QUOTE(swingdoctor @ Dec 17 2008, 01:18 AM) [snapback]4050125[/snapback]
Australia has not tried to be a regional power. We are, along with Singapore the wealthiest country in this region and as such would be in a better position to aid our neighbours financially. So, its wrong for us to provide aid to our neighbours? How does this make us a regional power.
APEC is not an example of Australia trying to become an "Asian Leader" many countries have "economic bloc" ties with other countries, the EU, ASEAN are just 2 examples. Australia due to its geographical location, would not qualify to be in any of these traditional economic blocs, so its important for us to try to form one where we could be a member of, otherwise everybody else would be at a party and we'd be left out at our own economic detrement.
Pushing for a military alliance is to ensure our border security without having to spend so much on defense, an exact opposite to wanting to become a regional power. Do you think either Japan or the US would automatically send troops if Australia decided to invade Indonesia. Of course not, these agreements would usually only mean that these countries would send military support IF AUSTRALIA WAS INVADED. Being a regional power would include the capability to project that power regionally. Australia neither has the aircraft carriers, missles or the adequete military size to achieve any of this. The only thing we have that could possibly project power are our submarines which are not nuclear capable and are only designed for costal defence. China, India, Pakistan and North Korea are more regional powers then Australia is.
And IF Australia did want to become a regional power, so what? Other countries are regional powers, why single out Australia for criticism? Why not criticise those countries already mentioned as well. Or is this a case of double standards.
May be they are trying to be seen as regional power, but Australia definitely have experience and expertise to be regional power.
Look, Australia is already regional power in Oceania region, and have claimed most of South pole, south pacific, south indian oceans.
Australia is world largest provider of uranium and alloy minerals, and possibly the largest gas reserve.
By looking at the global firepower index:GFP Ranking
1 United States
10 United Kingdom
12 South Korea
18 North Korea
20 Pakistan21 Australia
22 Saudi Arabia
And Australia spend more than Brazil, Turkey and Canada on defense spending and 12th largest military spending nation on earth, but they have the smallest in men power compare to top 20 military spending nations.
Rank ↓ Country ↓ Military expenditures (USD) ↓ Date of information ↓
— Flag of World World Total 1,470,000,000,000 2008
— NATO Total 1,049,875,309,000
1 Flag of the United States United States 711,000,000,000 2009
— Flag of Europe European Union Total 311,920,000,000 2007
2 Flag of France France 61,571,330,000 2008-2009
3 Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom 61,280,890,000 2008
4 Flag of the People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 61,036,400,000 2008
5 Flag of Russia Russia 50,000,000,000 2009
6 Flag of Japan Japan 48,860,000,000 2008
7 Flag of Germany Germany 45,930,000,000 2008
8 Flag of Italy Italy 40,060,000,000 2008 (est.)
9 Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 31,050,000,000 2008
10 Flag of South Korea South Korea 28,940,000,000 2008
11 Flag of India India 26,500,000,000 2008-200912 Flag of Australia Australia 24,802,000,000 2008
13 Flag of Brazil Brazil 23,972,836,012 2009
14 Flag of Turkey Turkey 30,936,000,000 2009
15 Flag of Canada Canada 18,695,342,000 2008-2009[15
I would say Australia does show sign of becoming regional power.