One of Australia's most senior security officials has said liberal democracies must brace for war amid elevated global tensions. Home Affairs Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo said the possibility of war was increasing.
"Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again...for the curse of war," Pezzullo said
The chance of a conflict involving China over Taiwan "should not be discounted," but Australia will work with its allies in the region to try and maintain peace, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. He said that China had been increasingly clear about its reunification ambitions with Taiwan. "People need to be realistic about the activity. There is militarisation of bases across the region. Obviously, there is a significant amount of activity and there is an animosity between Taiwan and China."
And Australia beefs up its military
Australia will spend A$747 million ($580 million) to upgrade four military bases in its north and expand war games with the United States, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Wednesday.
"Working with the United States, our allies and Indo-Pacific neighbours, we will continue to advance Australia's interests by investing in the Australian Defence Force,"
An airstrip in the Northern Territory will be lengthened to support larger aircraft, firing ranges overhauled and new training facilities set up for defence personnel and U.S. marines. This in addition of earlier increased military preparations.