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Australian Foreign Policy – National interests and Objectives Ron Anderson SEV Lecture Aug 6 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Australian Foreign Policy – National interests and Objectives Ron Anderson SEV Lecture Aug 6 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Australian Foreign Policy – National interests and Objectives Ron Anderson SEV Lecture Aug

2 This lecture will focus on 1. Historical Background – the Basic transition in AFP 2. Objectives of AFP (national interests) 3. Basic Bipartisanship 4. Some areas of tension within these objectives

3 Study Design: National Politics: Key Knowledge Australian foreign policy objectives; Australian foreign policy objectives; role of Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Trade, Prime Minister, cabinet, the parliament, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, foreign aid, overseas delegations including embassies and consulates; differences between the making of domestic policy and foreign policy; impact on Australian foreign policy of Australia’s near neighbours, including relations with regional leaders; impact on Australian foreign policy of Australia’s near neighbours, including relations with regional leaders; impact on Australian foreign policy of factors such as domestic politics, human rights, refugees, international opinion, international conflict, trade and economic blocs.

4 Study Design: National Politics Key Skills - the ability to define and use key concepts relating to foreign policy; explain and synthesise foreign policy objectives; analyse and compare policy processes; evaluate challenges to foreign policy; access, interpret and draw conclusions from information gathered from print and electronic sources.

5 Study Design: International Studies Key knowledge the historical background to AFP; the historical background to AFP; the issue of security and alliance relationships; the issue of security and alliance relationships; the economic dimension of foreign policy; the economic dimension of foreign policy; the role of internationalism in AFP; the role of internationalism in AFP; the debate about national interest; the debate about national interest; regional relationships; regional relationships; recent changes in orientation & goals of AFP recent changes in orientation & goals of AFP Key skills analyse ideas and debates about national interest in AFP analyse ideas and debates about national interest in AFP recognise tensions that have developed in AFP recognise tensions that have developed in AFP analyse the relative importance of factors that have contributed to the development of AFP; analyse the relative importance of factors that have contributed to the development of AFP; define key terms and use relevant concepts. define key terms and use relevant concepts.

6 Main Themes in AFP- in the past there has been a strong 1.Threat mentality (note change from past exaggerated threat perception to a more rational threat perception) 2. Vulnerability assumptions- feelings among A that we are at risk 3. Regional suspicion –we’re suspicious of the region; the region is suspicious of Australia. 4. Dependence assumptions – need for a strong and powerful alliance with a major western power

7 Basic Transition since the ’70s – FROM TO Traditional foreign policy * Exaggerated threat mentality - vulnerability * cultural and racial xenophobia * regional fears & vulnerability * Dependence * DependencePolicies * strong ties to Europe * US alliance * US alliance * isolation in Asia * isolation in Asia * regional security through reliance on Western power * regional security through reliance on Western power * forward defence * forward defence * economic ties with Europe * economic ties with Europe New foreign policy * Rational threat mentality No direct immediate threat No direct immediate threat * Regional independence * Aust. can operate in the region by itself * greater independence Policies * engagement with Asia * engagement with Asia * defence self reliance * defence self reliance * regional independence assertion of power in Pacific * regional independence assertion of power in Pacific * US alliance more global * US alliance more global * regional trade * regional trade * human rights etc * human rights etc

8 Re this Transition Basic acceptance by both parties of its main elements: rational threat perception rational threat perception engagement in Asia engagement in Asia still use for the US alliance still use for the US alliance In effect (i) general elite bipartisanship – both major parties share these modern views (i) general elite bipartisanship – both major parties share these modern views (ii) some popular disensus – Hansonsism and One Nation? (ii) some popular disensus – Hansonsism and One Nation? A small remnant of the population – tied to old atavistic foreign policy – we’re vulnerable

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10 1. Direct Security Basic elements - mainland security; border protection; control of key strategic zones control of key strategic zones Policies & aspects - defence self reliance - adequate defence forces for detection, deterrence and direct mainland defence; - Strategic surveillance – Cocos and Christmas Islands – for Indian Ocean surveillance - Strong intelligence networks – advance knowledge of ‘threats’ - maintain stability in key strategic zones –’Island Screen’ modern technological military equipment - Deterrence through collective security pacts – ANZUS - Strong regional diplomatic ties to detect or prevent ‘problems – terrorists, ‘asylum seekers’

11 2. Regional Stability & Security Basic Elements - stability in SW Pacific; South East Asia; Asia generally Policies and Aspects: - military capability intervene without sacrificing direct defence – naval power projection - Fiji; Solomons etc - Strong influence (aid & diplomacy) on vulnerable micro states in SW Pacific, and PNG – significant aid to PNG; - control of Pacific Forum; - Strong and positive regional ties with neighbours – Indonesia SEA nations. - Sufficient force projection to deter, counter-attack any potential regional attack - ‘Howard Doctrine’ – Australia to act to provide regional stability as ‘deputy’ to the US

12 3. Global Stability & Security Basic Elements: maintain peaceful core global relationships esp. with core allies Policies & Aspects: - US alliance A. tied to US global positions (i) core socio-cultural assumptions – democracy etc. (ii) defence ties - equipment, intelligence, training (iii) expectation of ANZUS - Aust. defence if required (iii) expectation of ANZUS - Aust. defence if required - ‘Traditional’ support for US wars - Korea Vietnam wars; Gulf war ; Iraq; Afghanistan - Strengthened under Howard govt.: invocation of ANZUS after Sept. 11; War on Terror - anti- weapons of mass destruction– Nuclear non proliferation treaty (NNPT) ban on atmospheric testing etc: active in Chemical Weapons Treaty

