//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian Prime Minister looks to East Asia, digital threat, in new security strategy


Paul Maley

Paul Maley

Julia Gillard has waved a final goodbye to the so-called “9/11 decade”, heralding a new age dominated by threats of cyber espionage and traditional great-power conflict.

Like her centre-left contemporary Barack Obama, she is moving her party away from the preoccupations her predecessor – Middle Eastern conflicts, ballooning defence and intelligence budgets, an incessant focus on homeland security – and turning her gaze towards East Asia and the emerging threats of the digital age.

This process has been under way from some time.

Kevin Rudd’s 2008 national security statement – a document much maligned because of vagueness – sought to dilute national security policy by incorporating a disparate range of “new” threats: organised crime, natural disasters and an “all hazards” approach to managing risk.

Labor’s motivations are partly political.

As the West, Australia included, exits Afghanistan it is useful to divert public attention by over-amping the challenges posed by a rising China. Again, the precedent has been set by Obama and his “pivot” towards Asia.

But it is also an approach that speaks plainly to the times. Relative power is shifting to the East and so must our security planning.

The Prime Minister’s national security address today thus has two key points: firstly, the most serious national security in the decades ahead will be state-on-state conflict, not the transnational threat of al-Qa’ida that menaced the last decade

Secondly, this threat must be managed on a smaller budget. The halcyon days of the last decade, where national security spending trebled on the back of government balance sheets awash with money, are over. The public debt crisis of the last few years has crunched government revenues and all areas of spending, national security included, must adjust.

Gillard will – has – already copped criticism for this. This is unfair. The massive ramp-up in spending that followed the attacks of 9/11 and the 2002 Bali attacks was a direct response to a specific problem Australia, like most Western countries, had largely ignored.

No such threat exists today, certainly nothing that would justify the unprecedented spendathon of the last decade.

Gillard also deserves credit for delivering a more focused, logically-organised speech than Rudd, whose rambling 2008 statement to parliament did nothing to clarify the real-world threats facing Australians.

However, in other areas today’s speech fell short.

The Prime Minister’s focus on cyber security was welcome, but insufficient in terms of what it delivered. National security experts agree the threat of cyber espionage is huge. But Australia’s response to the cyber threat has been chaotic too many government departments possess too many functions whose role is not always clear. Above all, there is a lack of coordination.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre – the one “announceable” in the PM’s speech – seems unlikely to change that.

Source: The Australian “PM looks to East Asia, digital threat, in new security strategy”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

For the first time, China has released video footage of its latest Type 094A nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub (SSBN) and Type 093 nuclear attack sub (SSN), a potent show of naval might ahead of China’s 20th Communist Party Congress in October. Chinese state media featured the subs in a training video for Liaoning, China’s first […]

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

A few days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s arrest news took social media by storm. The atmosphere was jubilant as if the whole world looked forward to Xi’s exit. The rumor turned out to be fake news; Xi’s third term looks secured. Xi Jinping is all set to snatch the historic third term in the […]

China is coming for your land

China is coming for your land

Drought has plunged water levels to the lowest in China in decades. The temperatures have also soared to record levels, and hydropower plants failed to meet the sharp rise in power demand. However, this is just a glimpse of the worst things to come. Floods, droughts, and record-breaking temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on […]

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

%d bloggers like this: