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Politics, the battlefield and the changing nature of Australia’s strategic discourse

Politics, the battlefield and the changing nature of Australia’s strategic discourse

21 November 2019

Retired Major General turned senator Jim Molan joined the Defence Connect podcast in September to discuss the nation’s need for a National Security Strategy and the important work Australia’s politicians play in forming public policy.

Jim Molan

Retired Major General Jim Molan

Freshly returned Senator Jim Molan believes Australia now finds itself in an incredibly precarious position within the shifting global and regional geo-strategic power paradigm.

Joining the Defence Connect podcast host Phil Tarrant and Steve Kuper in the middle of his self-described “sabbatical” from Parliament, the now returned senator spoke candidly about the state of the region Australia finds itself at the epicentre of.

Tarrant welcomed Senator Molan’s contributions to Defence Connect, echoing the similar participation of the senator’s parliamentary and uniformed colleagues.

Tarrant said: “It was great to welcome somebody like Jim who has a wealth of experience across his time in uniform and through Parliament – his vote of confidence in the Defence Connect podcast and its role in supporting and enhancing the national security discussion shows the scope and reach the brand has.”

A key part of Senator Molan’s position on the podcast is the nation’s growing need for a national security strategy in response to the rise of an assertive China and relative decline of the US.

“For so long now, for the last 75 years, since the end of World War Two, we've been very, very fortunate because our great and powerful friend, the US dominated the world,” Senator Molan explained.

“We could put out a defence white paper and that defence white paper would be purely a defence white paper. But the world, the Australian world, thought that it was a national security strategy, well it wasn’t.”

Expanding on this startling realisation, Senator Molan articulated the growing need for Australia’s political leaders to view the otherwise individual public policy silos, like infrastructure, water and resource security in a completely holistic manner.

This is something Tarrant expanded on, particularly Defence Connect’s evolving role in supporting robust, accessible debate for the average Australian and its decision makers.

“We are evolving our focus more into the geopolitical strategic domain of Australia’s place in the world, and how our defence policy and national security policy can best represent, and support this great nation that we all live within,” Tarrant added.

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