Security Challenges
Volume 16, No.2 (2020)

Pursuing the Total Force: Strategic Guidance for the Australian Defence Force Reserves in Defence White Papers Since 1976

Recent events including the re-election of the Morrison government in July 2019 and speeches from the new Minister of Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, and the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, have added to the discussion on a new Australian Defence White Paper (DWP). Proponents argue that a new DWP is required for reasons including a changing strategic situation, emerging interstate conflict short of war (called grey zone operations), great power tensions and the diminishing power of the United States. Furthermore, new technology including Artificial Intelligence, autonomous systems, hypersonic missiles and cyber weapons may change the character of the next war from those fought in the past. These factors support a rethink on Defence policy and the force structure and capability development priorities that flow from it.

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