ISSUE 190 : Mar/Apr - 2013 - Australian Defence Force Journal

adfjournal.adc.edu.au

ISSUE 190 : Mar/Apr - 2013 - Australian Defence Force Journal

will mean that Defence may only be able to provide selective (and perhaps even limited)contributions to government requests in the short term.This places significant risks on Defence’s ability to retain a preparedness posture which caneffectively function as a basis for force expansion via mobilisation. The self-reliant defence ofAustralia remains Defence’s raison d’être and provides the focus to mitigate these challenges.Succumbing to the effects of ‘disaster myopia’ and dismissing Defence’s ‘black swan’ exposesthe nation to potentially catastrophic consequences in the future due to short-sightedness inthe present.The challenges facing Defence are significant and have enormous implications for Australiaand the region. Commentary that simply focuses on capability types and platforms or calls fora larger or smaller number of capability platforms, without being grounded in a preparednessand mobilisation context, degrades the debate into a series of simultaneous monologuescharacterised by negative proof arguments. Such discourse does not allow for an effectiveevaluation of the merits of one perspective over others.Grounding the debate within a common framework, at the very least, facilitates a morepragmatically valuable exchange of ideas that can be more effectively evaluated. Answers tothe hard questions facing Defence can benefit from the passionate debate, both within andoutside the Department, but only if it is framed within the harsh boundaries of fiscal andstrategic realities. Moreover, the more that these debates are framed by the broad principles ofpreparedness and mobilisation, the richer and more pertinent the strategic discourse will be.Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Stevens is the Deputy Director Strategic Preparedness Requirements.He has served in 3 RAR, 5/7 RAR, the 1st Battalion The Welsh Guards and 2 RAR, wherehe deployed as a Combat Team Commander of AMTG3/OBGW-1 and then as Battle GroupOperations Officer of TLBG3 (2007-08) with Operation ASTUTE. He has also served as Aidede-Campto the Land Commander Australia (2005) and as Staff Officer to the CDF (2010). Heholds a Master of Arts in Strategic Planning and Management from the University of New SouthWales (2010) and is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College (2009).Dr Haroro J. Ingram is a Visiting Fellow with the School of International, Political and StrategicStudies (Department of Political & Social Change, Australian National University) and aStrategic Policy Officer in the Directorate of Preparedness Requirements and Planning.42

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