Australian PM unveils first national security strategy
CANBERRA, Jan 22, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard unveiled Australia's first national security strategy on
Wednesday, saying Australia's primary national security focus will
be on the Asian region in a post 9/11 era.
Launching the national security strategy at the Australian
National University in Canberra, Gillard said this strategy was
released "as Australia enters a new era of national security
imperatives" after the anti-terrorism war achieved many successes
such as the killing of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Gillard said Australia's principal national security focus will
be on its own region, as the global economic and strategic centre-
of-gravity continues to move east, bringing great opportunities
but also risks and challenges that must be managed.
She also stressed that it will be an era in which the behavior
of states, not non-state actors, will be the most important driver
and shaper of Australia's national security thinking.
Gillard also pledged to put weight on diplomacy, which will be
critical "as we and our friends and partners in the region strive
to master the complexities and new dynamics of a multipolar world.
She said the strategy had identified risks including
traditional and familiar risks such as espionage and foreign
interference, state-based conflict and coercion.
"The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, specifically
Iran's nuclear program and North Korea's continuing missile and
nuclear programs, are serious threats to world peace and regional
stability," she said.
Other risks are terrorism and violent extremism and an
increasing burden from serious and organized crime.
The strategy identifies three areas for the federal government
to focus on over the next five years: effective partnerships,
cyber security and enhanced regional engagement.
Gillard said the government would develop a national security
capability plan to complement the defense capability plan.
As well, the government would establish by the end of 2013 a
new Australian Cyber Security Center.
"Australia is an attractive target for a range of malicious
cyber actors, from politically-motivated hackers and criminal
networks to nation states," Gillard said.
"Malicious cyber activity will likely be with us for many
decades to come, so we must be prepared for a long, persistent
The focus on enhanced regional engagement reflected the shift
in global strategic and economic activity to the region around
Australia, Gillard said.
She noted the relationship between China and the United States
would "determine the temperature of regional affairs in coming
decades" but was optimistic about their ability to manage change
in the region.
"The remarkable growth we see in Asia could not have happened
without an environment of relative peace and stability," she said.
"Continuing and deepening that climate of relative peace and
stability is at the forefront of Australia's national security
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