‘Team Australia: leader of the Free World‘, ABC The Drum, 4 September 2014
One of many articles commenting on Australian foreign policy initiatives in relation to Iraq and Ukraine, this one attempting to link to historic Australian approaches to foreign and defence policy and attracting more than 200 comments.
Abbott is a true believer in the notion that Australia’s security can best be found in a favourable global order. That is, the global dominance of Western values, in general, and individualism, capitalism, liberalism and democracy, specifically. To that end, any challenge to these Western values must be fiercely resisted, whether it is from Islamists in the Middle East or authoritarian regimes in Russia or China.
This foreign policy tradition has a long history in Australia. Many in Australia believed that it was within the global order built and defended by the British Empire that Australia was to find its security. British power and values created a favourable strategic environment. Following this logic, it made sense for Australians to die by the thousands defending British interests in the Middle East and Europe during World War I.
The author distinguishes between policies based on shared values and policies based on national interests. Related article by Jeff Sparrow. Related article by Paul Daley, containing the views of Iraq war widow, Kellie Merritt. Related article by Peter Brent, considering public opinion on rumours of war. Related article by John Bermingham.