A Shifting World “We have to ask ourselves, can we defend ourselves against a power like China?” Hugh White, a former defense strategist to several Australian prime ministers who now teaches strategic studies at the Australian National University, summarized his new book thusly in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald on July 1. White’s book, “How to Defend Australia,” argues that it’s impossible for Australia to defend itself without its defensive pact with the United States, and since Donald Trump assumed the US presidency, the solidity of that pact is more in question than ever. As a consequence, Canberra must once again pick up a “difficult and uncomfortable” debate it hasn’t seriously weighed in half a century: whether or not it would improve Australian security to develop its own nuclear weapons as a strategic deterrent. “It’s made perfect sense for Australia not to contemplate nuclear weapons for the last 40 years because we’ve enjoyed a very high level of confidence in the American nuclear umbrella,” White told the Herald, “but America provided that umbrella because it secured its position as the primary power in Asia.” “If the chances of [maintaining] that position are much lower, then our circumstances will… Read full this story
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