Australia - A Regional Power in the Asia Pacific region

Posted in Other | 13-Nov-05 | Author: Dieter Farwick

The world seen from "down under".

Those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere do not hear much from the world “down under.” This might change with the increasing importance of the Asia Pacific region. Next week, Australia will take part in the first East Asia Summit – the highlight of the 11th Asian Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The ten members of the union, founded in 1967, represent 500 million people, a GDP of US $733 billion and a total trade volume of US $720 billion. They have invited China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand – not the United States – to attend this summit.

With view to international terrorism, North Korea, political and economic issues as well as emerging Asian powers, ASEAN will discuss the sensitive issue of security and stability in the region. Their ambitious slogan: One vision, one identity, one community. Australia plays an important role in this context. Australia is a strong ally of the US. – including sending troops to Iraq.

As a strong supporter of the US and the war in Iraq, Australia is a target for Islamist terrorists. It came as no surprise that the Australian police force is active in the anti-terror war and just recently was able to prevent a major terrorist attack.

We can offer two articles on Australia’s security policy written by two authors with very different backgrounds. The first is a German officer, Lieutenant Kukuk, who is studying for one year in Brisbane, Australia. As a young academic, he views Australia’s security policy from a European viewpoint. The second author is Paul Dibb, a renowned Australian expert on security policy.

Both provide interesting insight into Australian security policies of today and the future.