In July 2007, the Australian Government released its latest strategic defence review, Australia's National Security: A Defence Update 2007. This Update is the third since the 2000 Defence White Paper. It reflects the Government's commitment to regularly review Australia's strategic outlook, and to ensure that Defence retains the appropriate balance of concepts, capabilities and forces to meet strategic challenges as they arise. This Update concludes that Australia faces no direct conventional threat, and benefits from its geography. It also recognises the increasing complexity of the security environment and the need to prepare for a range of threats that could occur without much warning.
Currently, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is deployed on a range of operations, mainly in the Middle East and the South Pacific. The ADF will continue to operate at a high tempo and in diverse and often challenging environments. Stability, security and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan will take time. Terrorism remains a major threat, including in our own region. Strengthening fragile and vulnerable states in our area remains a key concern. For these reasons, the Government expects Australia to be called on to be a security leader in our immediate region and work with others to shape positive security outcomes principally in stabilisation, humanitarian and reconstruction operations. In addition, the ADF would also contribute significantly to operations where Australian interests are engaged.