The MRH was expected to enter service with the Army in In May , the Government decided to cancel the acquisition of self-propelled howitzers and instead announced the acquisition of two additional towed howitzer batteries in October Defence industry The Defence White Paper dedicated six pages to procurement, sustainment and industry support. However, the Government believed that industry preferred more up-to-date information and therefore promised to update the DCP electronically every six months; a promise they almost fulfilled with five revised DCPs and one Defence Capability Guide being published from to In any event, even a re-elected government might face new challenges, requiring a reassessment of key capability programs.
The —10 Budget, released on 12 May just ten days after the Defence White Paper , indicated that the 2. With no tangible targets to be met prior to , the question of having enough money is hypothetical. Independent of the budget allocations, there was the question of whether the Department of Defence had the capacity to make the level of savings envisaged in the SRP.
Possibly, the Defence White Paper was seen by the Rudd Government as setting a broad framework, with the details of how this was to be fulfilled, to be refined every five years. However, if that was the intention, it was not specifically stated.
As it turned out, the financial underpinning of the program, immediately weakened by revisions in the subsequent federal budget, could not survive the competing pressures originating in the repercussions of the global financial crisis.
The Defence White Paper was in many ways an ambitious document. Department of Defence, audit of the defence budget report prepared for the Minister for Defence by G Pappas , April , accessed 13 January J Faulkner Minister for Defence , Defence budget audit released , media release, accessed 13 January Australian Government, Response to the defence budget audit , Department of Defence, November , accessed 13 January ; Australian Government, The strategic reform program: delivering force , Department of Defence, , accessed 13 January J Fitzgibbon Minister for Defence , New defence white paper , media release, 22 February , accessed 13 January Department of Defence, Defence annual report —08, op.
Australian Government, The response to the report of the defence procurement and sustainment review Mortimer Review , Department of Defence, , accessed 13 January J Fitzgibbon Minister for Defence , Budget — defence budget overview , media release, 12 May , accessed 13 January Department of Defence, Defence White Paper, op.
Department of Defence, Defence White Paper, ibid. Finally this paper will survey the implications of current Australian defence strategy for future defence planning. Moreover, this practice is not new, nor is it unusual in an Australian context, given that prior to , the highest level of strategic guidance provided to Australian defence policymakers was contained within the aforementioned Strategic Basis papers, also classified documents. It is produced regularly between Defence White Papers to provide detailed, updated guidance to Defence and develop the strategic priorities to shape the next White Paper.
It guides subordinate strategies and plans for force structure, force posture and preparedness, international engagement and critical enabling functions. Supported by intelligence input, it analyses the future strategic environment, in both the short- term and the long-term 20 years or more , identifying the contingencies Australia might face and their implications for defence planning.
However, as already surveyed, there are many reasons driving the lack of strategic detail within declaratory policy and a lack of publically accessible strategic detail should not be conflated with a lack of defence strategy per se. In order to better understand some of the reasons driving the lack of strategic detail within declaratory policy, it is necessary to examine the subtle but important distinctions that exist between policy and strategy.
The first computation is that government sets policy and its overarching framework is political, meaning it first and foremost represents the interests of the political party who oversees the drafting of the paper and tables it in parliament.
It is a document approved by a political cabinet and reflects at least in part the ideological perspectives and internal political settlement of the party in power. Hawke Govt. ALP - None released. Since the Fraser government's release of the first White Paper in , each successive change of government and governing political party and leadership has resulted in the release of a new White Paper, the exception being , when Kevin Rudd regained office.
In this instance, the former Rudd government had previously released its own White Paper in , and the second Rudd term lasted less than 12 months.
Notably, this forecast increased defence expenditure never eventuated. In contrast to policy, strategy — or more accurately strategic guidance as opposed to declaratory strategy, which is officially announced strategy promulgated by key government actors in discursive or published acts - is inherently institutional, reflecting the institutional interests, preferences and biases of the bodies tasked with providing strategic guidance to government.
These same orthodoxies saw the DOD continue to focus on perceived high—level threats to national security and display a bureaucratic inertia resistant to change resulting in marked differences between declaratory and operational policy over the period examined.
