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Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030

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Defence planning is one area of public policy where decisions taken in one decade have the potential to affect Australias sovereignty and freedom of action for decades to come. The Government must make careful judgements about Australias long-term defence needs. Ultimately, armed forces exist to provide Governments with the option to use force. Maintaining a credible defence capability is a crucial contributor to our security, as it can serve to deter potential adversaries from using force against us or our allies, partners and neighbours. It is the Governments policy that the main role of the Australian Defence Force ADF should continue to be an ability to engage in conventional combat. The ADF must also be prepared to deal with intra-state conflict, assessed to be the most common form of conflict in the period to 2030. Australias armed forces must also be able to contend with non-state global actors. Defences vital role in supporting domestic security and emergency response efforts will continue. We need to have a clear view of how much strategic risk Australia is prepared to bear, and hence how much military power we should seek to develop. The more Australia aspires to have greater strategic influence beyond our immediate neighbourhood - the ability to exert policy influence that is underpinned by military power - the greater the level of spending on defence we need to undertake. If we want to back up strategic influence with military power, we have to be confident that the security benefits outweigh the costs. The Government has decided that Australias defence policy should continue to be founded on the principle of self-reliance in direct defence of Australia and our strategic interests, with a capacity to do more when required, consistent with those strategic interests that we might share, and within the limits of our resources. This entails the maintenance of alliances and international defence relationships that enhance our security.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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