Cuts to US defence investment puts an even greater onus on allied burdensharing

Projected cuts to US defence spending puts an even greater onus on allied burdensharing. As we are in a healthier economic and fiscal position than the US, we should help pick up the strategic security slack.

 

Letter to The Age
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
(not published)

Your February 26 editorial rightly noted the impact of projected US defence cuts on the responsibility of other countries to help maintain global strategic stability and the influence of the rule-of-law in international relations.

Moreover, the time to help mates is when they most need it. Especially when your economic and fiscal situations are healthier.

This was particularly ignored by the previous defence minister, Stephen Smith, who oddly cited US and European cuts as somehow an excuse to slash Australia’s defence investment to pre-WWII levels.

A policy adopted solely for political expedience, contrary to the national interest, during bitter leadership rivalry within the ALP.

And one duly opposed by his respected predecessor as Labor defence minister, John Faulkner, as indeed it was and is by MPs of all parties who understand strategic security issues.

Since 1788 our enduring geo-strategic reality is that a middling-power island-continent country totally dependent on uninhibited seaborne trade will always need to seek strategic security alliances with fellow maritime powers.

Particularly where there is a shared commitment to global stability and opposition to authoritarian regimes who do not respect the rule-of-law domestically or internationally.

 

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