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Wednesday 21 Feb 2018 | 08:01 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 21 Feb 2018 | 08:01 | SYDNEY

Defence's counter-terrorism budget



22 April 2008 10:19

Sam's suggestion that counter-terrorism money from the ‘hard power’ Defence budget be reallocated to the ‘soft power’ DFAT budget because they reaped too much reward from the Howard Government’s focus on military solutions to the terrorist threat is a bit on the simplistic side.

While there was an immediate injection of funds to boost counter-terrorist capabilities (largely in Special Forces capabilities such as an East Coast Tactical Assault Group and an Incident Response Regiment), few could argue that they are not relevant today.  Much of the increased defence budget has gone into capability development, such as additional battalions for the Army, air combat and transport capability for the Air Force and amphibious capability for the navy. Little if any of this is tied to counter-terrorism. Rather, it is a function of the uncertain security environment we find ourselves in and a decision that we wish to have the ability to deploy and sustain military operations offshore.

By all means, increase the DFAT budget to allow the organisation to achieve the foreign policy goals the government sets, but don’t take the money from Defence because you think it got too much for counter-terrorism. Otherwise you run the risk of taking apples from one basket and putting oranges in the other.

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