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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

The ADF and the Global Supply Challenge

By Beatrice Belarmino, Department of Defence, GLOBSEC, 2021

Beatrice Belarmino works for the Department of Defence as a policy officer. Her Policy Paper discusses The ADF and the Global Supply Challenge.

Executive Summary

From a health crisis to a geo-economic challenge, COVID-19 has exposed critical vulnerabilities not only in our health systems but also the resilience of our global supply chains. These vulnerabilities are not new but have been widely overlooked in favour of low production cost and high profits (Beaumont, 2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light questions regarding Australia’s ability to sustain high-intensity defence operations in times of adversity. With a rapidly degrading strategic environment, a reduced warning time to predict conflict, and a vulnerable supply chain, the current pandemic brings to light challenges to short-term preparedness that the defence force face especially when new capability is not guaranteed to be in service for another 20 years. This policy paper proposes measures to complement long-term Australian Defence Force capability with short-term preparedness through investments in supply chain resilience strategies which will allow for better risk mitigation and optimal inventory in times of crisis. ADF logistics will be bolstered by a resilient supply chain that can adapt and overcome future shocks to achieve maximum sustainable effort during strategic operations. This policy paper also recommends the introduction into service of Blockchain technology to enhance collaborative partnerships during crises.

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