J Molan, ‘Parliamentary defence committee needs the power to pursue a national security strategy’, The Strategist blog, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 13 December 2018
In this article I called for better parliamentary oversight of defence by the creation of a joint parliamentary committee on defence. I argued that current oversight, including examples from my role in the sub-committee of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, is hampered by a lack of transparency and lack of access to classified information. I stated:
“Why is it that intelligence and security are considered more worthy of effective parliamentary oversight than is defence? Those days have passed.
Strategy should be its focus because nothing is more important than strategy. In the absence of a national security strategy, the sub-committee at its last meeting has resolved that, regardless of who is in government, its task during 2019 will be to hold an inquiry into the need for a national security strategy. The sub-committee can do this sub-optimally by using unclassified sources such as think tanks and academia. But imagine how much more effective parliament could be if it could also receive classified information from officials.”