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Executive summary

  • The ADF needs to be prepared for four main tasks: defence of Australian sovereign territory; assist larger international forces; counter-insurgency; and disaster relief.
  • With rising demand for land, resources and food, Australia is at greater risk of threats from major powers.
  • The ADF needs to continue developing the skills of operating effectively in the Middle East and South-west Asia.
  • The ADF needs to study and work with the forces of our allies, especially in the matter of command and control for each of its tasks.

Policy recommendations

Australia has to use the post-Afghanistan period to create a foundation on which we can base our security over the decades ahead. The ADF needs to focus on raising the costs of major power aggression, while sustaining counter insurgency, coalition and disaster relief skills. Significantly higher spending will be required to ensure national security, though building the public case is a task for Government leaders not the Defence Department or the ADF.

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