Is the Rudd Government's new Defence White Paper more of the same or a significant departure from the previous strategic orthodoxy? More importantly, is it affordable, and will future governments commit to the level of spending necessary to ensure that the White Paper's ambitious goals for the Australian Defence Force are realised? What about the strategic judgements underpinning the decisions on spending and force structure? Is concern about China's burgeoning military power real, or merely Defence 'spin' designed to justify expensive acquisitions?
These questions were addressed by Professor Alan Dupont in his analysis of what the Rudd Government claims is the most comprehensive and far-reaching reform of defence planning ever attempted in Australia. Presented at the Lowy Institute, May 2009