What will Australia do to defend rules-based order?

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By Sam Roggeveen*

Australia faces “the biggest foreign and security policy challenge of all: defending ourselves and our interests without the help of the United States”.

Famously, at least among policy wonks, the 2016 Defence White Paper makes 56 references to the “rules-based order”, which is described there as a “core strategic interest” for Australia and defence policy. But what does that actually mean, in concrete terms? What actions do we take in support of that order which we wouldn’t take if we were not wedded to it?

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