Outcome 5 Strategic Policy

Performance information
Output 5.2 Strategic Policy and Military Strategy

Strategic Policy

This output provides strategic guidance, policy advice and military strategy to enable the Government to make sound judgments on, and respond to, changes in Australia's strategic environment. This includes developing the strategic framework for capability planners and warfighters, and managing input into the development of Defence strategic reviews and updates. It provides analysis of Australia's strategic environment to inform decision making, including the development and use of Defence capability.

This output produces higher-level Defence guidance, deliberate planning and military strategic guidance on the employment of the ADF and its capabilities. It provides advice and management of export controls for defence and dual use items, provides policy guidance on defence aspects of non-proliferation and arms control, and coordinates defence involvement in domestic security and counter-terrorism efforts.

In 2007-08, Strategic Policy Division was the lead area involved in drafting the treaty between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Defense Trade Cooperation. The Treaty was signed by the former Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, and the President of the United States, George W Bush, in September 2007. The Implementing Arrangement was negotiated and signed in March 2008. New legislation and processes are now being developed to enable the ratification and implementation of the Treaty.

Security policy

During 2007-08, Defence continued to coordinate non-operational policy for Defence involvement in domestic security, including pandemic planning. Defence also coordinated arms control issues and provided input for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Defence was a major participant in the Australian delegation involved in the international Oslo processes to ban cluster munitions which cause unacceptable harm to civilians. This included providing advice on the capability, operational and policy aspects of the proposed draft text of the Oslo Convention on cluster munitions.

Defence maintained its involvement in counter-proliferation matters, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, and engagement in outreach activities on export control and counter-proliferation in the region.1 Defence was also involved in missile defence issues and managed Australia's export control system for defence and strategic goods, including significant engagement with other government agencies required to implement various United Nations sanctions.

Performance Targets Performance
Provide the Government and Defence with comprehensive and timely strategic policy advice on current and emerging strategic issues in the international, national and domestic environment that affect Defence. Achieved. Developed the Defence Planning Guidance endorsed by the Government as the key policy guidance for Defence:
  • Produced and promulgated Defence Strategic Interests and Priorities 2008.
  • Managed the Strategic Capability and Technology Framework Track 1 of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations process including conducting strategic scenario planning and exchanging personnel, and strategic policy and planning documents with the United States.[1]
  • Produced strategic guidance that assesses risks and opportunities, now and into the future, and articulates Defence's top-level priorities and requirements.
  • Conducted strategic analysis for the next Defence White Paper, due for release in early 2009.
  • Developed advice to the Government on missile defence and space situational awareness policy.
Provide comprehensive and timely advice to the Government and Defence on military strategy and future military concepts that reflect the changing strategic environment. Achieved. Promulgated Australia's Military Strategy 2007 and a series of Defence Strategic Planning Guidance for Operations:
  • Conducted strategic war games.
  • Provided strategic guidance for principals and for Defence planners through strategy papers.
  • Released the provisional Australian Capability Context Scenarios for force structure review testing in developing the Defence White Paper.[2]
Provide comprehensive and timely advice to the Government and Defence on proliferation issues and administer counter-proliferation and export control activities as required by legislation. Achieved. Coordinated Australian involvement in the Proliferation Security Initiative, including regional outreach. Provided advice to the Government on arms control issues, including advice on international and domestic proposals to ban cluster munitions. Developed advice on Australia's export control system for defence and dual-use goods, including advice on the requirements to implement the Australia-United States Treaty Concerning Defense Trade Cooperation.[3]
Provide the Government and Defence with improved policy input to the whole-of-government domestic security and counter-terrorism programs. Achieved. Coordinated Defence involvement in domestic security policy, particularly through the National Counter Terrorism Committee. Coordinated the Defence contribution to whole-of-government efforts to prevent, prepare and respond to terrorism, pandemics and chemical, biological and radiological threats, including the Publicly Funded Agencies' Collaborative Counter Terrorism Research Program.
Develop and enhance Defence's strategic policy workforce. Achieved. Delivered Defence and strategic policy seminars and roundtables:
  • Developed the Strategic Policy Proficiency Framework
  • Supported strategic studies in universities
  • Delivered the pilot Australian Strategic Policy Short Courses
  • Continued the delivery of defence and strategic policy seminars to Defence graduates
  • Supported Defence participation on courses at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.[4]


  1. More information on the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/geo/us/ausmin.
  2. More information on the Defence White Paper can be found at www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper.
  3. More information on the Australia-United States Treaty Concerning Defense Trade Cooperation can be found at www.defence.gov.au/publications/DefenceTradeCooperation_Treaty.pdf.
  4. More information on the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies can be found at www.apcss.org.
  1. More information on the Proliferation Security Initiative can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/globalissues/psi.