Leaks surrounding the next Defence White Paper (due in the middle of this year) along with other Internet noise look troubling.
Journalists (and others) still do not understand that basing Defence spending on percent of gross-domestic-product (GDP) are completely useless.
With a federal budget that is under significant stress from a spend-thrift socialist government, the only conversation about money available to the ADF should be what percent of the existing federal budget can be committed to Defence.
Consider two projects that will cost tens of billions of dollars...and most likely fail.
Much of the current conversation over requirements is an exercise in dreaming. If one looks at what operational requirements are to be heaped on the replacement for the Collins submarine, the only engineering solution is a nuclear powered, U.S.-made Virginia-class attack submarine. A gigantic conventional sub (AIP assisted or otherwise) won’t cut it.
Since there is no political will for that route, what is the solution to the sub problem?
To help fix the replacement sub debacle, change the operational requirement to something that Australia can field within the existing federal budget money handed over to Defence. Oh yes and what can be achieved with a deskilled procurement and management bureaucracy.
The F-35 is now a failed project in any measure of its existing program management behavior. Yet, some think faith-based weapons procurement has a future. It should now be considered a non-solution for the RAAF.
Professional Defence senior management and leadership are at their lowest possible point. If this isn’t fixed, the non-interested entitlement-driven society will have no problem with making the future ADF look like that of New Zealand.
So what should be the goal of the next Defence White Paper? Sorry. What should be the goal of the next two Defence White Papers?
Rebuild professional management and leadership competency.
And nothing more.
Once that has shown significant progress, the discussion of what weapons systems provide true value to national defence, become much more clear.
The current and corrupt rent-seeking and moribund entrenched Defence bureaucracy group mind-set can only cause more rot.
No Defence White Paper filled with massive amounts of non sequitur language will give Australia the Defence establishment it deserves.