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Police Join the Front Line: Building Australia's International Policing Capability

Release of Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Strategic Insight No. 1/2004

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute today released Strategic Insight No. 1/2004 Police Join the Front Line: Building Australia's International Policing Capability.

The paper argues that the Australian Government has in recent years turned increasingly to the Australian Federal Police to help preserve the security and stability of some of the weaker states in the region - East Timor, Solomon Islands, and soon Papua New Guinea. The AFP has done a great job, but its resources have become tightly stretched.

More than 7% of the AFP is currently deployed on overseas operations - nearly twice the percentage of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which stands at less than 4%. Unlike the ADF, the AFP is not set up for large and sustained international deployment. It is time they were.

This paper proposes that the Government should provide the funds to expand the existing Peace Operations Unit within the AFP into a Peace and Assistance Operations Unit to provide police trained, equipped and organised for sustained deployments in our neighbourhood. It should be comprised of 550 personnel, which includes a Sate and Territory police component of up to 50 personnel. This unit would cost around $120 million per year.

More Information:

Dr Elsina Wainwright on 02 6270 5100.


Date: Thursday, 05 February 2004 
By: Australian Strategic Policy Institute