RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The present threat to global security.


In the second decade of this century we are living in a greatly changed world, compared with that to which we accustomed ourselves, following the defeat of Japan and Germany in WWII in the second half of 1945.

The international “rules based “situation of the late 40s and early mid 50s was essentially created by the US with some British and French support. It is now completely dated and out for touch with the present situation, driven as it is by the rise of China and India,and the rapid growth of the domestic economies of Indonesia,Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The apparent present insistence of the US that no other power, including China,should resist its belief in its own global supremacy, can be a serious danger to global stability.

Also, a threat of Russian ambition,promoted by the US, is not the main threat to peace at present. As US supremacy recedes,Chinese power rises and Russia continues its recovery, it is US resistance to this tide of historic change now underway,which puts at risk,as this century unfolds both global security and the emergence of an Asia Pacific community.

If Australia does not respond promptly,we shall find ourselves left behind.

Richard Woolcott, Former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1988 – 2002), Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1982 – 1988)


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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