In a new Lowy Institute Analysis launched today, Nonresident Fellow Professor Alan Dupont argues that successive Australian governments have failed to clearly define the nation's defence strategy.

Full Spectrum Defence: Re-thinking the fundamentals of Australian defence strategy argues that Australia needs a defence strategy that counters threats across multiple domains, is based on more diverse regional defence relationships and is underpinned by better risk assessments and defence acquisition processes.

'Australia's inability to clearly and succinctly define its defence strategy is a perennial failing. Recent defence white papers are part of the problem: they have lacked coherence, their messaging has been poor, and many of their underlying assumptions and planning practices are questionable,' Dupont said.

Key points of the Analysis include:

  • Australia's current defence strategy suffers from six major defects.
  • The forthcoming Defence White Paper is an opportunity for the Government to produce a clear statement of Australia's defence and military strategies and their principal objectives.
  • Australia needs an ADF that is more versatile, can counter threats across all domains, including space and cyber space, has more diverse defence relationships, and has better processes for risk management, defence acquisition and mobilisation.

The Analysis is already being widely reported in The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald. It is available on the Lowy Institute website. Stay tuned to The Interpreter for comments from some of Australia's leading defence and national security analysts. 

Photo courtesy of Australian Defence Image Library.