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Australia needs to prepare for political warfare: ‘We need to be able to attack their weaknesses’

John Stanley

Australia needs to develop both defensive and offensive approaches to the increase of foreign interference in Australian institutions.

A piece written in the Australian newspaper by Liberal MP and former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma says we need to prepare for “political warfare” to protect Australia’s sovereignty.

“This is a trend that’s seen around the world, Russia is an obvious practitioner of this, but so is a couple of other states,” Dave Sharma tells John Stanley.

These countries have what they call “information operations” designed to spread their version of events and sometimes false information to confuse the public and make them question who they should trust, says Mr Sharma.

“They use actors… they’re certainly not in uniform, they might not be part of the formal state apparatus but they’re proxies that can be disavowed in some sense so that they can say it’s not us.

“Its one of these things that highlights the future way of warfare.”

Mr Sharma says it is clear we need to be prepared to use similar methods against them and against their own weaknesses.

“They see our openness and our liberalism and our free press as a weakness in our society and we need to be able to attack their weaknesses,” says Mr Sharma.

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