Australia’s New Defence Policy: A ‘Hedging Policy’ against unacceptable risks

It is interesting to see the global reaction to both the Australian White Paper (WP) and our 45% troop increase for Afghanistan.

We are one of the few countries that accept that Defence, unfortunately, is a zero sum game and that on the risk management chart low likelihood (state based conflict) + catastrophic effect (loss of Australian territory/way of life) = medium risk therefore this WP is about openly expressing and funding a hedging policy for the worst case scenario.

It also highlights, unlike NATO, that the United States’ support can not be guaranteed so we aim to be nationally self reliant as much as possible.  The conventional deterrence our new subs and air force bring has been described colloquially as the “rip your arm off concept.” That is, even is we lose the other side has been so badly maimed that it becomes a pyrrhic victory for the aggressor!

I'm sure most European countries are probably appalled at such a concept, but the bottom line is the security of the state is the ultimate responsibility a government must provide for its citizens. The Australian Government is not prepared to outsource our Defence.