The fundamental goal of our National Defence Force is to protect our country from enemies – both foreign and domestic.
The 1987 Government policy of defence self-reliance ‘gives priority to the ability to defend ourselves with our own resources.’, while also stating that we ‘develop self-reliant solutions to our unique strategic circumstances.’
This former policy acknowledges the importance of the Australian – US alliance, but emphasises Australia’s military independence to defend itself if and as needed.
In contrast, the Federal Government 2013 white paper defines our self-reliance as:
Australia’s defence policy is founded on the principle of self-reliance in deterring or defeating armed attacks on Australia, within the context of our Alliance with the United States and our cooperation with regional partners.
We believe that this later interpretation relies too heavily on the support of external forces, whereas the EAP support redefining this policy to read :
Australia’s defence policy is founded on the principle of self-reliance in deterring or defeating armed attacks on Australia, and – where required – to develop self-reliant solutions to our unique strategic circumstances.
This defence will be conducted where possible in cooperation with the support of our allies and regional partners.
This policy will also focus on providing full support for returning Australian servicemen and women. We will provide access to Health, Welfare, and Repatriation services to ensure the safe return and reintegration into society of those who have defended our Country.
We will strive to ensure that the manufacture of all defense equipment for Australian Armed Forces will be retained by engaging Australian manufacturers as first choice suppliers in all possible situations.
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