Can we rely on Uncle Sam?
This month 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.
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