Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 18:36 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 18:36 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Do our spies understand Asia?

23 February 2012 15:31

Scott Lowe writes:

I just wanted to make a comment on Hugh White's column and the subsequent discussion. The review does mention that we need to 'significantly increase our focus on our region and cyber space'. I think this line might indicate they did consider a broader approach to the region. However, that is the problem, that the review offers little of substance, mostly tidbits here and there that hint at a larger undertaking. 

I also think a good question to ask is if we are spending enough on intelligence, are we getting the most bang for our buck? Our we recruiting the right people to defend our national interest? For example, do we have a sufficient amount of linguists and analysts for a particular region? The review doesn't really cover staffing and human resources. While it is fine to argue about what strategy the Government should implement, it means little if we do not have the people to back it up. And, just taking ASIO as an example, much of their increase in staffing has been in counter-terrorism, with ASIO in their annual report mentioning how tough they have found recruitment. A major change in focus would have to take this into consideration.