Gallipoli 100th anniversary fervour is distracting us even more than usual from due attention to Australia's future strategic security risks. Australians need to think about our common defence and future strategic security on other days as well — and in the long-term and modern contexts reflecting the strategic security risks we actually face over the next half-century or more.
Letter to The Australian Financial Review
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
(published Monday, 27 April 2015)
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings is important.
But the problem further highlighted this year is that most Australians only think about defence issues — if at all — on Anzac Day, and then only from a historical, mythological or sentimental perspective.
Paying due attention to Australia’s future strategic security means sustained defence investment is needed over the long term and this is not somehow discretionary.
Moreover, our perennial under-investment in national defence infrastructure is causing serious inter-generational inequity.
Not paying our fair share now means inevitable high catch-up costs for future taxpayers to repair our neglect.
We are also selfishly inflicting greater strategic risk on our children and grandchildren.
Defence issues don’t sway votes now only because those most affected by our current complacency and neglect can’t vote to stop it as most of them are not born yet.
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