Updated: Oct 3
28th September 2020
Thanks to the fact that there are multiple different challenges upcoming for the Australian defence force, which would require it to morph into doing numerous duties, they are in need of more funding to keep things going from their end. In a report by The Guardian, it was told that one of the main reasons for this is the Australian people's expectations for them to carry out relief operations in times of need. The second and apparent reason for any military force is the growing external threat of armed aggression against Australia.
The Australian Defence Force has been involved in various activities. They were called to help in bushfire response in the summer and are now engaged with the health and police department as a part of the response to the coronavirus-19 pandemic.
Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the royal commission that without additional funding it would not be able to play domestic support roles with its actual defence responsibility. The royal commission is in its final week of hearings and is due to deliver its report to the government on 28th October 2020.
Peter Jennings said that he does not see any way out of the dilemma that does not involve more funds in defence to produce a larger defence force to meet the aforementioned objectives. The former deputy secretary of the defence department said that the 2020 defence strategic update of Australia made it clear that they could not afford to spend a dollar less on preparing the defence force to deal with the conventional operations.
According to Jennings, south-east Asia and the Pacific region would be at the epicentre of potential natural disaster risks in the future. Jennings takes it as a major strategic problem as it will have cascading effects in the geopolitics of the region and how we think about conventional strategic threats. He feels that the Australian defence force is in the spotlight of both things, reported Defence Connect.
On the other hand, Dr John Coyne, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s strategic policing and law enforcement program and head of its northern Australian division said that the pandemic had exposed the weakness in the Australian supply chain. The Strategist in their report mentioned that, Mark Crossweller said that the coronavirus pandemic had also exposed Australia’s 'extreme dependence on the just-in-time supply chain' and its vulnerability to disruption.
Crossweller, head of the national resilience task force and former director-general of emergency management in Australia, said that decisions made by the institutions to minimize risks were often built on economic considerations and not on minimizing harm. He emphasized the need for the risk of natural disasters being equally shared between governments and institutions.
(Source: The Guardian, The Strategist, Defence Connect)
Edited by Satvik Pandey