National defence policy


National defence policy

A national defence policy is a deliberate and obligatory plan of action to guide government decisions and achieve rational outcome(s) on when and how to commit national armed forces. It is used to ensure retention of independence in national development, and alleviation of hardships imposed from hostile and aggressive external actors. The Defence Ministry (or a synonymous organisation) minister is the primary decision-maker for the national defence policy.

Defence policy identifies threats of hostility and aggression based on intelligence analysis, and defines military scope of national security, defence alliances, combat readiness, military organisation of national forces and their use of military technology.

The national defence policy defines the national defence strategy, the "when" of committing national armed forces. The national defence policy also defines the strategic posture, the "how", towards any possible threats to national territory, its society, environment, and economy, and defines options available to deal with such threats. The more options a defence policy provides to the government, the better it is considered in its formulation. Strategic posture in turn defines the military doctrine of the armed forces. This doctrine may include confronting threats to national interests located outside of the national territory such as shipping lanes. The defence strategy and military doctrine are developed though strategic policy and capability development processes.

A defence policy is created through the defence policy process of making important organisational decisions, including the identification of priorities and different alternatives such as defence personnel and technology programs or budget priorities, and choosing among them on the basis of the impact they will have on the overall national development. Defence policies can be understood as political, management, financial, administrative and executable mechanisms arranged to reach explicit military goals and objectives.

Defence policy addresses the achievement of its military goals and objectives by making explicit statements about the desired capability in: combat readiness, military organisational structures, defence organisational characteristics, military command and defence management, Political-Military relationship, role of armed forces, Defence Intelligence, Defence security, defence capability (fire power, Mobility, and resupply), block obsolescence, soldier systems development, recruiting, social change in the military, regular troops, reserve troops, and the conscription options.

Defence policy differs from rules of engagement determine when, where, and how military force is be used by formations and units.

ee also

* Capability management


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