Australian defence spending overkill

An artist’s impression of the of the Royal Australian Navy’s Future submarine.

By Victor Abramowicz*

Last month, during an Indo-Pacific defence conference held in Perth, former Australian defence minister Kim Beazley and present Chief of the Australian Defence Force General Angus Campbell both observed that almost all of Australia’s strategic commentators agree an increased defence budget is required.

While there may be a consensus on increasing spending, such calls contend that the Australian Defence Force requires greater resourcing to enhance its capabilities to meet threats. However, such improvements can arguably be funded instead by focusing on another aspect of Campbell’s remarks. He noted Defence must ensure it make best use of its available finances. Indeed, billions of dollars would become available if the Department were more stringent in considering whether its acquisitions are “fit for purpose”.

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