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Advancing Australia's national interest is an issue that will be faced by every government that ever holds power.

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Introduction

Advancing Australia's national interest is an issue that will be faced by every government that ever holds power. The national interest is essentially the main factor that should dictate Australia's actions internationally, not the party in power. The strategies these parties may suggest will differ as will their policies, but the main aim of the government remains the same, the first aim is of course to continue to hold power, but more importantly, they should protect the well being of the people, by preserving a good standard of living, trying to ensure security of employment, and also defending the nation from intruders. In essence, the national interest is the preservation of the well being of the people, regardless of colour, religious belief or ethnic background. There are two ways that the national interest should be advanced, externally and internally. The more significant way in which the national interest should be advanced, largely relates to the interactions with outside factors, through foreign policy. When any government of Australia makes decisions in regard to foreign policy and relations with other countries, it is imperative that a test of the National interest be applied1. ...read more.

Middle

The Foreign and Trade Policy White paper of 2002 echoes this point, where it states that "Asian countries account for seven of our ten largest export markets and are simultaneously important sources of investment, major security partners and a growing source of skilled migrants. Asia's weaknesses, as well as its strengths, matter to Australia. South-East Asia is also our front line in the war against terrorism6". In focusing on the South East Asian region, Australia must not neglect its relationship with other parts of the globe. Downer's speech again provides support of this theory, when he states that the government "has sought to restore some of the balance in our foreign policy and to get away from an Asia-only focus to an Asia-first focus"7. This issue is of great importance, as given the sometimes-volatile political nature of some South East Asian nations (Indonesia, Malaysia), we cannot ensure that a situation similar to the East Asian economic crisis will not occur. The advancements in South East Asia should be achieved through negations in ASEAN, and the WTO. An example of this is the talks between the Australian and Japanese governments to promote a free-trade arrangement. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would be foolish to assume that any nation in the world could stand-alone against invasion from a determined enemy, or more importantly against the threat of terrorism. The most productive way to counteract terrorism and external threats is through the sharing of intelligence between the security agencies of a number of nations, and through bilateral or multilateral treaties, a perfect example of this being the re-enactment of the ANZUS treaty. 1 DFAT, "Advancing the National Interest: Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper", 15 April 2002, http:/www.dfat.gov.au/ani/index.html. 2 Hans Morgenthau, "Another 'Great Debate": the National Interest of the United States" in W.C Olsen and F.A Sondermann (eds), The Theory and Practice of International Relations, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J, 1996. p244. 3 Alan Renouf, The Frightened Country, Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1979 p1. 4 P.A. Reynolds, An Introduction to International Relations, 2nd edn, Longman, London, 1980, p49. 5 Downer, A. "Advancing the National Interest: Australia's Foreign Policy Challenge", Speech at the National Press Club, Canberra, 7 May 2002 http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/speeches/2002/020507 6 DFAT, "Advancing the National Interest: Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper", 15 April 2002 http://www.dfat.gov.au/ani/index.html 7 Downer, A. "Advancing the National Interest: Australia's Foreign Policy Challenge", Speech at the National Press Club, Canberra, 7 May 2002 http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/speeches/2002/020507 ...read more.

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