Outcome 5 Strategic Policy

Performance information
Output 5.1 International Policy, Activities and Engagement

This output provides strategic and international policy advice to the Government to enable it to make sound judgments on, and develop appropriate responses to, changes in Australia's strategic circumstances and specific security issues. It also uses strategic policy guidance to develop recommendations for the Government on international engagement activities and initiatives.

Policy advice for ADF operations

Policy advice and support was provided for forces deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and Solomon Islands. Defence engaged with other Australian Government agencies, allies and partner countries to help achieve operational objectives. Through close cooperation and negotiation with allies and partners we successfully concluded our training and battle-group deployments in Iraq. Defence assisted other Australian agencies to achieve their objectives in countries where the ADF is conducting operations.

International Engagement

Defence worked closely with the United States to achieve closer cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and joint training, and an agreement with the United States on satellite communication was finalised. Information security agreements were reached with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and India, and military talks were held with Pakistan at the Chief of Defence Force level.

Defence continued to consolidate its bilateral defence relationship with China. In 2007, Defence attended the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Exercise WARRIOR foreign observer's program for the first time. Defence also enhanced maritime engagement with two PLA naval ships visiting Sydney in September 2007 to participate in a search and rescue exercise with the Royal Australian Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy on 2 October 2007 in the Tasman Sea. Defence will continue to develop open and constructive engagement with China through senior level dialogue and practical activities.

Defence cooperated closely with regional partners in South-East Asia on counter-terrorism cooperation and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Cooperation with South-East Asian partners in the area of training and preparation for peacekeeping operations was also advanced.

In the South Pacific, a new phase of defence cooperation was reached as the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) focused on capability development. Defence also launched a new program of enhanced defence cooperation with East Timor.

Performance Targets Performance
Provide the Government with comprehensive and timely policy advice on current and emerging international defence issues. Achieved. Defence responded promptly and comprehensively to a range of international defence matters including:
  • ADF operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Solomon Islands[1]
  • Provision of additional security assistance in East Timor
  • Support to five successful Pacific multilateral operations, which involved 14 Pacific Island countries and 21 patrol boats.
Manage Defence's international engagement activities to support Australia's efforts to promote regional and global security. Achieved. Defence worked closely with allies and partners on a number of different aspects of security cooperation including the following key initiatives:
  • The Australia-India Arrangement for the Reciprocal Protection of Exchanged Classified Information of Defence Interest was signed on 11 July 2007.
  • The Action Plan for implementing the 2007 Australia-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation was endorsed by former Prime Ministers Howard and Abe on 9 September 2007.
  • Singapore agreed to deploy a medical team to support Australian and other International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan.[2]
  • The Coast Watch of the South initiative in the Philippines progressed strongly and is likely to begin operating in the Sulu and Celebes Seas in 2008.
  • Defence supported a high-level maritime security seminar in Cambodia.
  • Defence also worked closely with regional security bodies, particularly the Association of South-East Asian Nations Regional Forum, on initiatives to support humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and peacekeeping.[3]
In support of Australia's regional counter-terrorism efforts, Defence continued engagement with countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore on activities to build regional capabilities. As part of broader bilateral Defence Cooperation Programs, activities included counter-hijack and hostage recovery training, operations analysis training and intelligence analysis training.
Ensure Defence's overseas representatives contribute to the effective management of Australia's defence interests in the context of overall bilateral relationships. Achieved. Defence representatives, including 29 Defence Attachés and Defence Advisers and over 70 supporting Defence personnel worked in 51 countries in support of Australia's overseas defence interests. In diverse areas such as equipment procurement, humanitarian assistance, foreign training assistance and support for deployed ADF elements, Defence representatives successfully undertook a wide range of tasks on behalf of Australia and the Defence organisation.
Achieving Defence Cooperation Program objectives. Achieved. In accordance with Defence's International Engagement Plan, Defence successfully managed the 2007-08 Defence Cooperation Program. As detailed under 'Defence Cooperation', programmed activities were achieved within budgeted parameters.

Notes

  1. More information on the ADF's involvement in international operations can be found at www.defence.gov.au/globalops.htm.
  2. More information on Australia's role in the International Security Assistance Force can be found at www.defence.gov.au/opslipper/default.htm.
  3. More information on the Association of South-East Asian Nations Regional Forum can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/arf/index.html.
Defence Cooperation Program

The Government's strategic defence objectives in the region were achieved by:

Table 3.21 Defence Cooperation Expenditure, 2005-06 to 2007-08
  2005-06
Actual
Result
($'000)
2006-07
Actual
Result
($'000)
2007-08
Budget
Estimate
($'000)
2007-08
Actual
Result
($'000)
Papua New Guinea 19,206 14,214 11,063 12,213
South Pacific Region[1] 36,559 33,439 30,147 35,860
South-East Asia 20,992 21,286 21,774 20,640
Other regional activities 2,340 2,926 3,082 4,436
Defence International Training Centre[2] 3,782 3,915 4,923 4,414
Total 82,879 75,781 70,989 77,564

Notes

  1. Defence entered into a Materiel Sustainment Agreement with the DMO in 2007-08 for the sustainment of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program for $12.225m.
  2. The Defence International Training Centre is managed by Air Force to provide training to the defence forces of South-East Asia and South Pacific nations and other selected foreign personnel.
Papua New Guinea

The Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) with Papua New Guinea (PNG) continues to provide support to land and maritime elements of the PNGDF through an extensive program of training, exercises, and infrastructure upgrades such as the Barracks Refurbishment Program and the upgrading of PNGDF armouries and magazines. Defence supported the upgrading of security at the PNGDF's central ammunition depot at Goldie River Training Depot. The program funded training for 56 PNGDF members in Australia.

