Morrison aligns defence policy with new reality (Michelle Grattan)

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update has given us the ‘defence pivot … designed to increase the military costs for an enemy thinking of attacking Australia, and to boost the ability to strike back at a distance if such an attack occurred’. But does the price tag amount to significant increase in Defence spending? Michelle Grattan observes that ‘the $270 billion ‘spend’ on hardware over a decade doesn’t actually represent a big increase from the 2016 figure of $195 billion’.

Author: Michelle Grattan | ASPI Strategist | Published 8 Jul 2020

In an article published on 8 July 2020 in the ASPI Strategist, long time observer of Australian defence matters, Michelle Grattan usefully compares the 2020 Defence Strategic Update to past Defence White Papers, and nicely summarises the central feature of the new document as a ‘defence pivot [that] is designed to increase the military costs for an enemy thinking of attacking Australia, and to boost the ability to strike back at a distance if such an attack occurred’.

Developing these capabilities – to deter and to strike at distance – comes at a cost, hence the $270 billion price tag – but Grattan is one of the few commentators to penetrate the government’s rhetoric and observe that ‘the $270 billion ‘spend’ on hardware over a decade doesn’t actually represent a big increase from the 2016 figure of $195 billion’.

Read the full article in the ASPI Strategist. The original article was published on 8 July 2020 with the title “Morrison aligns defence policy with new reality as Australia muscles up to China