Defence White Paper: French Pacific power ignored

The Australian Defence White Paper 2013 was not the only such document to be released recently: France’s 2013 White Paper on Defence and National Security appeared the same week. But, as far as strategic perceptions of France in our region are concerned, there the symmetry ends. I looked at the last French and Australian DWPs in 2008 and 2009 respectively, observing that each was remarkable for the lack of reference to France’s South Pacific presence, notwithstanding the fact that France rules three Pacific territories, with its largest and wealthiest, New Caledonia, just two hours flying time from Brisbane. This time, France has redressed the omission, perhaps overly so, attributing specific strategic value to its South Pacific territories” [read more in this post by Fisher to Lowy’s Interpreter blog].

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