Many commentators have expressed dismay at the recent cuts to defence spending. The fear is that the government’s long-term commitment to strengthen Australia’s defence has evaporated. To add to their concerns, there are few signs that the opposition is any more willing to do so should it win power.
But how much does it really matter? Would Australia’s security be compromised if we settled on a less ambitious plan for our defence force than that set out in the 2009 Defence White Paper? In this Policy Analysis, Mark Thomson argues that Australia can get by with less.