No Enemies, No Friends: Restoring Australia's Global Relevance

Allan Behm

No Enemies, No Friends: Restoring Australia's Global Relevance
Upswell Publishing
21 February 2022

No Enemies, No Friends: Restoring Australia’s Global Relevance

Allan Behm

How can Australia recalibrate its national security settings to meet future demands amid global disruption? Plicy expert Allan Behm offers practical ideas, imbued with optimism

Is increased defence spending all that Australia needs to ensure its national security? How well placed are we to deal with global shocks and surprises? How should Australia recalibrate its national security settings to deal with global disruption?

Drawing on thirty years of experience as a senior government adviser on foreign policy, Allan Behm explores the thinking behind Australia’s security approach and how it’s been shaped by Australia’s cultural and historical experiences. He argues that our mindset is built around pathologies- racism, misogyny, isolation, insecurity, a brashness that masks a deep lack of self-confidence, and the perverse effects of the cultural cringe.

No Enemies No Friends doesn’t just show why Australia has become so good at getting things so wrong. Rather, Behm offers practical policy ideas, imbued with optimism, arguing we have every capability to improve. We need to maintain a credible defence force and invest in diplomacy to reduce our dependence on military force and defence alliances.
Forward-looking, this is a meditation on how to approach international affairs with sure-footedness in a less predictable world. This is crucial for maintaining Australia’s long-term security and establishing the nation’s confidence to become a significant international actor.

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