A RAAF P-8A Poseidon (Image: AAP/CPL Craig Barrett, Royal Australian Air Force)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes conflict between Russia and Ukraine is “inevitable”. Boris Johnson says Europe is on the brink of its biggest war since 1945. Joe Biden believes the attack could come within days.

Even if that invasion doesn’t ever materialise, it’s no coincidence that as Russian aggression on the Ukrainian border has escalated, so has the Morrison government’s hairy-chested rhetoric on national security. Despite confirming Australia won’t be sending troops, the government has used the crisis as an opportunity to convince voters that a Labor government won’t keep them safe in a volatile world.

While the conflict is a long way from Australian shores, and hardly at the forefront of voters’ minds, it gives the government a springboard for a khaki election and an excuse to talk tough on the other big scary foreign power: China.