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Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite
In Joint by Design, Robbin Laird provides a cogent explanation for the urgent need for Australian and global rethinking of the evolving threats of totalitarian regimes and the need for modern, forward-thinking defense strategies. While the book is an academic treatise on one level, it is readable by any individual interested in the subject. With the Williams Foundation at the center, Laird delivers enlightened views from experts. Beginning with the Australian Prime Minister’s report on the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the 2020 Force Structure Plan at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Laird lays out the Australian government’s new defense strategy. The book brings clarity and focuses on the Plan’s three core objectives: to shape Australia’s strategic environment, deter actions against Australia’s interests, and respond with credible military force when required.
Understanding Robbin Laird’s involvement with the Williams Foundation underscores his credibility in bringing this book together. Laird notes that the world is moving back to major power confrontations after years of asymmetrical adjustments to terror threats and rogue regimes. From the perspectives of Air Marshal (Retired) Geoff Brown down to the perspectives of an Australian F-22 pilot, Robbin Laird’s book focuses on Australia’s updating of defense and security strategy. From his introduction to the path of change, and clear explanations of the context and the nature of the changes, Robbin Laird leads the discussion of Australia’s strategy that generates a broader response to the challenges posed by today’s superpowers. Specifically, the Chinese in the Indo-Pacific region.
Joint by Design broadens the study to a global level focused on Australia’s national and international joint efforts to face the re-emerging military threats of China and Russia. With broad-based and tangential experience and knowledge of Dr. Laird’s subject, my opinion of this work is positive and I admire his ability to provide depth, context, and the projection of many viewpoints, political and military, in a readable work for anyone interested in world security. The ability to defend and prevail over totalitarian regimes in the 21st century impacts us all and Robbin Laird has given us a powerful tool to expand our knowledge and awareness of the dangers.