More of the same is no answer

By Peter Hunter*

Andrew has Davies argued that the idea of ‘balance’ in the ADF’s force structure is lazy thinking. He’s not the only one concerned by outmoded constructs like this, as we’ve seen from Peter Jennings and Michael Shoebridge. And at the recent Defence + Industry conference in Canberra, where the defence secretary and senior ADF leaders emphasised the importance of Australia’s Pacific step-up strategy, questions arose about what our military forces can offer to government in an era of constant contest.

The answers won’t come from more-of-the-same prescriptions for fixing our security challenges by acquiring more of this aircraft or fewer of that ship, as the proponents of platform-centric thinking argue. These linear arguments miss the point. Legacy models that focus on destroying targets and moving arrows on maps are being overtaken by approaches that integrate the elements of national power to produce effects that compel desired political outcomes.

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