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The Government brought forward delivery of the new White Paper by one year from its original 2014 timetable to address a number of significant international and domestic developments influencing Australia’s national security and defence posture internationally and domestically that have emerged since the 2009 Defence White Paper.

The White Paper considers in detail the implications of the changing strategic circumstances in our region for Australia's national security and defence, including:

  • The ongoing strategic shift to our region, the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean Rim, particularly the shift of economic weight to our region;
  • The US re-balance to the Asia Pacific and Australia's enhanced practical cooperation with the US pursuant to our 60-year-old Alliance relationship;
  • The ADF's operational drawdown from Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands;
  • Australia's own Force Force Posture Review (923)- the first in a quarter of a century; and
  • The ongoing adverse effects of the Global Financial Crisis, which have continued to have a significant impact on the global economy.

The White Paper addresses in detail the implications of these developments for Australia's national security and defence settings, It outlines Australia’s strategy for maintaining a highly capable and credible ADF, our contribution to the region’s long-term security, and how Australia will seize the opportunities and manage the challenges in our strategic environment.

Together with the Government’s National Security Strategy and Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, the 2013 Defence White Paper provides a comprehensive strategy for assuring Australia’s future security and prosperity in our diverse and challenging region.

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