Although the United States and its allies “face an unprecedented range of threats,” they are “neither psychologically nor materially prepared for these threats,” Shearer, who was an adviser to prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, said Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He warned that Washington and its friends are too confident in their own power and haven’t devoted enough resources to creating the military force needed to defend against the expanding range of threats.
“There is a complacency in our society about the threats we face,” Shearer cautioned. “Our alliances are not keeping pace owing to inertia, resource constraints and internal challenges.”
“The US alliance with Thailand remains in the deep freeze…while President [Rodrigo] Duterte has declared the Philippines’ separation from the United States,” Shearer also told a conference audience Monday.
President Park Geun-hye of South Korea has been a strong supporter of her country’s alliance with the United States, but her scandal-tainted political future is now uncertain, Shearer explained.
“The implications of the political crisis engulfing President Park's administration in South Korea are unclear,” he acknowledged.
Shearer joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies this year as senior adviser on Asia-Pacific security and will be director of the Washington, DC think tank’s new project on alliances and American leadership.