ADM Podcasts are a blend of public interest journalism and sponsored content with a focus on the Defence community. Conversations with leaders and thinkers from a range of backgrounds including academia, Defence, industry, and associations, ADM Podcasts aims to educate, explain and explore some of the bigger issues around Defence.

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In this episode, Grant McHerron meets with Katherine Ziesing, Managing Editor of ADM, and Dr Marcus Hellyer & Dr Malcolm Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) for a lively discussion on topics relating to government funding of Defence, the changing strategic environment and the impacts on both due to COVID-19.

Commencing with Defence funding, Dr Hellyer reviews the government's apparent commitment to 2% of GDP for funding, along with the 2016 Defence White Paper's minimum spend levels. We also discuss historical examples of Defence funding since WW2, impacts on funding from previous recessions and the impact of sustainment costs.

Moving on to the strategic environment, Dr Davies considers that we are in a period of strategic warning with China increasing its global presence which, in turn, will put significant pressure on our Defence funding that may create difficulties for government budgeting. We also discuss public awareness of the changing strategic situation, the potential for the USA to reduce its presence in our area and the increase in political & intelligence operations being experienced.

The strategic discussion segways towards the possible transition from large, expensive platforms to asymmetric, networked collections of less expensive assets and the increasing use of autonomous unmanned systems. We then wrap up with a discussion on supply chain security, Australian Industry Capability and why doing everything in Australia may not be the optimum solution going forward.

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