The Revolution in Military Affairs: Why it still matters
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The global security environment is rapidly changing and threats to the state as well as the global international order are mounting. Successive Australian governments have chosen to respond to this fluid environment by buying up big. The special relationship as defined through the US alliance dictates much of this policy. Some claim that the Australian military has become so deeply enmeshed with the US it is now difficult to discern differences between the two. Unsurprisingly Australia has followed the high-tech American approach to big- ticket military purchases, most recently the proposed $40 billion submarine project. With this in mind, I will argue the theoretical framework known as the revolution in military affairs (RMA) has influenced Washington’s, and therefore Australia’s, policy makers in both R&D and procurement choices. RMA focuses on the application of technology and its ability to create significant paradigm shifts capable of subordinating an existing military epoch. RMA theory is a transitional exploration of innovative practice and organisational adaptation, and arguably creates a framework to understand, and more contentiously, predict future military trends. Whether Australia continues to rely on American military leadership or chooses to go it alone, the increasing importance of technology to warfighting continues to make RMA relevant to strategic planning and understanding. Claims regarding RMAs decreased efficacy are premature, I will argue the theory requires increased and ongoing focus.
Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2015: The Future of Politics and Political Science
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Political Science not elsewhere classified