In the 1999 report of William Cohen to the U.S. President and U.S. Congress reveals that the strategic vision sets out what the United States has on its agenda to accomplish in relation to technological and logistical strategies. Included in these strategies are modernization of intelligence processes as well as security, information operations, information assurance, and critical infrastructure protection. In a 2004 Department of Defense Submission - Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Inquiry into Australian-United States Defense Relations' report, it is stated that the alliance, now ongoing for approximately fifty-three years between the United States and Australia "has never been closer." (2004) it is stated that the ANZUS Treaty provides "shape, depth and weight to the Australia-U.S. alliance and remains today the foundation of a relationship that is one of our greatest national assets." (Cohen, 2004) the continued commitment of the United States to the Asia Pacific is stated to be strongly supported by Australia.
In terms of issues of 'interoperability', two centric themes are "shaping the way forward for U.S. -Australia interoperability: (1) experience of recent military operations; and (2) transformation - reshaping warfighting concepts and capabilities. (Cohen, 2004) it is held in this work that the U.S. And Australian forces "work especially well together." (Cohen, 2004) Additionally stated by Cohen is: "Bilateral exercises with the U.S. provide excellent training opportunities for both the ADF and U.S. forces in high-intensity coalition operations. Exercise participation helps establish the fundamentals of interoperability such as the connectivity of our communication and data systems, and an appreciation of our approach to issues such as rules of engagement. Importantly, our performance in major joint exercises builds confidence within the U.S. that we are a capable coalition partner. The strong relationship built by these activities has permitted Australia to integrate effectively and efficiently with U.S. forces in coalition operations." (2004)
Cohen additionally related in the 2004 report that the sharing defense intelligence relationship that exists between the U.S. And Australia is "critical to our defense and security and further serves to considerably enhance the Defense ability in meeting the needs of decision-makers in government and customers who are operational. Cohen states: "At the strategic level, as well as at the operational and tactical levels, Australia and the U.S. have engaged in intelligence sharing activities, to mutual benefit. This has most recently been demonstrated during military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where intelligence sharing between Australia and the U.S. directly contributed to the success of those operations, and during which the U.S. provided Australia unprecedented access to intelligence and intelligence systems. The same level of intelligence cooperation has also underpinned our shared efforts in the global war against terrorism." (2004) Cohen states that while Australia is a major consumers of services there is in reality no 'indigenous space capabilities as the investment needed to support an indigenous capability can not be justified. As space systems are critical to civilian and military functions, Australian dependence upon foreign systems and particularly U.S. systems is therefore inevitable." (2004) Cohen relates that it is top priority among Australian government leaders to adhere to the standards of interoperability between the U.S. And Australian forces.
The Australian government is "vigorously pursuing initiatives" that will enable Australian industries to work cooperatively and competitively with the defense industry in the United States. Cohen states: "In a changed strategic environment where the threats of terrorism and WMD have added a new dimension to the security challenges that we face, the importance of our alliance with the United States to our defense and security cannot be over stated. For Australia, continued engagement with the U.S. will support our defense capabilities and play a critical role in maintaining strategic stability in the region as a whole. For the U.S., Australia will remain a key ally with many shared values and interests, a close partner in regional security efforts and a significant potential contributor to coalitions." (2004)
The United States is held to be the largest developer and manufacturer in the world of high technology defense capabilities." This causes the cooperation between defense industries of every country a matter of critical importance for Australia and specifically in the industrial cooperation of defense sector supports as follows:
interoperability between Australian and U.S. forces;
Strategic sourcing for Australian and U.S. forces;
Industrial efficiency and innovation in the respective defense industry sectors; and the scale and leverage essential to supporting self-reliance in Australian defense industries, which, in global terms are relatively small and concentrated in specialized capabilities. (Australian Department of Defense, 2004)
Recent gains made in the Australian defense industry due to participation in the multilateral Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and in the bilateral programs associated with the Nulka Anti-Ship Missile Decoy, the Metal Strom electronic ballistics technology, Heavy Weight Torpedoes, the Wundurra future soldier program, and the Collins combat system." (Australian Department of Defense, 2004) Impediments that stand as barriers to the participation of Australia in the U.S. defense market are stated to include commercial aspects that "reflect the different size and structures of the respective defense sectors." (Australian Department of Defense, 2004) Stated as a key set of initiatives that Australia is, concentrating on presently includes those, which will "open the way for more effective communications and logistics, training and education." (Australian Department of Defense, 2004)
The country of Australia is heavily reliant on the collaboration of science between the United States and Australia in leveraging resources, accessing technology and in assessing unique facilities and to enable scientific development and exploitation.. It is stated that the total value derived by Australia "from these arrangements is: "... that the Australian Defense Organization, derives from these arrangements is very substantial, and is probably worth several hundred million dollars per year. Because collaboration is conducted on a reciprocal basis, the U.S. would derive a similar return from these arrangements." (Australian Department of Defense, 2004)
It is related that the primary bilateral agreement of collaboration that Australia and the U.S. have entered into is the R&D defense "Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia concerning Co-operative and Collaborative Research, Development and Engineering which is also known as the Deutch -Ayers Agreement. " (Australian Department of Defense, 2004) There are many projects under this agreement and it is stated in 2004, when this report was written that nineteen projects were under the agreement at that time which included the 'Electronic Warfare Self-Protection Equipment' research and development initiative and the 'Mutual Weapons Development Data Exchange Agreement' covering the exchange of technical information between Australia and the United States. Stated to be the most significant of all multilateral defense scientific international arrangements between Australia and the United States is 'The Technical Cooperation Program' (TTCP) which is an international program involving collaborative exchange of defense and scientific information as well as "harmonization and alignment, and shared research activities between the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand." (Australian Department of Defense, 2004)
The work of Hassan Fakri entitled: "Could it Be Shaped to Provide Agile Combat Support to Multinational Operations? states: "...understanding coalition capabilities and their needs becomes a must prior to waging war." (2003) in fact, Fakri relates that in the future the support of coalition will "serve the purpose of the logistician's future vision, which is moving away from the idea of deploying material and personnel en masse, and focusing on deploying on-time delivery to the use of existing coalition partners' logistics inside of near the theatre of operations." (2003) Fakri states that there is a need for the coalition to "integrate and optimize use of all these diversities in the logistics arena to gain leverage. Integration will permit the synergy necessary for efficient and effective Agile Combat Support, key to success of the expeditionary forces." (2003) Difficulties may be of the nature of political, economical or military..." This will require 'visionary leadership ' in demonstrating to coalition members the process in very complex environments allowing the coalition to experientially learn and in seeking to utilize concepts and processes that are already in existence. This will encourage cohesion and enhance interoperability among the forces of the initiative. Logistics data share will include the areas of: (1) infrastructure; (2) national transportation means; (3) lines of communication; (4) compatibility; (5) integration of material; (6) maintenance; and (7) intransit visibility. (Fakri, 2003) There is a need for uniformity of equipment and materials among coalition forces in order to "ease the burden of the logistical support and focus on other areas." Fakri, 2003) Also stated as needed is a tool or new information technology for enabling the communication of coalition partners through " a universal language and be understood by all logisticians." Fakri concludes by stating: "In an era where forces are becoming expeditionary, fighting far from home among a diverse coalition, logistical support has to evolve in the same manner to meet all needs of the engaging forces and provide consistent Agile Combat Support on time, in the right place, at…