Australia conducts its first military review in 10 years
Australian PM Anthony Albanese states that "this review will prepare Australia to effectively respond to the changing regional and global strategic environment."
Australia will conduct its first military review in ten years to guarantee that the country is ready for a changing strategic environment, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Wednesday.
As reported by SBS, the PM said that "This review will prepare Australia to effectively respond to the changing regional and global strategic environment and ensure defense's capability and force structure is fit for purpose, affordable, and delivers the greatest return on investment."
The goal of the assessment is to ensure that the nation's military capabilities are adequate and to head off any possible confrontations. A "frank assessment" of Australia's military capabilities and the tens of billions of dollars invested in defense programs, many of which are "overbudget and delayed," according to Albanese, will be made. The assessment will be overseen by retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and former Defense Minister Stephen Smith.
The declaration follows Nancy Pelosi's contentious trip to Taiwan, which drastically heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing and raised concerns about the stability of the area. One of the most important US friends in the Asia Pacific is Australia, which has consistently supported US policy.
Context of increasingly complex diplomatic relations
The Quad, formally known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, was resurrected in 2017, after being dormant since 2007, reflecting shifting regional attitudes toward China's growing influence. Both the Trump and Biden administrations saw the Quad as critical to refocusing attention on the Indo-Pacific region, particularly as a counterweight to China's assertive actions. The Quad leaders met virtually in March 2022 after their first formal summit in 2021.
China has complained that the group is an attempt to form an "Asian NATO", despite the fact that, unlike the European alliance, there is no mutual-defense pact in place.
Members of the Quad claim that the group is intended to strengthen economic, diplomatic, and military ties between the four countries.
In December of 2021, in a meeting bringing together the members of the AUKUS alliance, Australia, the UK, and the United States agreed on the next steps to define the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire the US' nuclear-powered submarines.
The three countries held the inaugural meetings of the AUKUS Trilateral Joint Steering Groups, which were established as part of the governance structure of AUKUS in September 2021.
On June 28, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian commented on the NATO strategic concept paper, by saying the Chinese government urges NATO to stop trying to destabilize Asia in the wake of the crisis in Europe.
"What NATO needs to do is to abandon the Cold War mindset, zero-sum games, and the practice of creating enemy images. After the turmoil in Europe, NATO countries should abandon their attempts to destabilize Asia and the world," Zhao told reporters.
Following Pelosi's visit to Taiwan on August 2nd, 2022, the Ukraine war, and the arms race taking place worldwide, Australia's decision to conduct its first military review in ten years comes in the context of the intensified divide between the collective West and the New World.