Australia orders defense force overhaul to accelerate ‘military modernization’

According to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the Australian Labor government has begun pledging to overhaul its defense force to meet “national security challenges for the next decade and beyond”.

The latest review, to be conducted by former Labor and Defense Secretary Stephen Smith and former Secretary of Defense Angus Houston, comes just two years after the previous government’s 2020 Defense Strategy Update, which assesses the nation’s military strength. pivoted from defense. Concentrate on your offensive stance.

“The 2020 Defense Strategy Update has identified that changes in Australia’s strategic environment are accelerating more rapidly than predicted by the 2012 Force Posture Review,” said current Defense Minister Richard Marls. I was.

Epoch Times photo
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi (not pictured) attend a joint press conference held at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo on June 15, 2022. (Shuji Kajiyama/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“This calls for an immediate analysis of where and how our defense assets and personnel are best deployed to protect Australia and its national interests,” he said in a statement. “An assessment of the Defense Force structure and joint investment program is also required.”

The new Defense Strategy Review will also look at better integration with the US, UK, and other allies.

According to the terms of reference, “military modernization, technological disruption and the risk of conflict between nations complicate Australia’s strategic situation.

“These strategic changes require the Australian government to reassess the capabilities and posture of the Australian Defense Force and the broader Department of Defense.”

Hopes for change in previous administration’s defense pledges

The impact of the latest review, which began in July 2020, has put the Morrison government’s $270 billion consolidation investment program under the microscope, and may result in a realignment or outright elimination of the program.

The program includes refocusing Australian Defense Force energy in the country’s immediate Indo-Pacific region rather than in far-flung theaters such as the Middle East, drones, space capabilities, hypersonic weapons, Lockheed Martin’s It included heavy investments in long-range weapons such as long-range weapons. anti-ship missile. Cybersecurity also received $1.35 billion in funding commitments over 10 years.

However, there were concerns that some projects, especially the Hunter-class frigate project and the cancellation of France’s Attack-class submarines, were taking too long to deliver.

Both programs have consumed billions of dollars of taxpayers and endured significant delays due to custom designs rather than buying pre-existing “off-the-shelf” vessels that are almost ready to use.

Moreover, both plans were expected to take place underwater in the 2030s, an unacceptable situation given the growing threat of conflict with Beijing in the region.

Attack Class was eventually canceled by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2021 in favor of the purchase of nuclear submarines from the US and UK under the AUKUS agreement, though there is still no word on when these new ships will be ready. There are concerns Australian use.

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]