In addition the making a submission on defence efficiency to the National Commission of Audit, ASPI also provided on a paper on national security priorities. This paper addresses the dynamics behind Australia’s national security debate, and focuses its recommendations on law enforcement and cyber security.
A copy of the paper can be found here. Its key messages include:
- The end of the Cold War allowed for a burgeoning of the security agenda to include a recognition of the broader range of vulnerabilities that exist in modern society, and the ability of contemporary security threats to affect the everyday lives of people.
- Australia should continue to get a better understanding of these dynamics and how they interact.
- Our national security governance system is proving inefficient and somewhat of a constraint for action.
- Its essential to develop nation-wide capabilities against a number of challenges.
- The business and community sectors need to be involved in national security efforts.
- The balance of Australia’s spending on national security does not align with the risks we face.
- The change in the extent, vectors and nature of contemporary crime make a stronger Commonwealth role necessary.
- Cutting resources in areas such as criminal intelligence gathering and analysis is a false economy.
- Cyber space is an important source of power for states and non-state actors alike.
- The number of Australian Government agencies and private sector companies with an interest in cybersecurity are vast. This adds complexity to policy development in this area.
- While efforts in technical cybersecurity measures have been positive, policy development in this field has not been as effective. A lead agency is needed for this area.
National security is a broad and expanding field, and a short submission cannot cover everything. ASPI looks forward to further refining its recommendations in these areas and keenly awaits the Commission’s interim report.
David Connery is ASPI’s senior analyst for the Strategic Policing and Law Enforcement Program and Tobias Feakin is the director of ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre and senior analyst for National Security.