Although such concerns are hardly new - with 35 significant Defence reviews having been conducted since the Tange review, in addition to several supplementary Defence reviews - the First Principles Review noted the following problems as driving factors underpinning the current review: 21 Concerns expressed by a number of external stakeholders to the review team consistently portrayed Defence as inward—looking, complicated and difficult to manage.
Hence, inferring defence strategy from publically available policy and strategy documents is fraught with complications, not the least of which is navigating the political and institutional orthodoxies, preferences and biases which inherently and unavoidably influence declaratory policy.
Regardless, we are left to infer strategy from other indicators, including operational policy, defence force posture and defence acquisitions. Wars and lower—level conflicts have never been a rational exercise in economic thinking in the past and it is difficult to see why they should suddenly become so in the future. The reasons states enter into conflict are complex and explanations such as those offered by Leahy, Gutheries and Layton are too simple to account for the actions of states such as Russia and China.
As Minister Fairbairn acknowledged: There is a duality in the requirements of a national Australian defence policy: on the one hand, we need defence equipment and manning giving Australian services an increasing measure of self-reliance and ability to act alone in certain situations.
On the other, we seek an intensification of our defence understandings with the United States and with our northern neighbours in the expectation that the United States will, as pledged to the Prime Minister, Mr McMahon since the Nixon Doctrine was promulgated, provide the foundation of Australian security against threats or actual attack going beyond Australian capacity to deal with alone However, on 30 May , the Whitlam Government tabled its own defence policy statement in Parliament.
Other policy announcements included the development of a volunteer Army of up to 34, personnel, which was expected to be reached by , with a view to assessing the need for a further 2, personnel that same year.
G Brown, ibid. A Tange, Defence policy-making: a close-up view, a personal memoir, op. While the Australian Defence Review had recognised the need for Australia to move towards a policy of self-reliance, the geopolitical environment had significantly changed by , prompting greater emphasis on a self-reliant posture for Australia. This was a significant change in practice as previously, capabilities had been considered by the needs of each individual Service.
However, half the money was dedicated to personnel costs including recruitment; training; retraining and accommodation; major capital equipment acquisitions and defence facilities, with around 22 per cent of expenditure allocated to operational and maintenance costs. This allows the services rather than Defence to control procurement. Hayden noted that the P3-C Orion aircraft would not be fully operational for at least another three years as anti-submarine avionics needed to be fitted.
Additionally, although the number of operational Oberon Horner, op. The white paper did not, however, discuss the strategic objective for this plan. It did not, however, provide a balanced explanation of how Australian military forces should be positioned to best respond to any of the potential threats identified in the paper. National defence planning must be developed from and justified in terms of a strategic basis—that is, the official Government view of the future threat environment.
A second requirement of rational planning is an equally clear statement of strategic doctrine: that is, how and where the threats are to be met, by nuclear weapons or conventional warfare, on their beaches or ours? He went on to write: Increased [technological] performance becomes synonymous with increased effectiveness … [and] planning under these circumstances, has meant an inexorable movement up the technology ladder.
There is nothing in logic nor in Over the Five Year Defence Program, the strength of the permanent Army was expected to expand by 2, personnel to a total of 34, and the Army Reserves were to increase by around 5, Cited in Defence White Paper, op. The white paper set a range of 2. The outcomes from these reviews are discussed below as they made important contributions to the final content of the Defence White Paper. It was tabled by the Government in Parliament on 3 June For much of our force structure this issue has not been comprehensively addressed.
The Review could obtain no material centrally endorsed by the higher Defence structure which explained, for example, the strategic rationale for a destroyer Navy, three fighter squadrons, six Regular Army battalions and an Army Reserve target of 30 Few of the documents made available to the Review examine, in any rigorous, analytical way, the size of forces we should have for credible contingencies and as a contribution to the expansion base.
Most focus on justifying the present force structure rather than estimating what our strategic circumstances require. The key difficulty here is that the Department and the ADF do not agree on the appropriate level of conflict against which we should structure the Defence Force.
Enhanced intelligence and surveillance capabilities 2.
Conclusion Australian defence strategy remains unclear from the declaratory policy examined in this paper.