers were to make foreign policyas political arithmetic or as a national policy, the strongconviction that Australian impact and importance as an intriguingplayer and a valuable example to other nations and the aspect of thenew system show Australian virtue that informs the world what makesAustralia19.Foreign defence policy about disarmament and especially weapons ofmass destruction, issues on environment, cover and global warming,poverty alleviation, HIV and AIDS in Asia and Africa, illegalmovement of people, smuggling of drugs and arms and piracy are allfactored in the Australian foreign and defence policy20.Addressing these concerns should alleviate Australians position inthe South Asian market.
Forthe strategy based on security and intelligence, Australia cruciallyadvocates for direct armed attack in its shores, but employs thetactics that avoids it. Australia avoids direct armed attack byensuring stability in its neighbourhood, the Asia-pacific region,more so South East Asia by minimizing risks relating to state failureand terrorism while focusing on scarcity of resources andsustainability. The defence paper of 2009 declared that Australiashould act independently in all circumstances apart from mattersrelating to sharing matters pertaining to strategic interests withother states21.In this case, Australia has an obligation of taking leadership roles,leading military collaborations and benefiting from the sharing ofdefence technologies. This benefit will extend to sharing the burdenof securing the strategic interests.
Interms of trade and commerce, there are economic benefits attached toengaging in global wars. Arguably, Australia largely relies onexports and tourism and will do well if the sea lanes are wellsecured, worrying with allies by contributing to wars will guaranteequalification for concessions in return. It is sensible for Australiato align with maritime powers from Asia to earn favours in acompetitive global environment especially in case of periods ofeconomic recession by having unconstructive access to the Asian.
Tomaintain the proper alliance with the allies as well as the foes,Australia should up with a national policy that presented threevalues describing the actual Australia. The values and virtues ofhaving a foreign policy made as national policy show how theadministration of the day want the value to trickle down to thelowest in the society and own the value up. Australia is a keydiplomatic player and is a valuable example to other nations wantsthe value to remain with the people and not on paper and thenational policy of what makes Australia entrenches the virtue of thehospitability and calmness they display in and out of the country. The Australian defence policy takes into consideration nations inAsia as strategic partners for trade besides, the relationship withthe region would also grow the trading pattern with the wider globalmarket. Australia is a friendly soft, calm nation that is anembodiment of virtue as shown in its very vast foreign and defencepolicy.
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2 Wolfsohn, H.A. "Australian Foreign Policy". Australian Outlook 5 (2): 67-76, 2011 doi:10.1080/10357715108443770.
3 "Australia`s Post-War Defence Policy". 2012. Australian Outlook 1 (3): 3-6. doi:10.1080/00049914708565308.
4 McDonald, Matt. "Foreign And Defence Policy On Australia`s Political Agenda, 1962
2012". Australian Journal Of Public Administration 72 (2): 171-184, 2013, doi:10.1111/14678500.12021.
6 Millar, T. B. "Trends In Australian Defence Policy". Journal Of Southeast Asian Studies
2(01): 49-55, 2011 doi:10.1017/s002246340001972x.
7 "Australian Defence Policy 1919-42". Australian Journal Of Politics & History 23 (2) 162-162, 2008. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1977.tb01233.x.
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10 SWAN, BERNARD. "An Ethical Appraisal Of Australian Defence Policy". Australian Journal Of Politics & History 34 (1): 73-92, 2008. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1988.tb00796.x.
12 Andrews, 2012
13 Wolfsohn, 2011
14 3 Prime Minister Rudd’s speech and media conference are available in Gregory P Gilbert and Nick Stewart, Australian Maritime Issues 2008 SPC-A Annual (Canberra: Sea Power Centre, 2009)
15 Frame, T. R. "Ethics and Australian Defence Policy: A Response To Bernard Swan".
Australian Journal Of Politics & History 35 (2): 238-242. 2008. doi:10.1111/j.1467
17 Albinski, Henry S. "Australian Labor And Foreign Policy". Australian Outlook 37 (3):
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19 von Hlatky, Stéfanie and H. Christian Breede. "The Cultural Variable In Foreign And
Defence Policy". Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 22 (2): 103-107. 2016
20 Thompson, Roger C. and Neville Meaney. "The Search For Security In The Pacific, 1901 14, Volume I Of A History Of Australian Defence And Foreign Policy, 1901-23". Labour
History, no. 32: 102. 2015, doi:10.2307/27508271.