Journal article

The 2016 Defence White Paper’s assessment of Australia’s strategic environment

Defence Strategic planning Diplomacy Australia Asia


Australia’s strategic environment is most influenced by three factors: the status of the US-China relationship, America’s willingness to defend the rules-based global order in Asia, and the stability of the Asian region. This commentary examines the 2016 Defence White Paper’s analysis of these three factors and examines its overall narrative. As a public document, the White Paper is necessarily limited in its ability to frankly assess the most serious challenges in Australia’s strategic environment and the threat they pose to national security. However, there is a risk that the document’s optimistic narrative discourages a thoughtful consideration of the changes in Asia’s regional order.

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