My view from a low bough.

ED: This is the way I see it.

Wednesday marked one year since the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) highlighted that our defence capabilities were inadequate for the nation’s most challenging security landscape in 80 years. The journey to this point spans multiple administrations, but the current discord between the Defence establishment and the government is unprecedented.

The situation is dire. While the Air Force is relatively sound in terms of platforms, there’s a looming shortage of munitions due to delays in acquiring long-range missiles. The Navy operates with an aging fleet. Additionally, the Army lacks clarity in its role, making strategic planning difficult.

  • Australia, despite record budgets and government commitment, is recognized as unprepared for potential conflicts.
  • Various Western nations, including the UK and Germany, are struggling to maintain military power against potential peer competitors like Russia.
  • The US, once a dominant force, faces challenges both domestically and internationally, affecting Western strategic posture.
  • Autocratic powers such as Russia, China, and Iran are strengthening their military capacities.
  • Australia faces challenges in defence capabilities, highlighted by personnel shortages and outdated equipment.
  • Despite significant military spending, tangible capability for the Australian Defence Force remains limited.
  • Australia’s engagement in “wars of choice” has raised questions about its capacity to respond to conflicts.
  • Experts warn that Australia’s defence capabilities are insufficient against determined adversaries.
  • Australia’s policymakers must realistically assess the deteriorating security environment and increase long-term defence spending.
  • The government’s shift towards a “Focused Force” strategy raises concerns about the lack of clearly defined objectives.
  • The reliance on future technological advancements for defence is uncertain.
  • Defending the nation in an era of great power competition will require significant resources and acceptance of the challenges.

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