Modern Deterrence

Paul Arbon, Robert Muller, Roberta Crouch, Paul Barnes, Allison Bourke, Alexei Filinkov, Richard Nunes-Vaz, Daniel Bilusich, Glenn Varona

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The global security environment has changed and is characterised by greater complexity, interconnectedness and interdependence. Australia’s defence policy is being adjusted to account for the re-emergence of great power competition, actions by non-state actors, possible disruptive technologies, and the ways our interests may be threatened other than by use of force. These changes have invigorated discussion on deterrence in the contemporary and future operating environments.
Defence faces challenges in achieving a credible and sustainable deterrence effect using military power. However, deterrence is not achieved by military power alone, and modern threat scenarios feature hybrid threats with increased likelihood of cascading and unexpected consequences. This report considers how the Australian Defence Force can contribute to deterrence in an era of strategic competition that involves threats such as coercion, espionage, sabotage, and subterfuge. A key focus of the research is the contributions Defence might provide in a whole-of-government approach to deterrence, and if we can assess the sustained effect of those contributions in a holistic manner.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherCommonwealth of Australia
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Deterrence
  • Defence
  • global security


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