Progress in the DCP was reviewed at the Defence Talks, held in Canberra in December 2007, and the Ministerial Forum, held in Madang, PNG, in April 2008. Australia confirmed its intention to support the second phase of its support to PNG's Defence Reform Program, the capability upgrade in response to PNG meeting its obligation to invest adequately in the sustainability of the PNGDF. This package of support to PNG will involve up to $48 million over ten years for infrastructure upgrades, capital equipment and personal military equipment.

East Timor

In 2007-08, the DCP with East Timor continued to provide support for training programs and capacity development activities for the East Timor Defence Force (F-FDTL) and the East Timor Secretariat of Defence (SED). Defence's 18 in-country advisers have continued to provide training in English language, governance, financial management, defence and security sector reform, engineering, civil-military cooperation, medical, logistics, and communications for both the F-FDTL and the SED.

Other DCP activities included seamanship training for F-FDTL officers at the Australian Maritime College, English language training at Charles Darwin University, civil-military cooperation activities in East Timor, and adviser support during F-FDTL apprehension operations following the 11 February 2008 presidential assassination attempt. An Enhanced DCP was agreed by the Government and is being implemented over the next 12-18 months. It comprises a package of additional advisers and projects designed to build the capacity of the F-FDTL in the areas of engineering, maritime security, English language proficiency and specialist training.

South Pacific region

In 2007-08, Defence engagement in the South Pacific focused on capacity development and assisting the professional development of the region's security forces. Defence Cooperation assistance to the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Republic of Marshal Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu totalled $35.9m, including training for 232 people. The DCP is supported by 32 ADF personnel who are posted in-country as advisers working closely with South Pacific counterparts to foster and support regional stability. Defence engagement with Fiji remains suspended.

Multinational activities

Australia supported five successful multilateral operations involving 14 regional countries and 21 Pacific Patrol Boats, with additional support from New Zealand, France and the United States. Personnel from the Navy and three Air Force aircraft contributed to these operations.

Pacific Patrol Boat Program

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program has been operating in the South Pacific since May 1987 when Australia gifted the first of 22 boats to 12 Pacific Island countries. The program provides participating countries with a maritime surveillance and response capability to monitor and manage their exclusive economic zones and protect marine resources. The boats are also used in quarantine enforcement, search and rescue, disaster relief, medical evacuation support, and general police work. While the boats are crewed and operated by the participating nations, the Navy provides 32 resident maritime surveillance advisers and technical advisers to assist with boat operations and skills development.

Defence has provided funding for infrastructure and logistics, training and skills support and general assistance to sustain this capability; in 2007-08, this totalled $12.2m. In 2007-08, Defence also funded major refit works to extend the planned life of two of the boats by a further 15 years. This life extension program will continue until 2012.

Table 3.22 South Pacific region expenditure, 2005-06 to 2007-08
  2005-06
Actual
Result
($'000)
2006-07
Actual
Result
($'000)
2007-08
Budget
Estimate
($'000)
2007-08
Actual
Result
($'000)
East Timor[1] 6,458 5,105 6,551 9,243
Vanuatu 1,766 1,740 1,558 1,525
Solomon Islands 2,351 3,749 1,740 2,502
Tonga 1,396 1,600 2,321 2,706
Samoa 2,333 732 478 424
Cook Islands 256 318 388 394
Fiji 5,539 2,811 444 414
Republic of the Marshall Islands 853 917 791 915
Federates States of Micronesia 989 836 1,038 930
Tuvalu 715 888 861 1,458
Kiribati 635 624 677 781
Palau 970 939 1,070 768
Multilateral General Assistance[2] 12,298 13,182 12,230 13,801
Total 36,559 33,439 30,147 35,860

Notes

  1. East Timor was reported under South-East Asia in the Defence Annual Report 2005-06. East Timor is now reported under the South Pacific region. This change has revised the total actual expenditure for 2005-06 as reported in previous reports.
  2. Defence entered into a Materiel Sustainment Agreement with the DMO in 2007-08 for the sustainment of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program for $12.225m.
South-East Asia
Indonesia

The Australia-Indonesia defence relationship has matured and gained confidence over the past year through a practical and effective defence engagement program. Activities include ongoing senior level dialogue, military training and postgraduate education, study visits and exchanges, combined exercises and maritime security cooperation. Defence provided training to over 100 Indonesian officers in areas including maritime law and security, financial management and governance. In March 2008, Defence Ministers agreed to the development of a Joint Understanding on the Australian-Indonesian defence relationship to further defence cooperation.1

Singapore

Australia's defence relationship with Singapore covers a broad range of cooperative military activities, including exercises and training. A significant feature of the relationship is the access Australia provides to Singapore for unilateral use of training facilities for land and air exercises and training, including Exercise Wallaby. Australia welcomed Singapore's announcement that it would deploy a medical capability to Afghanistan in late 2008 and is working with Singapore to support this important contribution to global security operations.

