Former military official warns Australia to ramp up defence and not rely on US as China expands

A former military official has urged Australia to ramp up its defence and warned the country can’t rely on America as China continues its expansion into East Asia. 

Professor Hugh White has worked as a senior official in the Department of Defence and took a deep dive into the country’s military might in his book, ‘How to Defend Australia’.

In the book, professor White said it would take decades for Australia to raise its military might to a point where the country was able to stand on its own two feet. 

‘These will be very risky decades, and our strategic exposure will increase the longer we delay,’ the book reads.  

A former military official has urged Australia to ramp up its defence and warned the country can't rely on America as China continues its expansion into East Asia (pictured, Chinese soldiers ride in tanks)

A former military official has urged Australia to ramp up its defence and warned the country can’t rely on America as China continues its expansion into East Asia (pictured, Chinese soldiers ride in tanks)

Professor White suggested China's matched nuclear capabilities with America would force the US to reconsider its military gambles in the East Asia region (pictured, Chinese soldiers march in a military parade)

Professor White suggested China’s matched nuclear capabilities with America would force the US to reconsider its military gambles in the East Asia region (pictured, Chinese soldiers march in a military parade)

Professor White suggested China’s matched nuclear capabilities with America would force the US to reconsider its military gambles in the East Asia region.

While the country was only too ready to engage with Soviet Russia during the cold war, America saw communism as a global threat and had to protect its own interests.

Years later, professor White said America did not look at China in the same way and saw its threat was limited to the East Asia region.

The country knows India, Russia and Europe would oppose expansion beyond that region and America, in turn, is protected.

If tensions were to build to boiling point between Australia and China, America would have to seriously consider the repercussions of stepping in.

‘In a new Cold War Americans would have to ask whether saving Taiwan from China — and preserving US leadership in Asia — would be worth losing Los Angeles and Seattle,’ Prof White’s book notes. 

‘That means America’s own security does not depend on preventing China from dominating East Asia. Why then would America accept the costs and risks of trying to do that?’ 

With America out of the picture, professor White noted it was up to Australia to step up its defence and strategy. 

Australia’s geographical position placed it at a military advantage, as professor White noted a foreign power could not successfully mount an attack without first establishing a nearby offshore base.

Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines could provide a barrier to an attacking enemy and it was important that Australia shored up its alliance with its Pacific neighbours.

In the book, professor White said it would take decades for Australia to raise its military might to a point where the country was able to stand on its own two feet (pictured, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison)

In the book, professor White said it would take decades for Australia to raise its military might to a point where the country was able to stand on its own two feet (pictured, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison)

Professor Hugh White has worked as a senior official in the Department of Defence and took a deep dive into the country's military might in his book, 'How to Defend Australia'

Professor Hugh White has worked as a senior official in the Department of Defence and took a deep dive into the country’s military might in his book, ‘How to Defend Australia’

Japan was only able to successfully threaten Australia in World War II as the country had successfully invaded what is now known as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

With its geographical defences shored up, professor White looked to flexing the country’s military might and injecting more money into its defence budget.

Professor White suggested up to 3.5 per cent of GDP go towards the country’s military, or another $70billion per year, if Australia was to become an independent power.

The last time the defence budget reached two per cent of GDP was in 1994.

Professor White went on to say Australia could slowly become a neutral power and follow suit with Switzerland and Sweden.

At most, he said the country could maintain a ‘close partnership with New Zealand’.   

Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines could provide a barrier to an attacking enemy and it was important that Australia shored up its alliance with its Pacific neighbours (pictured, Mr Morrison meets with soldiers)

Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines could provide a barrier to an attacking enemy and it was important that Australia shored up its alliance with its Pacific neighbours (pictured, Mr Morrison meets with soldiers)

With America out of the picture, professor White noted it was up to Australia to step up its defence and strategy

With America out of the picture, professor White noted it was up to Australia to step up its defence and strategy

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