Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era - Ambitions and Uncertainties


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When: Feb 28 2017 - 12:30pm until Feb 28 2017 - 2:00pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Sixth Floor Conference Room, Washington DC, 20036

Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era - Ambitions and Uncertainties

An Asia Pacific Foreign Policy and Defense Seminar featuring:

Andrew Davies
Director, Defence and Strategy Program
Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Mark Thomson
Senior Analyst, Defence Economics Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era - Ambitions and Uncertainties from East-West Center on Vimeo.

From left to right: Mark Thomson and Andrew Davies. Image: Karen Mascarinas, Research Intern, East-West Center in Washington.

As a Western nation on the southern periphery of Asia, Australia confronts tectonic changes in the strategic landscape of the Asia-Pacific. In recent years, Australia has responded by strengthening its alliance with the United States and steadily expanding its defense force. Following the release of the Australian government's 2016 Defence White Paper, further expansion is planned, including an ambitious domestic naval construction program; at the core of which is 12 new French-designed submarines--the largest conventional submarines ever attempted.

Challenges and uncertainties lie ahead for Australia. Economic conditions are likely to make it difficult to fund the ambitious military expansion, and the decision to build vessels locally adds undoubted risk to the program. Even if everything goes to plan, local construction will mean that vessels are delivered much more slowly than the geopolitical environment is changing. Caught between an increasingly assertive China--Australia's largest trading partner--and the grave uncertainties heralded by the Trump presidency, Australia's plans may turn out to be too little, too late.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Andrew Davies is the Director of the Defence and Strategy Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Andrew's areas of expertise include defence capability, defence industry, submarines, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, ADF force structure and the ANZUS alliance. From 2014 to 2016, Andrew was a member of the Expert Panel advising the Australian defence minister on the development of the 2016 Defence White Paper. He also teaches in Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.

Mark Thomson is a Senior Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute specialising in defence economics at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Mark's research interests include strategy, defence economics and defence industry policy. Mark served on the Ministerial Advisory Panel for the 2009 Australian Defence White Paper and has also contributed to Australian government reports on defence procurement reporting and military recruitment and retention.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 2023279755