Journal of the australian naval


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Pago 22 - Novombor 86 Journal ot the Australian Naval Institute




The Policy Commmunlty

This policy community is extensive. It consists of the following principal groups:

  • the Government — as noted above, the Executive drawn from the majority party in the House of Representatives determines both the content and application of defence policy:

  • the Parliament — while the Parliament is largely controlled by the party having the majority in the House of Representatives, it is, mainly through its Committees, a significant contributor to the defence policy process;

  • the Public Service — because of its continuity and long-term involvement in the formulation and implementation of policy, the Public Service plays a leading role in the defence policy community. Apart from the Department of Defence, the Departments most directly involved include Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury, Foreign Affairs. Finance, Special Minister of State. Housing and Construction. Aviation and Transport;




This is the military strategist with muscles like granite boulders the only thing he's missing, though is something twixt cap and shoulders

particular purposes (for example. Eltringham, Utz and Dibb in recent years), and members of the public at large who have individual views on many matters impinging on defence policy.

And heres the straiegic analyst

he has neither sword nor pistol

he walks around with a stoop, you see

because his balls are crystal

  • the Australian Defence Force (ADF) — as professionals with a direct and long-term stake in national defence, members of the Armed Services also play an important role in the formulation and implementation of defence policy, especially the latter. The ADF is the ultimate means of defending national objectives through the use of military force, and as such provides essential inputs into the policy process itself;

  • the 'public' — for want of a better term, the 'public' embraces a wide range of informed and trained policy operatives, including academics, journalists, political commentators, a wide range of pressure groups (for instance the RSL). specialist 'think tanks' and other mechanisms for consultation, together with other specialists who might be appointed for


But amongst these groups, the Defence Organization comprising the Department of Defence and the ADF exerts most influence on the policy process. Between them, these two groups formulate, develop and implement essential defence policy. Although they do not. in any final sense, decide defence policy, the Department and the ADF play such a crucual role in the policy process that without them a defence policy would not exist

The real significance of the roles played by the Department and the ADF is often misunderstood. It is sometimes the case that the civilians who constitute the Department of Defence regard the Servicemen who constitute the ADF as inept at analytical and abstract policy work. By the same token, members of the ADF may regard the civilians as being remote from the practicalities of defence. While the accompanying illustrations afford an amusing glimpse of the two stereotypes, it is fundamentally important that the civil servants and Service officers most closely involved in the development of defence policy avoid such stereotypes. The Department and the ADF play a joint role which, in the Australian environment, is absolutely essential to the orderly management of defence policy.

November 86, Journal ol the Australian Naval Instilule — Page 23

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