One of the core beliefs of the Liberal Party of Australia is “… that our nation has a constructive role to play in maintaining world peace and democracy through alliances with other free nations”.
Success in this area comes from a base of domestic stability, a unified and resilient population, good government, a strong economy, all within strong borders protected by a capable defence force. If you say it fast it sounds simple, but it is becoming harder to achieve in this globalised world.
The Liberal Party belief in peace and democracy is only relevant if in fact there is an external threat to our nation and an internal security threat to our society more than normal criminality. This is a key question because if you do not believe that such a threat exists, then there is no reason to take scarce funds away from schools, roads and hospitals and spend them on external defence and internal security, nor to burden citizens with extra security measures.
So, is there a threat to this country that justifies what we spend on defence and security?
I will discuss external security in a later post. On internal security, in particular countering terrorism, the threat is fairly obvious.
the use of terror to coerce societies is as old as society itself
Terrorism is not new, the use of terror to coerce societies is as old as society itself, and both state and federal governments have a responsibility in this area. We see many other nations that have been the subject of terrorist attacks around the world and, in the recent past, we have been the subject of four terrorist attacks, small by world scale, and 12 attacks which our security services tell us have been foiled before they were carried out. Our security and intelligence services at the federal level were starved of funds and consistent direction during the Rudd-Gillard years and one of the first things that the Coalition Government did post-2013 was to restore their funding and to give clear direction, and this continues to today.