This paper begins with a description of an Australian Special Forces raid in Afghanistan where civilians were killed and wounded. The subsequent White Paper prompted several questions: What exactly are “situations of armed conflict short of conventional war”? How does the Australian Defence Force (ADF) “establish a secure environment in conflict zones”? What role should the ADF play in a ‘stabilization’ situation? And what can we do to further develop a “whole-of-government” effort? And have we adequately organized, trained and equipped Australian forces “for conflicts within societies”? To answer these questions, this paper examines how the Australian Government can assist another state government to restore and maintain public security by developing capacity in its security and criminal justice sectors.
But this paper is not just about Australia because Australia’s experiences are not unlike those being experienced by the United States, the United Kingdom, and others. This is particularly relevant as the Asia-Pacific region is becoming more of an area of an interest to U.S. National Security.