Initiating a new national support approach – mobilising national logistics in the support of military operations

Initiating a new national support approach – mobilising national logistics in the support of military operations

Author: logisticsinwar
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A submission to the 2022 Defence Strategic Review.

By David Beaumont

It is increasingly recognised that substantial adaptions to the preparedness of Defence, and Australia writ large, need to be made. Over the last decade important decisions made, and policy statements issued, commensurate to the changing nature of threats to Australia’s strategic interests. Organisations have been redesigned, inter-Departmental capabilities restructured, and capability investments made to enable national responses to potentially existential security challenges. The ability to operate in emerging domains such as ‘space’ and ‘cyber’, act in the ‘grey zone’, or investments in new technologies from hypersonic weaponry to automation and AI are seen as offsets to potential adversaries. The prospect of a war involving Australia is discussed openly, yet there is a growing realisation that less glamourous matters are impacting Defence’s ability to prepare for such potentialities. Supply chains are ‘strangling strategy’, with the movement of commodities so significant an issue that logistics is securitising.[1]  And yes, global supply is recognised as essential for the ‘creation and sustaining [of] combat capabilities’ and securing supply chains ‘makes securing them increasingly more important to operational success than the defence of lines of communication has ever been.[2] The integration between military and civilian sources of logistics and support are now extolled as underpinning the ADF’s ability to respond to crises in the future.[3]

A range of reports prepared over the last decade have recommended Western militaries adopt new approaches to logistics, as well as point to the role of civilian resources in preparedness and crisis responses. Examples have included the US Department of Defence’s ‘Defence Science Board’ 2018 report on ‘S

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