Australias Strategic Policy as a Reflection of its Values
The country uses its strategic policy when dealing with regional and global issues especially with countries in the South Pacific region. The intent behind the countries strategic policies are aimed at protecting the countries national interests and not an expression of its values. Australia’s Strategic Policy Australia’s strategic policy comprises three primary components namely maritime doctrine, white paper, and the national strategy. The Australian Maritime Doctrine of 2010 guides understanding of the contributions of the Royal Australian Navy in promoting national security. Key aspects of the doctrine include diplomacy, the trinity of maritime operations and military operations. Strategic Policy as a Reflection of its Values One of Australia’s core values is a commitment to the rule of law, which is using as a tool to exert its say in matters concerning the region.
For instance, after the successful military coup in Fiji, Australia together with other members suspended Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum for the country’s disregard of human rights. 4 Here, Australia is using its economic influence through its strategic policies to promote stability among countries in the region. The suspension was only lifted after the country returned to democracy by holding a general election in 2014. Commitment to the rule of law is one of the key pillars of the country’s social, political and economic structure where for instance, leaders are required to exercise the highest levels of integrity Australia has not faced an invasion since British colonialism and thus it is experiencing a long period of stability such that has become one of its values.
It is worthy to note that countries such as Nauru, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands have the highest levels of gender inequality in aspects such as education, health, employment, political representation and violence against women. 7 To mitigate the impact of the social issue, Australia established an aid program through the Department of Foreign Affairs to provide support to empowering women through education and financial stability. 8 The aid also functions to promote stability by ensuring economic development, security, and peace among member states of the Pacific Islands Forum. The strengthening of internal law by advocating for democracy at a regional and global scale. Australia has incorporated its values of commitment to the rule of law in the strategic policies. Strategic Policy as a Reflection of its Interests Australia is an export-dependent country and isolated from its main allies in the West.
It is engaging in the aggressive modernization of its military force to counter the threat posed by emerging powers such as China whose aggression is threatening its position as a regional power in South East Asia. Australia is particularly threatened by the naval modernization of the Chinese military that has reversed the strategic advantage that the US hand in the region. 11 A powerful military is a crucial tool for exerting to affirm its geopolitical influence in the Pacific region as rising of other powers in the region could undermine its influence. The assertion is because Australia is heavily dependent on the US as a military ally for its technology and other infrastructures. 14 Other religions followed when Australia gained independence through immigration.
However, it is worth noting that its support for religious freedom is to avoid a domestic religious backlash from its citizens affiliated to the respective religions. In most cases, religious discrimination often results in domestic terrorism, which is a major threat to the domestic economy taking the example of Indonesia. 15 Australia’s efforts to maintain religious neutrality is to protect its national interests by avoiding problems of terrorism. Approximately 54% of Australia’s international trade goes through the South China Sea an area contested by China. Furthermore, Australia has an obligation to promote regional cooperation with its neighbors since it is geographically isolated from its allies. The nature of its economy would make it the most negatively affected in case the region is affected by conflicts, as most of its neighbors are archipelagic in nature.
That is, areas that would be severely affected are trading routes and export markets. Foreign aid is a tool used by developed countries to exert their geopolitical influence among developing countries. 18 Australia is using its AusAID program to affirm its influence especially among countries comprising the Pacific Islands Forum. 22 Since the United States and the European Union is the largest market for Australian exports, securing the trading routes is crucial for its economic survival. Cooperation with ASEAN is also providing Australia with more economic opportunities in terms of the market for its exports and raw material used in the production process. 23 The move to join the ASEAN was motivated by fall into political instability of its previous allies such as Indonesia prompting it to seek new allies that would help in achieving regional security and economic prosperity.
Other regional bodies, which Australia is a member include the Pacific Islands Development Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program. Cooperating with other regional blocks is important as it signifies Australia’s commitment towards regional development. The country hand engaged in numerous military incursions since the Second World War to the Iraqi Wars and other interventions. Even though it is proud of core values aimed at promoting regional cooperation, its strategic policy is a reflection of its interests. Beginning with the British betrayal during the Second World War the country’s policies have been focusing on protecting its interests that include national security, regional influence, and protection of its trade routes and partners. The real intent behind Australia has increased provision of aid to developing countries in the South East Pacific region to affirm its interest and mitigate the rising Chinese influence.
Other aspects of the strategic policy that reflects its interest include the formation of strong trading ties in China despite it being a threat to regional stability as a strategy to protect its vital trading route in the South China Sea. au/news/speeches/Pages/international-law-and-australias-national-interests. aspx. Ashley, Tellis J. , and Michael Wills, eds. Military modernization in an era of uncertainty. " Geopolitics, History & International Relations 9, no. Crook, Tony, Susan Farran, and Emilie Roëll. "Understanding gender inequality actions in the Pacific: ethnographic case-studies & policy options. Egberink, Fenna, and Frans-Paul van der Putten. "Introduction: What Is ASEAN’s Relevance for Geopolitical Stability in Asia?. Lawson, Stephanie. "Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands forum: A critical review. " Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 55, no. Leaver, Richard.
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