Australia’s Western Based Security Architecture and Regional Impacts

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Although Australia is geographically located in the east, it is a country with a Western perspective in geopolitical, geostrategic and geoeconomic terms. As a matter of fact, it is known that Canberra is an important ally of the West and the United States of America (USA) on the Asia-Pacific Region.

At the same time, Canberra is a country of great importance in terms of the Western countries’ presence in the region, their influence, cooperation and strategies to surround the states that they perceive as a threat and turn them into the “other”. Because the fact that the AUKUS Pact, which Australia established with the USA and England in the region, constitutes an important pillar, proves and strengthens this situation. It can already be said that the geopolitical conjuncture of the Asia-Pacific Region is built on alliances.

In this context, it can be said that Australia has adopted a line within the of Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in terms of threat perception, security policies and regional perspective. An important development within the framework of this situation took place on January 5, 2023. At the aforementioned date, the Anthony Albanese Government decided to conclude an arms trade agreement with the United States. In this decision, it was stated that Canberra would purchase 20 missile launchers from the USA and would spend approximately one billion dollars for this.

At the same time, through this agreement, the Australian Navy will receive many ship support from the USA, starting from 2024. As a matter of fact, these ships will also be equipped with naval attack missiles. In addition to all these, it is also known that the weapons, which are the subject of this agreement, provide a significant advantage to the Ukrainian soldiers against the Russian forces in the Russia-Ukraine War.[1]

In this context, there are three points that can be read through this development. The first is Australia’s goal of upgrading its security framework and building a more robust national security architecture in Asia-Pacific geopolitics. Because it has already been stated that Australia is a country with the conjuncture of the USA and the West on the region. It can be said that Canberra has the same perception of the security threat felt by Washington and the West. For this reason, it can be deduced that Australia sees China and North Korea as serious threats in the region and takes this situation into account while shaping its security perspective.

As can be expected, the threat perception felt by Australia is increasing day by day. Because both China is increasing its pressure on Taiwan and North Korea is accelerating its ballistic and nuclear tests by developing its nuclear power.

The second issue to be examined at this point is that Australia is making the arms deal with the USA. As a matter of fact, it is very important that Canberra prefers Washington at this point, while it can make various ageeements in terms of arms and security with many countries. It can be stated that this situation reflects the strong dialogue between the two actors. Because, for this agreement, Australia has more preferred the USA, with which it has strong bilateral relations within the AUKUS Pact.

The third and last point that needs to be evaluated is the case that the military ammunition that Australia made an agreement to buy from the USA also helped the Ukrainian soldiers at the front in the Russia-Ukraine War. Because many Western analysts and politicians say that causing Russia to suffer losses with aid to Ukraine will also send a message to China through the Taiwan Crisis. As a matter of fact, Canberra’s purchase of this ammunition, which gives an advantage to the Ukrainian Army, and that it procures it from China’s number one rival in global geopolitics, can be interpreted as a message given over the Taiwan Crisis.

In addition to all this, it can be said that Australia has created an important sphere of influence in the region within the framework of the West and the USA’s China-containment policy. Because Canberra is starting to take proactive steps, such as signing new security agreements with its Pacific neighbors. A concrete example of this is the statement of Australian Prime Minister Albanese and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape on 12 January 2023 that they have concluded a new security agreement. Although no details were disclosed, except that the agreement was a security-based agreement, Albanese stated that the agreement was based on deep trust between the two countries.

At the same time, it was also stated by Albanese that Australia and Papua New Guinea are both neighbors and close allies.[2]  Therefore, it can be said that the United States considers Australia, which it binds to itself in terms of both the AUKUS and the security framework through the aforementioned agreement, both as a continuation of its own influence in the Asia-Pacific Region, as a military base, and as a proxy actor in its policy of encircling China within the framework of alliances with regional states.

As a result, the importance of Australia for the West is increasing every day due to the dialogues developed. However, Canberra’s Western-based foreign policy production and its efforts to reach out to other actors in the region on this occasion may increase regional polarization. This may lead to China and North Korea perceiving Australia as a threat, as it will mean an increase in the influence of the United States.

[1] “Australia to Make Largest Military Upgrade in Living Memory”, Sky News,, (Date of Accession: 13.01.2023).

[2] “Australia Finalizing New Security Pact With Pacific Neighbor”, Ap News,, (Date of Accession: 13.01.2023).

Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan Gülten, 2021 yılında Yalova Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden “Amerikan Dış Politikası” başlıklı bitirme teziyle ve 2023 yılında da Anadolu Üniversitesi Açık Öğretim Fakültesi Dış Ticaret bölümünden mezun olmuştur. Halihazırda Marmara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda Tezli Yüksek Lisans öğrenimine devam eden Gülten, lisans eğitimi esnasında Erasmus+ programı çerçevesinde Lodz Üniversitesi Uluslararası ve Politik Çalışmalar Fakültesi’nde bir dönem boyunca öğrenci olarak bulunmuştur. ANKASAM’da Asya-Pasifik Araştırma Asistanı olarak çalışan Gülten’in başlıca ilgi alanları; Amerikan Dış Politikası, Asya-Pasifik ve Uluslararası Hukuk’tur. Gülten, iyi derecede İngilizce bilmektedir.