Australia Foreign Policy Issues

Which foreign tradition(s), in your view, are most relevant to advancing Australia’s national interests in the present and future?

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Impacts of Australia Foreign Policy Issues
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Nuclear deterrence is a foreign policy tradition which should be considered a key aspect of Australia’s peaceful and prosperous future. According to the sources provided, the interests of established western nations such as the U.S. And the nations of Western Europe in preventing so-called ‘rogue nations’ from acting against the interests of global stability denote their shared role in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. And where such a spread has already occurred, Australia has taken an approach of deterrence by seeking “through threats or inducements, or even some combination of both” to reduce the threat posed by its enemies or non-normalized neighbors. (Williams, 116)

What tradition(s) can best describe the Rudd government’s general foreign policy direction so far?

The current foreign policy direction in Australia is one of relative progressivism in which a balance between support of key western allies and a strategy of disengagement from war has been established. Today, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd affiliates with the and has to some extent reduced the nation’s military presence in such endeavors as the War on Iraq. Nonetheless, he remains supportive of many of the policies put into place during the last generation of leadership, with former PM John Howard’s lingering Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill (2002) and the (2005) continuing to steward a hard line Australian stance of prevention and enforcement and with Australia’s active support both of the United State in Iraq and Afghanistan collectively bearing a determinant effect on Australian policies at home and abroad.


If maintaining the U.S. alliance is an insurance policy for Australia, has Australia been getting ‘value for money’? In other words, how do you weigh up the benefits and costs of the alliance?

The end of John Howard’s term was marked by public hostility toward his policy of unwavering support for the U.S. And its pursuit of the War on Terror. And quite in fact, the loss of Australian life reflected in the Bali resort bombing of 2002 suggests that the hostility which this partnership engendered throughout the world may have only weakened Australia’s global position. By rendering itself as a surrogate rather than an objective critic to America’s policies, Australia damaged its own credibility and effectiveness in fighting the War on Terror as an unwavering ally of the U.S.

4) Mark Beeson wrote that “For a country with no obvious enemies, the main threats to Australian security since World War II have, paradoxically enough, actually resulted for its U.S. alliance.” (see the Reader, Week 5’s first reading, p. 117) Do you agree with this statement?

Indeed, the relationship between the United States and Australia has become as inextricable as that between the U.S. And Britain. Certain ethnic and cultural commonalities have precipitated a common ground in terms of political culture as well, making the two nations appear as natural bedfellows during the Cold War. However, this conflict in which the United States engaged military endeavors as a way to extend its ideological reach would pull Australia into a philosophically driven war that was not really its own. As with the War on Terror, this would make Australia a peripheral target to America’s many enemies.

5) if you are requested by the Australian government to review the Australia-U.S. alliance in the contemporary global context, what recommendations would you propose so as to make it more effective and better suited to serving Australia’s national interests?

A primary policy objective would be to remove Australia from involvement in conflicts that are neither United Nations alliance issues or those relating to regional affairs. Such examples might be Iraq, where pressure from a powerful ally in the U.S. would provoke involvement in a war with no bearing and no threat to Australian viability or security.


Sun Tzu . . . Is this concept of strategic thought still relevant today? Or has modern military planning and thought managed to eliminate this weakness?

This concept of disrupting the will and morale of the enemy seems less to apply to conflict today because it has become a far more frequently applied method to wage war through occupation. Current fronts in the War on Terror demonstrate that such occupation fails to break the will of the enemy when said enemy is defending his native soil. In such instances, the idea of break morale falls far short of realism, where enemy combatants are in fact intensified in their determination to withstand an overwhelming force.

Task 2: The Williams article begs a question concerning the approach of nuclear deterrence. Mainly, the discussion hinges on the idea of nuclear deterrence as a credible security policy but leaves open the question as to the approach and methods which should be taken by Australia in terms of preventing proliferation of nuclear capabilities.

The Metz article considers military phases according to revolutionary moments where technological, strategic, political and organizational factors coalesce to produce a moment of inflection. How might Metz describe the current moment in military history relative to such an inflection point? In other words, how long ago was the most recent military revolution, what form did this revolution take and what was the impact of that revolution on the current military outlook?

Works Cited:

Metz, Steven. (2001). The Contemporary Revolution in Military Affairs. Strategists and the Revolution in Military Affairs, in the Strategists, Hugh Smith (ed.), Australian Defence Studies Centre, University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, 2001, pp. 99-119.

Williams, P. (1987). Deterrence and Defence in the Nuclear Age. Nuclear Deterrence, in Contemporary Strategy. Vol. 1 Theories and Concepts, 2nd. Ed. Croom Helm, Sydney, 1987, pp. 113-39.