Don’t ditch the tank if you want real firepower

January 18, 2023

~ Alan Dupont, published in the Australian

War concentrates the mind like few other activities, so it’s not surprising that the Ukraine-Russia conflict is generating widespread media coverage of the combat power of the two protagonists.

Far from being a morbid fascination with the weapons of war, the debates they stimulate are critical to the functioning of a healthy democracy. Democracies that fail to gain public support for essential defence projects and policies are unlikely to be victorious on the battlefield.
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If we went to war, our ammo would not last a week

November 7, 2022

~ Alan Dupont, published in the Australian

Despite the increasingly contentious blame game about who is responsible for the chronic failure to deliver promised defence capabilities on time and on budget, Labor and the Coalition agree that Australia needs a viable defence industry.

Yet Australian industry participation in major defence projects has declined significantly since the last of our locally built Anzac-class frigates was christened in 2008. Labor and the Coalition have talked a good game but seldom walked the walk.
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Radio National: Defence spend to skyrocket

October 15, 2022

Can Australia afford the big spend defence commitments from AUKUS? If so, can we ensure delivery in a timely manner?

Listen here.

Guests:

Dr Alan Dupont, Defence Analyst
Retired Major-General Gus McLachlan, Senior Adviser at Bondi Partners
Sam Roggeveen, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program.

Defence gets ready for thefight of our lives

October 1, 2022

In March next year, the Albanese government will consider the recommendations of the most important defence review in a generation, with an interim report due on November 1 this year. The strategic review will shape the structure, capabilities and posture of the Australian Defence Force for the next decade and “outline funding needs” that could reach nearly half a trillion dollars, depending on the cost of our nuclear-powered submarines.

The key question to be answered is whether the ADF is fit for purpose. If not, whatcan be done to fix the force, how much time do we have, what is the threat, how serious is it and what strategy will we employ to defend ourselves?
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Interchangeable forces key to submarine success

October 30, 2021

The Morrison government’s groundbreaking AUKUS agreement has the potential to accelerate the transformation of the Northern Territory from strategic backwater to vital alliance hub.

It won’t be realised without an integrated plan to leverage increased investment in the Territory’s defence infrastructure to strengthen allied capacity and reach.
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Biden ignored advice on how quickly Kabul would fall to Taliban

August 23, 2021

There are many reasons for the collapse of Afghanistan after 20 years of fruitless bloodletting and wasted treasure. But as with most debacles the primary cause is a failure of strategy and policy, not intelligence.

President Joe Biden is certainly complicit. But he is not the main architect of the Ghani government’s demise, a title that rightly belongs to Donald Trump the self-styled “master of the deal”. The businessman turned president committed the cardinal negotiating sin of gratuitously committing to withdrawing US forces – the main Taliban objective – thereby forfeiting all leverage in the farcical, drawn-out peace talks that continued right up to Kabul’s fall.
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Australia a crucial hub for NATO in Asia

June 15, 2021

The Group of Seven meeting in Cornwall may well be a turning point in the democratic push back against China’s competing brand of assertive authoritarianism.

Having the US, Japan and the big European democracies on board will provide much needed moral and practical support for Scott Morrison’s determination to resist Beijing’s economic and diplomatic coercion.
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NT ‘could be a forward operating base for ADF’

October 30, 2020

The worst pandemic in a century bookends a wider set of national security challenges that are shaking up entrenched habits and assumptions.
Great power rivalry is at levels unseen since the Cold War and the destabilising consequences are rippling through Australia’s maritime front yard to Darwin’s north. The worst pandemic in a century bookends a wider set of national security challenges that are shaking up entrenched habits and assumptions, forcing governments everywhere to rethink their strategies and operating models.
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Defence needs smaller, cheaper, more agile weapons

November 11, 2019

The recent call for a defence reset by two former air force chiefs adds to the growing pressure on Defence Minister Linda Reynolds to review the strategy of the 2016 defence white paper and the structure and geographical focus of the Australian Defence Force.

Retired air marshal Leo Davies and his immediate predecessor, Geoff Brown, say our defence strategy is outdated and that the ADF is poorly equipped to deal with emerging threats to our maritime trade, China’s rapid military modernisation and the possibility of great power conflict in the region.
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A new type of war at our door

August 10, 2019

The defence community has begun an important generational debate about the strategy, posture and structure the Australian Defence Force needs in response to the most challenging regional security environment we have faced since World War II.

Anyone who doubts that the long peace in Asia has come to a precipitate end need only scan the latest news to see the confluence of geopolitical disturbances that has turned our once tranquil region into a combustible zone of conflict and strategic ­rivalry.

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