Note: This is part of a series. You can read part one and part two here.

My argument ultimately boils down to two points: First, there is a very real threat that Australian Defence Force members face today, and second, it’s a fact that they can do nothing about it. It highlights how dangerously exposed they are due to specific legislation which is benefiting no one except criminals and would-be terrorists. The government is delusional if it thinks that it alone is going to be able to protect every single one of its citizens at all times. The Sydney Siege is a perfect example. Their Band-Aid solution so far has revolved around simply issuing memorandums to their service personnel in order to keep them safe.

While these certainly fit into an effective risk-management strategy, it would only ever form one layer of a comprehensive, defence-in-depth approach to force protection. The defence-in-depth principle represents a systematic, highly integrated approach to the physical security of people and assets. Like layers of an onion, mitigation strategies such as Facebook restrictions should only form part of an overall protection strategy; it should not be the only strategy. The entire concept of defence-in-depth rests on the notion that a shortfall in one protection layer will not lead to a wider, more serious failure in the entire system.

If, however, an attacker manages to defeat a military personnel’s softer measures—such as Facebook restrictions—and confronts them at their place of work, their home, at the shops, or anywhere for that matter, how effective is a memo going to be in protecting that individual? If that military personnel did everything they could to minimise their public profile as a current or former member of the ADF, but were still faced with an impending act of violence, what at that given point is going to protect them? I don’t think I need to spell it out.