Predictably, the study calls for higher defense spending. From Dave DeCamp at antiwar.com:
The United States Studies Centre (USSC), a research center based at the University of Sydney in Australia, released a study titled, “Averting Crisis: American Strategy, Military Spending and Collective Defence in the Indo-Pacific.” The study makes the argument that the US would not be able to defeat China in a military confrontation in the Indo-Pacific.
The USSC is funded by the Australian government, over the past five years one percent of their budget came from the US government and eight percent came from “US-based foundations, companies or individuals.”
The three researchers whose names are on the study are part of the USSC’s Foreign Policy and Defence program. The program lists its partners as the Australian government, The US defense company Northrop Grumman, the French defense company Thales and the US State Department.
The study says the US is disadvantaged in the region because of, “ongoing wars in the Middle East, budget austerity, underinvestment in advanced military capabilities and the scale of America’s liberal order-building agenda.”
The researchers often cite the 2018 Department of Defense’s National Defense Strategy (NDS). The NDS share the researcher’s concerns with respect to the Indo-Pacific region and shows a desire to prioritize the threats of China and Russia. The NDS says, “China is leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce neighboring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific region to their advantage.”