Message from Joe Biden to Australia for ANZUS 70 years

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“As we look ahead, we will continue to unite to stand up for the principles we share,” Biden said.

He said the United States and Australia will work together “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific” and “to promote inclusive economic prosperity in our own countries and across the region.”

“Prime Minister Morrison and the people of Australia: thank you for your partnership and friendship,” said Mr Biden.

In a speech to the Australian Parliament, Mr. Morrison said that ANZUS was “the cornerstone of Australia’s national security and an essential pillar for peace and stability in our Indo-Pacific region”.

“For seven decades, it has been the basis of vital military, national security and intelligence cooperation between Australia and the United States. And much more, ”he said. “It has been, and I hope it will always be, a shared national enterprise; one that has evolved to meet new challenges based on enduring values.

In his speech to Parliament, Mr. Albanese said that the ANZUS anniversary was an “important opportunity not only to commemorate our common history, but to look forward to the impact of our relationship on our respective futures”.

After six defense ministers in eight years, Albanese and Labor defense spokesman Brendan O’Connor accused the government of “neglecting posture planning, despite deteriorating strategic circumstances” . Defense strategists warned the government last year that it had a decade left to bolster its defenses against potential threats, amid a regional arms race fueled by China’s growing assertiveness throughout the Indo-Pacific.

“A review of the posture of the Labor Defense Forces would ensure that the Australian government considers both a long-term strategic posture and whether Australian defense units, assets and installations are ready for the military to take action. timely action “, MM. Albanese and Mr. O ‘says Connor.

“The 2020 Strategic Update warned of rapidly changing circumstances in our region and stressed that a 10-year strategic warning period for a major conventional attack on Australia is no longer an issue. appropriate basis for defense planning.

“The reduced warning times mean that defense plans can no longer assume that Australia will have time to gradually adjust its military capabilities and preparedness in response to emerging challenges. Despite this, the coalition government never conducted a comprehensive review of the posture of the force. “

Michael Shoebridge, director of the defense program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, welcomed the proposal for a new posture review, but said it should not come at the expense of the obvious steps that need to be taken to short term. This includes strengthening Australia’s military presence in the north and west of the country and helping to modernize bases in the South Pacific, such as Papua New Guinea’s main naval base on Manus Island. .

“We already know that the ADF needs to have more offensive power and that it needs to be more present in the places that matter,” said Mr. Shoebridge. “The only thing I want to see from the opposition – they really need to have initiatives that they would do early and not just a bunch of reviews.”

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