National Defence Strategy for Australia: The Game of Go vs Chess

© 2024 Alexandra Hunter. All rights reserved.

This work challenges every reader to consider the implications of inaction and the value of foresight—a reminder that amidst the currents of war refugees and the thunderous approach of the enemy, emerges a test: How will Australia, with its "One-Shot" military capability, innovate and adapt in the face of a transformative global crisis? The answer may shape the future of a nation: .../

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Mission Plan Extract:

Enhancing Australia's National Security:
Integrating Civilian Forces and Strategic Insights


Australia's national security landscape is increasingly complex, with potential threats arising from geopolitical tensions, regional conflicts, and strategic manoeuvres by authoritarian states. Drawing on insights from "Danger On Our Doorstep" by Jim Molan, this essay explores the necessity of integrating veterans, sporting shooters, and a wide array of civilian groups into a comprehensive national defence strategy while understanding the strategic mindsets of potential adversaries.

Key Lessons from "Danger On Our Doorstep

Molan emphasizes three crucial points:

1. Australia will have preciously little time to conscript and train new recruits, unlike the bygone era of large scale conflicts.
2. The war over Taiwan will not resemble D-Day; it is likely China will pre-emptively strike American and allied bases in the Pacific before engaging Taiwan.
3. The conflict will require rapid, well-coordinated responses to counter these pre-emptive strikes effectively.

Historical Lessons and Strategic Mindsets

The fall of Singapore during World War II serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers of complacency and overreliance on external powers. Understanding the strategic mindsets of countries like China, which may view geopolitical manoeuvres through the lens of the game of Go—emphasizing long-term, incremental gains—provides critical insights into potential adversarial strategies. Democracies, with their sensitivity to public opinion and casualties, must anticipate and counter strategies that might seem extreme from a democratic perspective but are feasible for authoritarian states.

Leveraging Veterans' Expertise

Veterans at Returned and Services League (RSL) clubs possess invaluable military experience and strategic knowledge. Their involvement in advisory roles can significantly enhance national defence strategies. By tapping into this "military brainpower," Australia can develop more robust training programs, improve strategic planning, and foster a culture of preparedness across various levels of society. Engaging veterans in mentorship and advisory capacities ensures that their expertise is effectively utilised to strengthen national security.

The Role of Sporting Shooters and Civilian Defence

With approximately 700,000 sporting shooters across Australia, there is a substantial sub-group of individuals that represents a substantial resource for enhancing national defence for use only on Australian soil in the event of an unconventional invasion. Integrating these individuals into a third tier of defence, alongside the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and police, can provide a significant boost to the nation’s security capabilities. Rigorous training and certification programs, transparent oversight, and strong collaboration with law enforcement agencies can ensure that these civilian defence units operate safely and effectively. Public awareness campaigns and community engagement are essential to build trust and support for this initiative.

Broadening Civilian Involvement and Communication Resilience

In the face of potential conflicts and EMP attacks, which could disable modern communication networks, a broader civilian involvement is crucial. This includes farmers, pastoralists, Indigenous communities, truck operators, and others who can play key roles in maintaining communications. Developing low-tech communication methods, such as ham radios, signal flags, and courier systems, ensures continued coordination and information flow even in the event of an EMP attack. These groups, with their deep knowledge of the land and community networks, can become vital assets in a comprehensive national defence strategy.

Managing Potential Refugee Crises

In the event of conflicts that displace large populations, such as a war on the Korean peninsula or a limited nuclear exchange over Taiwan, Australia could face a significant influx of war refugees. These scenarios could result in millions of displaced individuals seeking safety. Authoritarian states, prioritising strategic goals over humanitarian concerns, might use war refugees as human shields or to mask military movements. This tactic could involve herding refugees into areas suitable for concealment, such as rainforests, to obscure the presence of armed forces.

To counter this, Australia must develop comprehensive plans to manage and mitigate the impact of sudden refugee influxes while maintaining security. Identifying safe zones, establishing robust screening processes, and leveraging advanced surveillance technologies are critical steps. The involvement of the Australian State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services in these efforts ensures a comprehensive and coordinated response.


Australia's national security strategy must evolve to address contemporary threats through a combination of military, civilian, and strategic insights. By leveraging the expertise of veterans, integrating sporting shooters and various civilian groups into defence plans, and understanding the strategic mindsets of potential adversaries, Australia can enhance its preparedness and resilience. A proactive approach that balances humanitarian considerations with national security imperatives will ensure that Australia remains vigilant and capable in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Updated 18/05/2024