Defence White Papers

The Australian defence white papers play a fundamental role in the formation of Australian defence policy. Over the last decade there have been three defence papers released and is due to the increasing changes in power and defence around the world, however there is not much difference between 2013 and 2016 white papers. Essentially, there is very little change in Australian defence policy between the 2013 and 2016 defence white papers. This essay will compare the three key areas Australia has maintained in its defence policy over the 2013 and 2016 defence white papers while highlighting the major differences. Firstly, the idea of a rules-based global order in both white papers will be examined to demonstrate how it has gained more importance …show more content…
The rules-based global order promotes the belief that you must follow the status quo of order. For example, working with other states and organisations to achieve international stability and peace, nuclear non-proliferation, and preventing terrorism. They two main threats to a stable rules-based global order are weapons of mass destruction and terrorism so it is no surprise that the defence papers, especially 2016 continue to reiterate the importance of a rules-based global order. In the 2013 white paper, a rules-based global order is a key strategic interest. It lists the potential and present threats to the order including WMDs, terrorism, internal conflict and state failure. Australia believes it can use its defence force to support the international effort on dealing with the threats listed above. Although, in 2013 Australia has another method of backing the rules-based global order and that is through its seat on the security council. Australia saw that it had a responsibility to use the UN and its position within to as it states “…strengthen rules-based institutions and behaviours in the international community” (ADF 2013, pg. 26). What the 2013 white paper truly focuses on is preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and terrorism, frequently mentioning them throughout the paper. They are key objectives within US defence policy and since the US …show more content…
After examining the two white papers, there has been very little change in defence policy over three years. Three focus points of defence policy were discussed to established similarities and differences. These were the rules-based global order, nuclear weapons and China. The 2016 white paper did show progress and how the policies around these three areas have changed as a result of events such as conflict and technological advances. However, there was very little change present in the defence strategies and policies between the 2013 and 2016 defence white

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