, 2022-12-11 19:07:48,
The government has said the Australian Defence Force requires greater long-range strike capability. This was first stated in the previous government’s 2020 defence strategic update, which emphasised the need for ‘self-reliant deterrent effects’. The current government has endorsed that assessment: Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles has said: ‘The ADF must augment its self-reliance to deploy and deliver combat power through impactful materiel and enhanced strike capability—including over longer distances.’ He’s coined the term ‘impactful projection’ to describe the intended effect of this capability, which is to place ‘a very large question mark in the adversary’s mind’.
The term may be new, but the idea is not. To us, it’s a restating of the concept of deterrence by denial; that is, having sufficiently robust capabilities to convince an adversary that the cost of acting militarily against Australia isn’t worth any gains that might be made.
But the need for the ADF to have those kinds of capabilities has become much more urgent. As the defence strategic update noted, there’s no longer 10 years of warning time of conventional conflict involving Australia. And this is not just the prospect of conflict far from Australia’s shores. The force-projection capabilities of China’s People’s Liberation Army have grown dramatically in the past two decades and include long-range conventional ballistic missiles, bombers and…
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