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By Christine M. Leah (auth.)

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Sample text

As discussed in the preceding chapter, technological evolutions and revolutions impact significantly on our understanding of core concepts of strategy. Long-range and intercontinental missiles had not yet made their appearance in the Asia-Pacific. The only strategic strike capability was the long-range bomber. ”65 The meaning of this concept was not elaborated, and no explanation was given of what this meant in practice. 67 Indeed, in addition to their use in jungle warfare, officials were also considering nuclear weapons for the defense of Australia.

The Indian nuclear explosion made Australia feel more vulnerable in that it raised concerns over the future of proliferation and the nuclear order in Asia. As a Department of Defense report noted, [India’s nuclear explosion and acquisition of nuclear weapons] . . are not in themselves necessarily a threat to Australia, and this is likely to be true of nuclear development by a number of countries. But with wider proliferation our defense situation would have seriously deteriorated in two primary respects [underline in original].

Although Indonesia signed the 1963 test ban treaty, the Indonesian government has virtually repudiated it in recent months by stating 32 ● Australia and the Bomb that the nations with nuclear capability are using that capability to blackmail non-nuclear nations, a situation perpetuated by the test ban treaty. S. 7 Still, until Soeharto took power in 1967, the Department of External Affairs and the defense establishment were very much concerned about Soekarno’s worldview and its implications for Australia’s security.

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