A Nuclear-Armed Australia: Contemplating the unthinkable option

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Australia's strategic environment is changing, and not for the better. Under Chinese president Xi Jinping, China seems on an inexorable path to become the dominant power in East Asia, willing to use its considerable economic, military and political force to shape the region to its wishes. Tweet by tweet, US president Donald Trump undermines confidence in the reliability of US alliance commitments, yet he is only a symptom of a United States that had already begun prioritising "nation-building at home" under President Barack Obama. The relative economic weight of Australia and its traditional partners in North-East Asia and Europe continues to decline as large, populous nations and continents including Africa, India, China and Indonesia narrow the gap in GDP per head. And now that North Korea has all but demonstrated the ability to deliver thermonuclear warheads atop intercontinental ballistic missiles, Australia's benefit of geographic remoteness is also reduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-91
    JournalAustralian Foreign Affairs
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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