East Asia's love of fish is well known. Fish are integral to the region's diet, culture, and strategic thought. South Koreans talk of their nation as a "shrimp among whales," while Singapore's military strategy is described as that of a "poisoned shrimp"-an unpalatable choice for the large and hungry. Australians also love their seafood. Many would recognize their nation's strategic approach in the behavior of the pilot fish. These small fish swim in the shadow of a much larger predator to gain protection. But after decades of utility for Australia, the merits of this approach are threatened. Canberra is now quietly exploring alternatives, seeking protection in a school or loosely coordinated group of similarly sized fish. This essay will explore this inflection moment by first describing Australia's view of the contemporary East Asian order. It will then examine the new roles that the country is seeking to play in this order and the viability of its alternative approaches.
|Publication status||Published - 2018|