Australia and the United States face great power competition with China due to a narrowing of gaps between them—economically and militarily—in the Indo-Pacific region. This narrowing of gaps should not be a surprise to anyone who did not expect China to be content with static growth and technological inferiority. Great power competition is actually about a rise in parity among competitors. The “edge” previously held by Australia and the United States over China has become smaller; therefore “wins” will be by very thin margins. This means Australia and the United States need to find new advantages to widen their thin margins of excellence and maintain security. This paper will discuss why the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda offers an edge, and how implementing respective national action plans for WPS and partnering widely and strongly with other Indo-Pacific countries on WPS can offer such new advantages.
Photo: U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn/Released