Discussion paper

From dependency to armed neutrality: future options for Australian national security

International relations National security Defence Climate change Australia-US relations Australia-China relations Australia

While the rise of China has occasioned much debate from security commentators, they have been disappointedly silent on the other security risk that Australia must address: climate change. Without giving equal weight to climate change, any recommendations on the future security of Australia can only be incomplete and inadequate. Australia’s future security can only be assured by adopting a more holistic methodology than previously practiced.

Traditional security challenges, such as the management of state-to-state relations, should be addressed within a framework that includes the natural world. Only by being cognisant of humanity’s interaction with the natural world can true national security be achieved. By considering both China and climate change this paper provides a more balanced assessment of Australia’s future security options. It concludes that the option that best meets the requirements of both challenges is a form of armed neutrality.

The views expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defence or the Australian Army.

Publication Details


Centre of Gravity series paper #45