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Scenario 2 in Indo Pacific Futures 2051: Living with Strong Steady States

Denis Bright continues discussion of three scenarios for the future of Australia’s international relations in 2051.  

Scenario 2 is the steady state view of international relations. Incremental changes have occurred as the US shares its strategic influence with other responsible middle powers like Australia, China, India, Japan and Indonesia. The old Australia-US Alliance has been re-branded as the New Coalition of the Willing (New Coalition).  

Once positive change is the formation of a unified and Unified Korea thanks to a pragmatic Five Power Agreement as the momentum towards armed conflict had to be avoided.

This is probably the most likely scenario on current trends in both Australian and US Politics if humanity survives the Trump Presidency. This possibility was reinforced in 2020 by the return of the US to its former role as bastion of mainstream modernism within contemporary globalization with opportunities for new power sharing.

Hopes for the militarization of the Indo Pacific on terms favourable to US strategic realists were certainly on the rise in 2017 as the Aircraft Carrier the USS Ronald Reagan headed off to Japan from its participation in the Talisman Sabre Exercises in Central Queensland and a goodwill trip to Brisbane.

The Twenty-Year War on Terrorism (2001-21) had ended favourably. Strong steady states across the Indo Pacific were eager to do more to stabilize the Indo-Pacific Hemisphere. Even China wanted to throw in its lot with the new shared hegemony. Its leadership was still basking in its role as co-facilitator of the neutralization of the Korean Peninsula.

With the strategic profile of the US reduced across the Indo-Pacific Hemisphere, the Australian electorate clung to Centre-right governments with their high market-led growth strategies and proactive foreign policies of working with new great and powerful friends.

Political instability was a recurrent challenge in Papua-New Guinea (PNG) and Melanesia. Freedom of migration remains an unresolved issue and a source of tension in these underdeveloped regions adjacent to Australia.

The Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons did not receive endorsement from the nuclear weapons states.

Australia was now spending 5 per cent of its GDP on defence and working co-operatively with key regional strategic players from Israel to India, Japan and Indonesia.

Understandably, Australia was pleased to stay under the nuclear umbrella which was shared equitably to the most trustworthy members of the US Alliance.

High defence spending to control regional tensions and internal regional unrest was still an imperative right up to 2051. Australia’s centre-right republican leaders eulogize our manifest destiny across the Indo-Pacific Hemisphere.

Close to Australia, naval patrols are still active to control illegal migration in the fine traditions of John Howard.

Australia was also particularly active in assisting regional governments to control social unrest and the enforcement of a Pax Australiana with training programmes for military and police operations particularly in PNG.

Deployment of Australian troops to the region was an ongoing possibility and defence units always on stand-by for deployment in the Near North and across Melanesia.

Changes of government do occur very occasionally in the Australian Republic but bipartisan commitments are articles of faith for the media and the wider society.

Welcome to the Brave New World of predictable Steady States across the Indo-Pacific Hemisphere. May our republican force be with you in these peaceful waters of our strategic seas whose various entry points are carefully patrolled by the New Coalition.

Tomorrow … Scenario 3 in Indo Pacific Futures 2051: Reaching for Aquarius

Denis Bright (pictured) is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization.


  1. Mia

    With Donald Trump all fired up today regarding North Korea, it is not certain that humanity will survive his ‘antics’ .
    If we do, imagine the potential for damage to our independence if we do deals with nuclear weapon states like Israel and India and others.

  2. Leila Smith

    This is a much more positive outlook for the world, including Australia. Hopefully Donald Trumps antics today won’t become reality that would bring about the possibility of a Third World War.
    Look forward with interest to the third scenario Denis

  3. Paul

    Thanks Denis! May the tale continue tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the next scenario! Hope there is something aspirational for our new republic!

  4. Boris

    This scenario is a horrible culmination of years of LNP Government. An Australian republic as a want to be power broker in our region. Will our President be protected by a Ceremonial National Guard and cut off in a Palace from ordinary Australians like President Macron of France with his wife Brigette installed as first Lady in a special suite with ladies in waiting? ? Thanks for the warning Denis

  5. Tess

    Thanks Denis. This scenario is worth resisting!

  6. Jay1977

    Hope tomorrow brings better scenarios. These LNP scenarios are very depressing.

  7. Pat

    Interesting times, let’s hope the US sees some sense and doesn’t inflame the situation with reckless commentary.

  8. brisbanej

    Thanks Denis, scenario two is definitely a more positive outcome. Looking forward to reading the next chapter.

  9. Rubio@Coast

    Being a want-to-be steady state has brought lots of financial burdens: Do Australians want these burdens at the expense of more valid republican goals like social justice and sustainable development for indigenous communities?

  10. Mia

    The LNP’s criticism of Donald Trump is just rhetoric. Australia is selling off its sovereignty on the delicate issue of a peace settlement for the Korean people.

  11. adriko555

    No matter who the president of USA is, no matter what mistakes USA does, this world still believes that things may get worst or without hope if USA doesn’t intervene for the final touch… Can you imagine how the world would look today if the column above (in Denis’s graph) that shows the country with the most military spending was in red or turquoise colour..?

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