BLUF

Germany, the EU and NATO have expressed an interest in developing closer defence cooperation ties with Australia.

Summary

As the world’s fourth-largest economy, Germany’s renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific and on maintaining a rules-based international order should enable Australia to develop a new strategic partnership with Germany. In 2021, the Deutsche Marine plans to send naval vessels to patrol Indian Ocean trade routes and wants to embed liaison officers aboard Australian naval vessels. Germany’s Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific covers security, climate, the economy, the stability of the rules-based international order, digital connectivity, and people-to-people links. The German Defence Minister described Australia as a ‘rock of stability’ with values that Germany shares. Both Australia and Germany have committed to developing more robust supply chains. Nicholson notes though  that nations across the Indo-Pacific are updating their military forces and employing disruptive technologies. Such grey-zone tactics sit somewhere between peace and war and include cyberattacks, foreign interference, and economic pressure. Consider how grey-zone tactics might disrupt Australia’s supply lines.