Since 2013 the Sir Richard Williams Foundation seminars have focused on building an integrated fifth generation force. Recent seminars have evolved from the acquisition of new platforms to the process of shaping and better understanding the environment in which that integrated force will prepare and operate. In doing so they have, among other things, highlighted the challenges of making the strategic shift from counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to higher tempo and higher intensity operations involving peer competitors.
Within this context, the seminar in August 2018 focused on the importance of a joint approach to building an independent and potent regional strike capability. The topic broadened to begin an examination of new ways and means of enhancing sovereign options as part of an evolving deterrent strategy. The August seminar began a process of looking at the evolution of Australian defence capabilities through an increasingly sovereign lens and concluded there are some important choices to be made if we are to maintain our capability edge and influence in the region.
Allies are crucial to the Australian concept of defence; however, the emerging strategic circumstances demand it is vital we reconsider the ways and means of enhancing Australian sovereignty to better contribute to our relationships and ensure a more sophisticated and independent defence of Australian interests. During the 2019 seminars, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation will develop this theme and address more broadly the question of how to look at the evolution of the Australian Defence Force from the perspective of the sovereign lens and setting the conditions for future success.
The Williams Foundation, PO Box 5214, KINGSTON ACT 2604