May 2023 Report on Australian Defence and Deterrence: A New Release

By Robbin Laird

I have just published on Amazon using the Kindle Direct Publishing system, my 2023 update on Australian defence. Later this year, I am publishing a companion book to my 2020 book on Australian defence.

This report is the link between the two.

This report provides an update with regard to the way ahead for Australian defence as reflected in the presentations at the Sir Richard Williams Foundation Seminar held on 28 March 2023 in Canberra and in the follow up interviews done in Australia the following month.

The seminar itself was placed midway between two major government announcements about the changing approach to defense. The first was the announcement with regard to the way ahead with the generation of a new nuclear submarine capability for Australia and the second is the forthcoming release of the Defence Strategic Review, expected in late April.

What is deterrence in this period of the 21st century? And what can we learn from a past which has been forgotten as we fought the land wars?

The seminar took a broad view of the challenge of deterrence, that deterrent effects are not simply a result of what the ADF can do with its allies and partners but what the Australian polity, economy, culture and society can deliver in competing with the 21st century authoritarian powers and cooperate with allies going through a very fluid situation in their domestic polities, societies, cultures and economies.

In the interviews that followed, I discussed with senior ADF officers and Australian strategists their focus on the near to mid-term tasks which need to be met.