March 25, 2016

China Looms Large in Australia's New Strategy

By Richard Fontaine

For a middle power, Australia has long defined its national interests in very broad terms. It has sent its troops alongside U.S. forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, and over the years its military has participated in operations as far afield as Rwanda, Somalia and Lebanon. Today, Canberra is part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria.

Its newly released defense strategy, however, demonstrates just how much Australia’s security focus has turned to its own region. Canberra’s worry about rising Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific has sparked a new willingness to fund the defense muscle necessary to play a major regional role. The result is a new opportunity for the United States to work with Australia in order to strengthen the web of regional partnerships that anchor Asian stability.

Read the full article in The National Interest.