13 4. Economic Devel. & Prosperity 1. A’s wealth depends on exports and commodity prices 2. Therefore reliance on (i) exports - from Farm to Quarry. (i) exports - from Farm to Quarry. - importance of export prices and access - importance of export prices and access (ii) energy sources – esp. oil directly & to trading partners (ii) energy sources – esp. oil directly & to trading partners (iii) trade routes (iii) trade routes 2. Importance of neo-liberalist views (since early ’80s under Hawke) – deregulation, and integration into global environment (acceptance of Globalisation) 3. Preference for free markets- few subsidies, tariffs and quotas 4. support for ‘Cairns group’ (1988), APEC, GATT (since 1947) World Trade Organisation - bilateral free trade agreements 5. Internal implications – internal economic policies should follow – cut tariffs and subsidies – this has encouraged (i) unemployment (ii) de-industrialisation and (iii) movement of industry offshore (globalisation)

14 5. ‘Internationalism’ Basic Elements: Being, and being seen to be, Good International Citizens (Gareth Evans) with regard to terrorism; narcotics; international crime; AIDS; terrorism; narcotics; international crime; AIDS; refugees, slavery; piracy, climate change, UN human rights and democracy; WMD refugees, slavery; piracy, climate change, UN human rights and democracy; WMD Policies & Aspects: - international agreements over – narcotics, AIDs, refugees, international crime, the environment, weapons of mass destruction; piracy, slavery etc - Support for the UN and other multilateral international organisations - Advocacy of democracy, individualism and human rights

15 General elite bipartisanship Both major parties agree about the main national interests/objectives But there are differences (i) within each party (i) within each party (ii) of emphasis between parties (ii) of emphasis between parties

16 ‘Popular’ (outside the elite) Dissensus Some exceptions to bipartisanship: (a) left idealists – higher priority on ‘idealism’ – internationalism less emphasis on pragmatic realities (a) left idealists – higher priority on ‘idealism’ – internationalism less emphasis on pragmatic realities (b) right wing xenophobes – Hanson etc – emphasis is on preserving older national identity (1950s racism and xenophobia – anti-multiculturalism and pro White Australia) (b) right wing xenophobes – Hanson etc – emphasis is on preserving older national identity (1950s racism and xenophobia – anti-multiculturalism and pro White Australia)

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18 Tensions and Debates over US alliance 1 1. US alliance – loss of sovereignty 2. US alliance – Nature of ANZUS and defence guarantee 3. Cost and benefits of the US alliance 4. US alliance conflict with regionalism? 5. US alliance and internationalism – loss of human rights in WOT

19 Security and Alliance Relationships – (1) 1. Problem of defining the US alliance – is it just ANZUS? Does ANZUS exist? (or is it ‘AUS’) Does ANZUS exist? (or is it ‘AUS’) Or more than a simple treaty relationship Or more than a simple treaty relationship 2. But differences: ALP is more critical of aspects – ALP is more critical of aspects – loss of sovereignty; loss of sovereignty; too locked into the US global security position; too locked into the US global security position; denies internationalist positions denies internationalist positions Lib/National – believe in the totality of the whole alliance – have to accept it all; can’t pick and choose Lib/National – believe in the totality of the whole alliance – have to accept it all; can’t pick and choose

20 Security and Alliance Relationships – (2) Security and Alliance Relationships – (2) 3. Difference is mainly one of priority ALP – US alliance for direct defence; more reliance on independence and different regional positions ALP – US alliance for direct defence; more reliance on independence and different regional positions Lib/National – more inclined to threat perceptions and hence support alliance in total Lib/National – more inclined to threat perceptions and hence support alliance in total 4. US alliance is a delicate balance of cost – benefits (see accompanying notes) 5. Note the ‘Howard Doctrine’ – a new form of A’s alignment with the US (see notes)

21 Debates about alliance: US alliance (3) Is it slavish following of US policy as a puppet Reason?- get defence guarantee (Does ANZUS guarantee A’s defence? No!) OR Similarity of viewpoints – coincidence of objectives?

22 Economic development and other FP aspects Problem of Consistency between (i) economic and security/alliance interests (i) economic and security/alliance interests US alliance and missile defence Pine Gap, containment of China, support for Taiwan, US alliance and missile defence Pine Gap, containment of China, support for Taiwan, versus trade with China versus trade with China (ii) Economic and human rights interests (internationalism) (ii) Economic and human rights interests (internationalism) Trade with China and human rights (pro- democracy, capital punishment, Tibet, Uighers leader visit) Trade with China and human rights (pro- democracy, capital punishment, Tibet, Uighers leader visit)

23 Debates over regionalism (regional involvement) Extent of regionalism engagement to the point of engulfment? engagement to the point of engulfment? (Howard’s criticism of Keating – obsession with region, to the detriment of broader issues) or simply limited pragmatic engagement for mutual problems – terrorism, Asylum seekers (Howard and Rudd/Gillard) or simply limited pragmatic engagement for mutual problems – terrorism, Asylum seekers (Howard and Rudd/Gillard)


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