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What is Talisman Sabre and Why Is It Important?

Talisman Sabre just recently occurred in Australia this past August, and it marks the tenth execution of the exercise. Talisman Sabre is a biennial training activity that occurs between the Australian Defense Force and the United States military, and this year over 13 nations participated.  


Exercise Talisman Sabre was developed to prepare and test forces in their abilities to plan and conduct combined, multinational military operations and test the interoperability between allied nations. Not only does the exercise allow nations to reflect on the strengths of their alliances, but also allows for hands-on, inter-military cooperation like no other joint exercise. 


Over two weeks, more than 34,000 military personnel joined forces and completed a series of complex land, air, sea and space training operations that tested their skills in combat readiness across nations. These exercises and the continued execution of Talisman Sabre allow for relationships between nations to be strengthened and ensure that alliances remain strong. The exercise allows for the continued promotion of security and peace in the Indo-Pacific. It also furthers readiness for the nuanced conflicts and security challenges of our time. 


While this exercise is simply a demonstration of interoperability and a testament to allied strength, there is something to be said of its preemptive nature for rising conflicts. The United States and Australian partnerships with their allies send an unmistakable message of willpower and resolve to maintain peace and security. With participating nations’ commitments to combined, joint operations, the exercise is a clear demonstration of deterrence in the form of alliances and cooperation. 

As conflicts increase and tensions run high internationally, deterrence is necessary and can send a very clear message to malign actors if they continue to choose paths that are disrespectful on the global level. 


As the Russo-Ukrainian war barrels on, and tensions rise in the Indo-Pacific, it's imperative that exercises like Talisman Sabre act as targeted demonstrations. While many have come to question the effectiveness of NATO as it comes up on its 75th anniversary, it provides good deterrence against Russia. Although the Russian forces have vehemently attacked NATO's transfer of arms and equipment to Ukraine, they have not once touched NATO territory. This example of “proximity deterrence” can be replicated through Talisman Sabre for nations in the Indo-Pacific.


For this reason, Talisman Sabre is a crucial exercise to continue partnerships and alliances between militaries and to act as a continued demonstration of joint military capabilities.

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