Evaluating Prime Minister Rudd’s National Security Statement

Nowadays, several countries focus on security to protect their assets from any risk or threats. Australia, being one of those countries, seeks to provide high quality security to keep its environments safe from various hazards. For example, the Australian government uses several people like Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to analyse the threats and risks it faces. In addition, the prime minister provides the framework that informs Australia’s National Security, thus allowing the country to detect and protect its environment from any risk or threats. This report expounds on the first national security statement delivered by Prime Minster Kevin Rudd to the Australian Parliament focused on four elements: National Security Adviser (NSA), strategic policy framework, National intelligence coordination committee (NICC) and development of national crisis management capabilities. The paper evaluates the framework upon which Australia’s National Security lays, and demonstrates strengths and weaknesses of this model.

Australia National Security

Australian government defines the Australia National Security as a network to link several organisations such as the federal government, state and territory governments, and their departments and agencies, to identify and analyse any threats that affect security in the country. Such a network enables the detection of security threats by detecting, preventing and responding to acts of terrorism. Moreover, the Australia National Security outlines roles and responsibilities for Australia’s national security agencies such as Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Such delineation of the mandate of various agencies involved in securing the country gives avoids an overlap of roles among the agencies, thus enhancing communication and effective monitoring of threats.

Kevin Rudd’s Statement

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, one of the people who developed the security roles and responsibilities in Australian government, highlighted the national security framework in his first statement on national security presented to the Australian Parliament. Apart from explaining the framework, he expounded on how Australia national security can deal with the threats to security that the country faces.

Framework

Element 1

The statement by the prime minister on national security outlines how the Australia national security can control all matters security. For instance, Kevin Rudd appointed Duncam Lewis as a National Security Adviser (NSA) to advise the Australian government on policy matters concerning Australia’s national security. The NSA will help the government to achieve its national security policies by providing relevant information from his experience in military and civilian security. Furthermore, the NSA will help the Australian government to enhance the strategic direction of the national security community and develop a cohesive national security culture. As a result, Kevin requested the NSA to develop the national security programs as a basis for Australia’s national security structure.

Element 2

The second element of the statement concerned the setting up of the strategic policy framework for Australia’s national security. The architecture of such a framework will depend on steps provided to guide and coordinate the work of national security community, which includes setting security priorities, allocating resources and evaluating performance. Such work is enabled through adequate budgetary allocation to the institutions charged with the country’s security, a budget that is informed on the advice of the NSA. In recommending the budgetary allocations for various security agencies, the NSA has to evaluate the outcomes of various agencies’ activities, and highlight these in the National Security Statement. Such an analysis is necessary since the Australian government needs to focus on a future of national security capabilities and policies by ensuring the effective and efficient use of existing resources.

Element 3:

A third element noted in the statement by Kevin Rudd, is establishing a National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC). The NICC can help the Australian government and the Australia National Security to identify security threats. However, for the NICC to be effective, the NSA will need to ensure that it can cover the entire government’s objectives through collaborative efforts of all agencies. Accordingly, all intelligence agencies, including foreign, defence, security and transnational law enforcement agencies, need to work together to provide the government with high quality information upon which it can act.

However, the statement noted that the Office of National Assessments (ONA) would focus on its work as stipulated in the statutory responsibilities. This is because the ONA covers all the assessment and analyses of international political, strategic and economic developments for the Prime Minister and senior ministers in the Cabinet’s National Security Committee. Such aspects imply that the NICC will provide the necessary framework for collaboration among agencies, but avoid curtailing the work of other critical agencies.

Element 4

The last element in the national security statement is developing the national crisis management capabilities. This element resulted from the recommendation made by Mr Smith, to establish a Crisis Coordination Centre to help and support any decisions the government makes during crises. According to the recommendation, the centre can provide help to security agencies in Australia government, by enabling interagency management of crises. Accordingly, the Crisis Coordination Centre can help the government to manage crises by rolling out national programs for managing security crises.

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