Australia has a proud history of participating in and leading Peace Operations. From the first United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in 1947 to the regional stabilization missions of the early 2000s, Australia has shown it is willing to assist affected countries.
This paper seeks to assess Australia’s current levels of preparedness for Peace Operations and to discuss the opportunities and challenges that have arisen in this space since Australia’s last major engagement—the Indo-Pacific Peace Operations of the early-mid 2000s. This paper seeks to evaluate whether Australia is sufficiently ready to ‘stand up’ a peace operation quickly from an operational point of view, and in a whole of government manner. The evidence underpinning the paper is derived from a series of informal conversations undertaken in July 2019 with subject-matter experts from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Defence Force (ADF), government and non-government sectors. It will first discuss Australia’s readiness for Peace Operations in terms of personnel capabilities and training. Then, it will reflect on the challenges and opportunities drawn out of the conversations. Finally, it will offer some reflections and policy recommendations.