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The case for an Australian national security strategy

By Carl Ungerer

Two and a half years after the first National Security Statement to Parliament, it can be argued that the first wave of national security reforms is over. The key building blocks of a national security ‘community’ have been put in place.

The challenge now is to convert those reforms into a more comprehensive national security system that will endure shifts in both global and domestic security in the years ahead. One such systemic reform would be to elevate the current National Security Statement into a full strategy document, similar to a White Paper. This would be consistent with national security planning in comparable countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.

This paper examines the arguments for and against the formal introduction of an Australian national security strategy.