Unfortunately, her words from today are a dire warning:
"The Government is committed to delivering one of the most capable defence forces in our region with the people and equipment we need to do the job, including the joint strike fighters, the new amphibious ships, the new submarines and our air warfare destroyers," Ms Gillard said.
The 2013 Defence White Paper is a failure before it starts. Unworkable. Unaffordable. A loss of national defence capability; continuing.
With no end in sight.
The new submarines (with 12 being a made up number from the last failed White Paper in 2009) will be a challenge if Operation: BARKING MAD goes through.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a Joint Strike Failure. In spite of what the gone-native-to-Lockheed Martin entrenched defence bureaucracy (EDB) thinks, this aircraft is at severe risk of being late (again--now 7 years late. 9 years according to some comments back in 2002.); even more expensive and a disaster in the making for any air arm that intends to use it.
I still haven't figured out where they will find the crew for the large air warfare destroyers and large, new amphibious ships. Without a capable air supremacy or sub plan, they will be dead-meat in a war.
Instead of believing the fibs from the EDB maybe Gillard's team should do some independent investigations into these matters that does not involve the tainted Australian Strategic Policy Institute and others.
Gillard's team should also look at how Canada's Defence establishment misled Parliament over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Or, look at how the Dutch Defence establishment misled their elected officials over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Or, take a look at how the U.S. Defense Department misled their elected officials about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Get the picture?
If the current (or next) PM's team is unable see through the fog, the 2013 Defence White Paper won't be much different than the failed 2009 paper.
I suspect the 2013 Defence White Paper will be an exercise in analysis using no credible analysis.
Any new Defence White Paper has to look first at fixing the core show-stopping problems with Defence. For the nation's top leader to commit to x,y and z faulty weapons programs is no way to start such an allegedly important document.