Australia’s Strategic Analysis Capabilities: Reaching Critical Mass

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    Australia’s strategic analysis capabilities extend far beyond the staff, methods and sources available to formal intelligence assessment agencies, notably the Office of National Assessments (ONA) and the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO). Capabilities also encompass: other government organisations, including policy departments, which retain subject-area and analytical expertise; the resources of allied and other friendly countries with which Australia has regular dialogue; and non-government capacity, such as in Australia’s think tanks and universities, to the extent that this can be harnessed by government. The core capabilities, particularly those of ONA, have been substantially improved since the 2004 Flood Inquiry. In particular, staffing levels have been increased, and consultative and analytical processes better systematised. There remains, however, room for improvement, particularly in the exploitation and synthesis of online sources and other publicly-available expertise. The creativity and transparency of the US National Intelligence Council’s 2025 project and the UK Ministry of Defence’s DCDC Strategic Trends project provide models for a possible Australiaspecific process of presenting regular and contestable long-term assessments in the public domain.1
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-66
    JournalSecurity Challenges
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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