The diversity of responses to my article reveals the competing factors to be resolved when formulating strategic policy and allocating national resources.
I agree with much of what Tim Costello writes. Like him, I think that even a modest increase in our development and diplomatic resources in the Pacific region would offer a greater return in terms of security than further boosting the defence budget. And Costello is right to point to a Pacific policy that does not give sufficient weight to developing our regional partnerships – especially in a world where China is exerting substantially more influence. In that context I’d suggest we might also usefully put some thinking into our relationships in the Indian Ocean region.