Sunday, 11 August 2019
Having gamed the full range of potential attacks on Australia, my key conclusion is: apparently no-one cares if a 3rd party supported by another 3rd party occupies Australia. I will, of course, assume that the Australians care, and New Zealand cares (as it cannot survive long term without Australian support).
Australia is seen as of limited interest to most of the world. I will give an example, in 1967 their Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared without a trace. No-one outside Australia apparently even noticed. It has not improved since. A quick look at the BBC news pages shows the Australian coverage is usually at a fairly trivial level.
On July 13th 2019 the respected Australian Strategic Policy Institute said “A new cold war will force changes in Australian behaviour” and “A new cold war with China is playing out in all but name. Australia will be at the front line…” This is serious stuff, but no-one outside Australia has picked up on the story. When I looked, Google found no reference to this story in English in Europe. This is clearly a political failure of Australia’s political leadership to connect with the Europe and North America.
Australia has strategic importance; in a general war as a forward unsinkable base; in small wars or counterinsurgencies the Australians are very good allies in that sort of thing. However, I assume Australia is largely ignored for geographical reasons - it's so far down that bottom right hand corner on a standard world map used in the UK- and culturally I speculate that its main exports aren't seen as being as serious or impactful as those from the US, UK, or Europe. Of course these factors have nothing to do with its actual relevance, especially considering the nature of the political or cyber or economic "terrain" in a new Cold War will be completely separate from any physical considerations.
So, my conclusions from my game-based analysis are nothing to do with planes, tanks, subs, cyber or trade. The key strategic problem of Australis faces is engaging the Western World to support Australia in this new cold war. If it fails to do this, it is game over.