This paper examines the prospect and utility of closer defence cooperation for both Canada and Australia. It reflects on commonalities and like-mindedness, particularly as they concern regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Forward-looking measures are presented for Canadian and Australian defence policy makers to capitalize on each other’s strengths and similarities. Cooperation could enhance both countries’ ability to engage in the region, their mutual defence capabilities and their engagement with the great powers. With this in mind, closer bilateral engagement should be considered in three areas: bolstering regional engagement, cost-saving measures and enhancing engagement with great powers.

Part of Series

The three papers in this series, co-published with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), are part of a two-year project between CIGI and ASPI exploring the possibilities for Canadian and Australian cooperation in promoting strengthened security and regional governance in the Asia-Pacific. The project will culminate in a special report that will contribute to discussions at the February 2014 Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Melbourne. The report will be presented later in 2014 to both Australian and Canadian governments.
  • John Blaxland is a historian and senior fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, who writes about Asia-Pacific military, intelligence and security affairs.