Monday, July 20, 2009

Australia's National Security Strategy

Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030

Australia's most basic strategic interest remains the defence of Australia against direct armed attack. This
includes armed attacks by other states and by non-state actors with the capacity to employ strategic capabilities,
including weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This most basic strategic interest abides irrespective of the
perceived intentions of others, and is a function of our geography and levels of current and future capability in
the region around us. Before we attend to anything else, we must secure this strategic interest.

Our next most important strategic interest is the security,stability and cohesion of our immediate neighbourhood,
which we share with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, New Zealand and the South Pacific island
states. While we have a wide range of diplomatic, economic, cultural and other links with those countries, from
a strategic point of view, what matters most is that they are not a source of threat to Australia, and that no
major military power, that could challenge our control of the air and sea approaches to Australia, has access to
bases in our neighbourhood from which to project force against us.

Beyond our immediate neighbourhood, Australia has an enduring strategic interest in the stability of the wider
Asia-Pacific region, which stretches from North Asia to the Eastern Indian Ocean. In particular, we have a deep
stake in the security of Southeast Asia. Strategically, our neighbours in Southeast Asia sit astride our northern
approaches, through which hostile forces would have to operate in order to sustainably project force against
Australia. A stable and cohesive Southeast Asia will mitigate any such threat and is in our strategic interests.
More broadly, we have a deep stake in the maintenance of an Asia-Pacific regional security environment that
is conducive to the peaceful resolution of problems between regional countries and can absorb the rise in
strategic and military power of emerging major players.

Beyond our region, Australia cannot be secure in an insecure world. We have a strategic interest in preserving
an international order that restrains aggression by states against each other, and can effectively manage other
risks and threats, such as the proliferation of WMD, terrorism, state fragility and failure, intra-state conflict, and
the security impacts of climate change and resource scarcity.

Other recent national security strategies from the Anglosphere:

The National Security Strategy of the UK

Securing an Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy

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