Successful defence white papers have to find the right resting place between four sets of demands: politics; strategy and policy; military capability; and money.
That’s what makes them so interesting, and also so hard to do well.
How do those factors play out in terms of likely considerations for the Morrison government?
In saying that white papers are political, I make no negative judgement. All complex policy is political in the sense that an elected government is making choices which, it hopes, will get it re-elected as well as do the right thing for the country.
Policy is inherently political. As John Howard used to say, good policy is usually good politics.
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