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Australia's 2024 Independent Intelligence Review_ Opportunities and challengesm Banner

Australia’s 2024 Independent Intelligence Review: opportunities and challenges: Views from The Strategist

By Chris Taylor

Australia has a recent history of intelligence community reform via independent intelligence reviews (IIRs) commissioned by government on a regular basis since 2004. The latest IIR is being undertaken by Dr Heather Smith and Mr Richard Maude.

In the lead-up to the announcement of the 2024 IIR, and afterwards, ASPI’s The Strategist has served as a valuable forum for canvassing publicly the most significant issues and challenges to be addressed by the reviewers.

This report draws together a selection of articles featured in The Strategist over the past year, with direct relevance to the review and its terms of reference. The articles cover topics from the broad to the specific but include:

  • the review itself, including its scope and purpose
  • the key capability challenge facing Australian intelligence—its future workforce
  • the ‘how’ of intelligence now and into the future; more particularly, new tools such as intelligence diplomacy and offensive cyber operations
  • the purposes for intelligence – from addressing global, existential risks to informing effective net assessment of Australia’s strategic circumstances.

In the lead-up to the expected public release of the IIR’s findings later this year, this compilation provides valuable background to the review and to the fundamental challenges and opportunities facing Australian intelligence in the decade ahead.