Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 00:45 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 00:45 | SYDNEY

Defence White Paper debate: Round 6


Sam Roggeveen


24 September 2008 17:12

Judging by the initial contributions from our four students (Lachlan, Iain, Marc and Campbell), the future looks grim for Australia's surface navy. There seems to be unanimity on the preference for submarines, and perhaps for the proposition that Australia should practise a sea denial strategy rather than sea control.

I more or less support that idea, but surely the point is moot? Two major naval procurement decisions (three new destroyers and two amphibious ships) have already been made, which together pretty much commit us to an expeditionary military philosophy. So I'd like to hear more from our students about what we ought to do with the navy we're going to have. (On a related topic: what say you all about a possible Australian ballistic missile defence capability?)

I'd also like to hear our students say more about the army: do they want Australia to be able to contribute heavy land forces to coalition combat operations, or should we just play a niche role with our maritime and air assets, and use the army mainly for peacekeeping? Your views on such questions will be coloured by how you see the alliance: is Australia pulling its weight, or do we need to contribute more?