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Joint by Design: The Evolution of Australian Defence Strategy - book by Dr Robbin Laird

Second Line of Defense have published our latest book which is entitled, Joint By Design: The Evolution of Australian Defence Strategy.





In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, launched a new defense and security strategy for Australia.


This strategy reset puts Australia on the path of enhanced defense capabilities.

The change represents a serious shift in its policies towards China, and in reworking alliance relationships going forward.


As one senior RAAF officer put it: “The Prime Minister of Australia, the Honorable Scott Morrison, has launched the Defense Strategic Update, which moved Australia’s defense policy away from a globally-balanced approach under our Defense White Paper of 2016, towards a more regionally focused posture, founded in the principles of shape, deter, and respond. The new policy approach places great emphasis on the need for our forces to be well integrated, both internally to Australia, and across our strategic partners. ”


Joint by Design is focused on Australian policy, but it is about preparing liberal democracies around the world for the challenges of the future.


The strategic shift from land wars to full spectrum crisis management requires liberal democracies to have forces lethal enough, survivable enough, and agile enough to support full spectrum crisis management.


The book provides an overview of the evolution of Australian defence modernization over the past seven years, and the strategic shift underway to do precisely that.


Although this is a book about Australia, it is about the significant shift facing the liberal democracies in meeting the challenge of dealing with the 21st century authoritarian powers.


In this sense, the volume is very complimentary to our book the return of direct defense in Europe, a book that concludes with a chapter that highlights the Australian contribution to the rethinking going on in Europe about direct defense.

The book is based on the bi-annual Williams Foundation seminars held since 2014, and include insights and presentations by Australians and several key allies of Australia.


In that sense, the book provides an Australian-led allied rethink with regard to how to meet 21st century defense challenges.


The two books read together provide a good overview of where key allies are with regard to rethinking defense certa 2020.


As Anne Borzycki, Director of the Institute of Integrated Economic Research – Australia, has highlighted:

“Dr Robbin Laird brings a unique perspective to his analysis of the journey the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been on over the last six years. As an American, and also a European resident, he understands the military and strategic realities of Europe and the United States and is therefore able to place Australia, as a modern middle-power, into the spectrum of Western Liberal Democracies. And importantly, this book highlights the lessons that Europe and the United States could learn from Australia as the first quarter of the 21st century draws to a close.
“This book is a modern history that begins in 2014. The year 2014 might seem recent – however given the upheavals wrought upon the world by changing global power dynamics, national domestic political challenges, military transformations and finally, the pandemic – it could just as well be 60, not 6, years ago.”

This book was released on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo on December 22, 2020 in e book form with the paperback and hardback to be released in two months. Links Second Line of Defense


Dr Robbin Laird is a Williams Foundation Fellow