Security Challenges
Volume 12, No.1 (2016)

2016 Defence White Paper - The Future of Aerospace Forces

The 2016 Defence White Paper is an impressive document that is a significant improvement on past White Papers. At the aerospace platform and individual system level the White Paper is mature and balanced, and clearly the result of a more comprehensive Force Structure Review than conducted for recent White Papers. There is a clear recognition that the ability of the force to operate effectively will be dependent on the level of force integration. The acknowledgement that funding cuts in recent years have led to under-investment in the enablers essential to building a joint and networked force is critical, and the increased emphasis on addressing enabling functions is welcome. However, with respect to enablers I conclude that the government has not recognised the scale of the enabler challenge and lacks frank analysis of associated risks. You cannot remediate a problem if you are not prepared to fully acknowledge and analyse it; the ADF cannot deploy and operate aerospace forces without resilient enablers.

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