The twin notions of force expansion and warning time have been integral to Australia's defence planning since the 1970s. Yet over the years the focus on these issues has been neither strong nor consistent—perhaps for good reason, given that the prospect of the need for major force expansion has been seen as remote. But with the new Age of Asia, Australia's strategic environment is changing. This article reviews the treatment of force expansion and warning time in Australia's five Defence White Papers, and discusses the extent to which the rise of China should be a catalyst for a review of force expansion policies. Finding a position between complacency and alarm, it concludes that Defence should conduct at least a preliminary view of how Australia should identify and respond to a more threatening posture by any potential major power adversary, and to present the conclusions in the 2013 Defence White Paper.
|Published - 2012