Can we rely on Uncle Sam? - The Centre for Independent Studies
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Can we rely on Uncle Sam?

September 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty), and the 20th anniversary and commemoration of 9/11 terror attacks. The US alliance remains the centrepiece of Australian foreign policy. But with the end of the Pax Americana and the return of great-power security competition in Asia, how will the alliance change? How should Canberra address its national-security challenges as the increasing US-China strategic and economic competition intensifies?

Can America still defend Taiwan? What should Australia do in the event of a military break-out in the Taiwan straits? To what extent has the US withdrawal from Afghanistan hurt US credibility? Does it signify a global retreat or an attempt to reorder strategic priorities away from the Greater Middle East towards the Indo-Pacific region? Should we expect more US security, economic and diplomatic engagement in Asia?

Elbridge Colby served as deputy assistant secretary of defence for strategy and force development, 2017-18. He is a principal at the Marathon Initiative in Washington and author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defence in an Age of Great Power Conflict.

Peter Varghese is a former head of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Office of National Assessments. A former Australian high commissioner to India, Peter is chancellor of the University of Queensland.

Tom Switzer is executive director of the Centre for Independent Studies and presenter of Between the Lines at ABC’s Radio National.