Malaysia

Australia's well-established bilateral defence relationship with Malaysia operates under the Malaysia Australia Joint Defence Program. It encompasses senior visits and dialogue, exercises, personnel exchanges and training to build capacity in diverse areas including military education, logistics, emergency management and peacekeeping. During 2007-08, 118 Malaysians attended training courses in Australia.

Australia also committed $23.6m to undertake extensive facilities redevelopment works at Royal Malaysian Air Force Butterworth, where approximately 170 ADF personnel are based. ADF access to RMAF Butterworth enables close engagement with the Malaysian Armed Forces and full ADF participation in Five Power Defence Arrangements exercises and activities.

The Philippines

Australia continued to provide assistance for counter-terrorism, maritime security and Philippines Defense Reform during the year. In 2007-08, Australia provided training to 132 Filipino officers, an increase that reflects the expansion of the relationship. A highlight was the significant progress made by the Philippines' Coast Watch of the South initiative, which is likely to commence operations in the Sulu and Celebes Seas in 2008 following three years of Australian assistance. Our counter-terrorism support also expanded into new areas, including counter-improvised explosive device assistance, combat medic training and training on law and leadership for the Philippine military.

Thailand

Counter-terrorism and peacekeeping cooperation remain priorities for our defence relationship with Thailand. To build capacity in the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Australia provided training to 88 officers in 2007-08, focusing on English language and defence reform.

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Australia's bilateral relationships with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are based primarily around officer training, with 77 officers trained in 2007-08. The growing depth of the relationships with Vietnam and Cambodia was underscored by several senior-level visits. Australia also provided specialist support for Cambodia's maritime security arrangements by funding a high-level maritime security seminar in Phnom Penh during November 2007.

Brunei Darussalam

The bilateral defence relationship with Brunei centres on special forces training and exercises, working level dialogue and senior visits. Infantry exercises, such as Exercise Mallee Bull which involved a reciprocal exchange of units in March and June 2008, are held every two years. Australia also regularly assists the Royal Brunei Armed Forces with its airborne capability.

Five Power Defence Arrangements

Australia is an active member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) framework which remains a key stabilising element in regional security. The multilateral exercise program of the five member nations (Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) aims to strengthen their combined ability to counter conventional threats and to address non-conventional security issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations. In November 2007, the FPDA conducted Exercise Suman Protector, the largest exercise in the FPDA's history. The exercise successfully tested FPDA members' ability to conduct combined operations.

Table 3.23 South-East Asia region expenditure, 2005-06 to 2007-08
  2005-06
Actual
Result
($'000)
2006-07
Actual
Result
($'000)
2007-08
Budget
Estimate
($'000)
2007-08
Actual
Result
($'000)
Singapore 172 313 203 175
Philippines 3,612 4,311 6,788 4,310
Thailand 2,903 3,418 2,571 3,345
Malaysia 4,199 4,384 3,424 4,698
Indonesia 6,130 5,426 5,825 5,022
Vietnam 2,256 2,691 1,936 2,029
Cambodia and Laos 1,661 712 1,008 1,000
Brunei 59 31 19 62
Total 20,992 21,286 21,774 20,640
Other regional activities

Australia's Defence Cooperation activities with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are aimed at promoting constructive dialogue and opportunities for practical defence engagement in areas of mutual interest including peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and disaster relief.

India

Defence cooperation with India included training courses and staff college exchanges to develop cooperation in maritime security, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. In early July 2007, the signing of an Information Sharing Arrangement marked a significant step forward in the relationship. In September 2007, Australia, together with Japan and Singapore, participated in the United States-Indian Naval Exercise Malabar in the Port of Bengal. This was followed by the Australia-India Joint Working Group in February 2008 where views were exchanged on regional and global security issues and opportunities for progressing the bilateral defence relationship.

Pakistan

Defence cooperation with Pakistan comprised senior-level visits, staff college exchanges and short training activities. The second Australia-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad and provided the opportunity to explore further opportunities for engagement between the two countries, in areas such as counter-terrorism, military education and training, industry cooperation, and expanded service-to-service and senior-level dialogue.

Bangladesh

Defence cooperation with Bangladesh involved Bangladeshi attendance at the International Peace Operations Seminar, two Defence Management Seminars, Emergency Management Seminar and the Military Leadership Forum.

  1. The Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia on the Framework for Security Cooperation is known as the Lombok Treaty. More information on this can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/GEO/indonesia/ind-aus-sec06.html.