Australia must strengthen its military capabilities and reduce its dependence on the United States | Techno Glob


Defense Minister Richard Marles has warned that the situation in the Indo-Pacific has become “far too precarious” to depend on the United States as the guarantor of Australia’s security.

Australia’s alliance with the United States has been central to the country’s worldview and national security since World War II.

However, in a keynote address at the Sydney Institute’s annual dinner on November 14, Marles said the military capabilities of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) must be strengthened in terms of lethality, resilience and readiness to enhance the ‘autonomy.

“The reality is that a tougher environment will require a more hardline Australian approach to defending our interests: the ability to project power to shape outcomes and deter threats,” he said.

“We must bring together and integrate all the arms of national power to achieve Australia’s strategic objectives.

“The days of simply having to pay the price of entry to get our security guarantee from our security guarantor are over.”

“The world and our region are far too precarious for that. We will have to be willing – and able – to act on our own terms, when we have to,” Marles said.

Marles referred to observations from two previous strategic reviews: the 1987 White Paper which stated that any military threat to Australia would take at least 10 years to emerge, and the 2020 Strategic Defense Update which revealed, for the first time, that the country was setting in there. 10 year window.

“But the big question this has left hanging is; what shall we do now ? ” he said.

Marles, who is also deputy prime minister, said the Albanian government’s approach to regional stability includes a desire to stabilize relations with Beijing.

However, the government has also reiterated that a willingness to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party does not include compromising on Australian values.

Epoch Times Photo
US President Joe Biden (right) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (left) meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, November 14, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The speech was delivered ahead of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The two leaders agreed to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

It will be the first time in more than two years that leaders have met after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) challenged Australia’s Morrison government calling for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in 2020.

“Defence Personnel Crisis”

While Marles said Australia’s military capabilities would not be able to match those of the great powers, he pointed out that it was not even able to reach its current full potential.

The ADF has experienced the greatest difficulties in recruiting and retaining its workforce for decades.

The Minister of Defense revealed that the ADF is currently nearly 3,000 below its allocated force strength, while the Ministry of Defense is more than 1,000 below its budgeted size.

“In part, the defense establishment is simply suffering from the demand for manpower that is felt across the country,” Marles said.

“But it must also ensure that Defense recruitment improves, to reflect the way young Australians approach their careers and, in this context, to make the Defense offer competitive.

“Because right now we have a defense personnel crisis.”

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on October 10, 2022. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The Australian Defense Force not only needs more soldiers, but also more people in intelligence, space and cyberspace, and advanced networking.

The previous government also recognized this problem and announced the largest defense force expansion in 40 years.

The planned reinforcement was to increase manpower by 30% from the current active force of 59,095 to 80,000 by 2040.

The Albanian government’s strategic defense review, which examines the structure, preparation and prioritization of investments, will be published in early 2023.

Earlier in November, former Coalition Prime Minister Tony Abbott called on school leavers to undertake a period of compulsory or voluntary military service to improve social cohesion in the country.

“We’re constantly talking about rights,” Abbott told the Institute of Public Affairs. Australia’s Future Podcast.

“We constantly talk about what we are going to do for people. Yes, we have rights, and the government has certain obligations towards us, which it should do. It’s better to unload, but it’s a two-way street.

“It’s about giving as well as receiving, and I think we need to talk more about what we can give back to our country.”

Rebecca Zhu

Follow

Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australian and New Zealand national affairs. Do you have any advice? Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.



Source link