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Special Report Issue 5 - The final straw: Are our defence forces overstretched?

By Mark Thomson and Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Are our defence forces overstretched?

Have we reached the point where the scale and diversity of Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployments are no longer sustainable?

Are overseas deployments compromising the maintenance and development of our defence capabilities?

Is too heavy a burden being placed on the men and women of the ADF by multiple deployments?

With concurrent operations ongoing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands, coupled with shorter missions to Fiji and Tonga last year, it’s tempting to conclude that the answers to all these questions must be yes. But what do the numbers say?