NATO’s game-changing commitment to boost high-readiness ­forces will transform the European balance of power. The opposite is occurring here.

NATO’s new strategic roadmap is a game changer. Once a strategic partner, Russia is now considered the main threat to the expanding alliance. Equally important is the belated recognition of China as a strategic challenge to the alliance’s “interests, security and values”. The commitment to boost military spending and bolster its high-readiness forces from 40,000 to “well over 300,000” will tilt the European balance of power in favour of democracies. But the opposite is occurring in our strategic neighbourhood, where maritime power will be decisive.

Slowly, but surely, the balance of naval forces in the Pacific is shifting against the democracies, presaging an end to a long period of Western dominance of an ocean which is the maritime gateway to northern Australia and carries most of our trade.

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