US Army Expansion Needed to Avoid “Catastrophic Failure” in the Indo-Pacific: Defense Minister


Defense Minister Richard Mars warned that the US-Australia alliance needs to step up its efforts to counter Beijing in an increasingly “difficult strategic environment.”

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia commented in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, during a four-day trip to the United States.

He disagreed with the claim that the partnership was “a relic of the Cold War unfit for modern state technology,” in a masked reference to the value of the alliance and recent comments by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Epoch Times Photo
Australia’s new Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles smiled at the oath ceremony held at the Government House in Canberra on May 23, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Saeed Khan / AFP, via Getty Images)

“In a more competitive world, countries that can pool resources and combine their strengths not only have a competitive advantage, but are also less vulnerable to compulsory national technology.” He said..

“Despite our strong foundation, we cannot afford to stop, because in the coming years, the US-Australia alliance will not only need to operate in the much more difficult strategic environment of the Indo-Pacific. It will need to contribute to a more effective balance of military power aimed at avoiding the catastrophic failure of deterrence.

“The events in Europe highlight the risks faced when a country’s resolute military buildup convinces its leaders that the potential benefits of conflict are worth the risks. . “

Labor government continues to strengthen defense

Mr. Mars said the Australian Labor Party government will continue to invest in and promote defense projects initiated by the previous administration, including long-range weapons, cyber capabilities, addressing gray zone threats, and the ongoing nuclear submarine project under AUKUS. Said.

He also referred to Australia’s investment in “defense capital infrastructure” to support the growing Australian and US troops in the region, noting that there would be a shift from “interoperability to compatibility”. ..

The Defense Minister also said he would propose measures to streamline Australia’s involvement and information exchange with the US National Technology Industry Base.

“We all recognize that integration cannot be achieved at the expense of robust security that protects sensitive information and technology.”

Mr. Marls also said the Albanese government would expand its focus on ASEAN and Pacific Islands countries and promise greater climate change measures.

“It’s clear that the Pacific says geopolitical competition is less of a concern to them than the threat of rising sea levels, economic instability and cross-border crime. Australia respects and understands this position. I’m doing it. “

But when Kiribati withdrew from the Pacific Islands Forum, Democratic leaders were hit earlier this week.

The forum was a mechanism that was to give 20 countries in the Pacific a voice to discuss and implement key initiatives and reforms across the region.

Leaders usually worked on consensus and rarely engaged in new policies alone. This was an important breakwater against Beijing’s creeping influence.

However, according to some experts, Kiribati’s decision proves that some Pacific leaders found it more profitable to work with the Chinese Communist Party than with traditional Pacific partners. I am.

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected].