Relations with China
Kevin Rudd has tackled the issues well in his book The Avoidable War, while fully cognisant of defects on both sides of the US China divide. He proposes the need for agreed guardrails to minimise escalation of incidents, while accepting strategic competition. China talks of its redlines. We need Australian institutions which are involved in collective security discussions which include not just military but economic aspects and representation which includes China.
The democratic deficit is clearly on show, after the gross deception of the Australian public, by DFAT and Defence, in September 2021 after the Paris 2+2 meeting, a deception in which Labor was fully complicit. The deficit continues with the report of JCFADT on war powers reform, despite a large majority of submissions in favour of “before the event” reform.
We need to be careful in our selection of military contractors as one was recently alleged by former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich to be a contributor to Trumpista candidates, who if elected can influence the US electoral college.
So the election of a US government with Putinesque views on democracy in 2024 may be a wake-up call for our government, as pundit Bruce Wolpe is currently suggesting.