The decision to acquire nuclear-powered boats reflects what has been the Australian Way of War for more than a century: to operate inside the strategy of a superpower by contributing a well-chosen, niche capability to augment the larger force.
The United States is determined to stop China narrowing the gap in technological prowess. The new ‘digital iron curtain’ dividing the world into US and Chinese technological zones runs through Australia…
The new moral panic about ‘the China threat’, and the comparative indifference in Australia about significantly more intrusive forms of foreign interference by the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, is orientalist and often racist: China is not a member of the Western club, so it is suspect.
Rather than addressing the realities of our place in the region, the Morrison government’s emerging defence strategy is an attempt to hold the old assumptions in place. It is utopian conservatism at its worst.