Opinion: Setting the scene for building an Australian strategic umbrella

30 Jan 2023

Since the end of the Cold War, much of the world has operated under the aegis of the US strategic umbrella. Now, in an increasingly contested and multipolar world, can Australia and the region benefit from a distinctly Australian strategic umbrella?

Through its might, both conventional in its strategic arsenal, the United States established what has become known as a “strategic umbrella” where for greater input into their ally’s security policy and easier access to their markets, the United States would do the heavy lifting on the global geostrategic stage.

Ready or not, the new international reality presents new challenges for Australia’s geostrategic policy community and the planning surrounding the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) as for the first time in lived memory, both we and our great and powerful friend, the United States, face an increasingly contested and competitive world.

Equally to these challenges, this new paradigm presents new opportunities for Australia to entrench itself as an economic, political, and strategic leader, benefactor and critically, beneficiary in the fastest growing region of the world.

Today, the regional geopolitical and strategic situation is eerily similar to the decade preceding the Second World War with serious questions raised about Australia’s preparedness, resilience and capacity to resist a rival great power with limited input from its primary security benefactor.