The Australian Defence Force and broader national security community face a capability gap. – Not for equipment but in achieving and maintaining an ‘intellectual edge’.
The intellectual edge, manifest in individuals and institutions, will be critical for maintaining western military prowess in a future where Australia’s military capabilities will often be smaller than adversaries and only occasionally technologically dominant.
The convergence of information and biological technologies may radically reshape education, particularly in the Professional Military Education sphere.
The ‘strategy’ for building the intellectual edge contains three components: institutional, educational and technological. At the intersection of these three areas lies an adaptive, continuous and accessible future approach.
Defence should adopt ‘the intellectual edge’ as a policy goal in the next Defence White Paper and develop a strategic vision that defines and resources its required outcomes out to 2030.
Capability development in Defence be evolved to recognise military education as a key military capability.
Expand Defence’s current level of research and development, and innovation funding, for new methods of learning, enhanced human-machine teaming education and ways to expand the accessibility of military education.
Build capacity to re-educate and re-skill Defence personnel more rapidly to account for accelerating technological change.
Defence should continue to enhance accessibility of military education to service deployed, remote personnel and organisations.
Continue to enhance the quality of Defence’s partnering with Australian universities for the purpose of a broad education for military personnel.
Enhance Defence collaboration with allies on sharing information on best-practice military education.