Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 06:08 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 06:08 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Our vulnerable sea lanes


Sam Roggeveen


17 September 2008 10:49

Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute writes:

Hugh is right to observe that the PM’s speech and subsequent press conference was heavy on ‘protecting sea lanes of communication (SLOCs)’ and light on denial operations. And the problem with that focus is made clearer by observing that one is the flip-side of the other. Our denial operation is someone else’s protection operation.

Are we confident that a well-operated and capable Australian submarine force could disrupt someone else’s sealanes? I think the answer to that is an unequivocal ‘yes’ – unless you think that the modern world of insured risk and alternative markets has the stomach for Battle of the Atlantic III. So why do we think we can secure our own sealanes? Our ASW is poor, and unlikely to improve any time soon to the degree required to have any real confidence.

So what is meant by the ‘protect our SLOCs’ mantra? Can anyone provide me with a credible concept of operations for an adversary denial operation that can be dealt with by an equally credible defence operation on our behalf?