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Deterrence through denial: A strategy for an era of reduced warning time

By Paul Dibb and Dr Richard Brabin-Smith AO

Australia now needs to implement serious changes to how warning time is considered in defence planning. The need to plan for reduced warning time has implications for the Australian intelligence community, defence strategic policy, force structure priorities, readiness and sustainability. Important changes will also be needed with respect to personnel, stockpiles of missiles and munitions, and fuel supplies. We can no longer assume that Australia will have time gradually to adjust military capability and preparedness in response
to emerging threats. In other words, there must be a new approach in Defence to managing warning, capability and preparedness, and detailed planning for rapid expansion and sustainment.

This paper addresses those issues, recognising that they’re a revolutionary break with the past era of what were much more comfortable assumptions about threats to Australia. Considering the complexity of the issues involved, we have identified further areas for research, including at the classified level.