Defence Strategic Update 2020: A first assessment (James Goldrick)

A candid assessment of Australia’s challenges, but will the planned measures be enough? (James Goldrick)

Author: James Goldrick | The Interpreter (Lowy Institute) | Published 2 July 2020

The update is as ambitious in its strategic scope as in its capability plans.

“The Defence Strategic Update 2020 launched yesterday in Canberra is a notably candid assessment of the strategic challenges Australia faces and the measures with which the government plans to meet them. It explicitly declares “Australia’s ability – and willingness – to project military power and deter actions against us”. This is a sweeping agenda and the update is as ambitious in its strategic scope as in its capability plans.”

Will the planned measures be enough, and will they be in place in time to achieve the deterrent effects now deemed so necessary?

“While the government has set out spending plans and openly decoupled them from GDP at a time when the latter is diminishing, if economic problems continue, Defence will come under intense pressure to make reductions. But the more critical uncertainties are these: will the planned measures be enough, and will they be in place in time to achieve the deterrent effects now deemed so necessary?”

Read the full article (external link to The Interpreter (Lowy Institute)