The ten principles essential for preserving Australia's strategic and domestic security over the long term.
- Australia's strategic security — including our liberty, common defence and sovereign freedom of action as a nation — is the first responsibility of every Australian government.
- Ensuring Australia's strategic security is also a universal civic responsibility of every Australian. Not somehow a responsibility of "someone else".
- Our strategic security involves furthering and protecting our vital national interests, not just defending Australian territory.
- Geo-strategically, our surrounding oceans and seas are two-way maritime highways — during both peace and war — not defensive "moats" that can somehow isolate or protect us from developments and responsibilities in the rest of the world.
- Living on an island-continent we remain fundamentally dependent on uninterrupted seaborne trade and foreign investment. Our whole modern way-of-life principally depends on a rules-based international system that works legally, commercially, strategically and morally. It is in our enduring national interests to help maintain this rules-based system.
- As a minor maritime power, our strategic security is also ultimately dependent on collective defence alliances and arrangements with fellow maritime powers, both regionally and globally.
- Our defence capabilities are essential national infrastructure for the protection of Australia and Australians, both now and over many decades into the future. Adequate and sustained investment in this infrastructure is not somehow a discretionary or other year-by-year choice for governments, citizens, voters and taxpayers.
- Inter-generational equity also means we must not inflict greater strategic risk and "catch-up" costs on future generations of Australians by not paying our fair share, now, of the long-term and sustained national investment required.
- Protecting Australia and our interests means a focus on countering general strategic risks over the long term with flexible and adaptable defence capabilities. Not by trying to narrowly and inflexibly target our defence capabilities only against ideas of specific "threats" as we might perceive or dismiss them now. Such threat-based misapprehensions have failed continually in the past; generally at great human, financial and moral cost.
- National unity, national will, economic strength, free speech, informed public debate, and capable and adaptable defence capabilities, are inter-related and essential components of Australia's national security.
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