Retired Major General Jim Molan has made the case for Australia’s Defence policy settings to be dramatically realigned in light of a rapidly changing strategic environment.
Addressing some key strategic considerations in a one-on-one interview with Defence Connect, Molan acknowledged that great strides had been made in addressing some of his long-term bugbears.
"The whinging and complaining that I've been indulging in over many, many years about the state of the Defence force, a lot of those issues have been addressed," he said.
"But, the one thing that really is not occurring at the moment is the adjustment of the Defence policy [to] the reality of the strategic environment. The world has changed."
Arguing that the nature and future of warfare had changed irrevocably, Molan emphasised that "we have got to adjust for the world as it is, not the world that we hoped it was going to be some years ago".
In addition, Molan noted that it had become imperative for Australia to realise it was moving too slow for the world.
"We're making this podcast on the day that a lot of the controversy over the phone calls [between] President Trump and our Prime Minister [has] come out," he added. "That just reinforces the total unpredictability about where we stand."
Specifically, Molan cited the 2016 Defence White Paper as another push that might prove to be too little, too late.
"That Defence White Paper took a number of years in gestation, and what concerns me is that it is producing a force by maybe 2030, which we should have right now," he said.
"I made the statement, which is as contentious and unchallengeable as any other statement, but I say that we are five to 15 years behind where we should be in reality in relation to Defence."