Accession Number : ADA328826

Title :   Australia's National Defence Strategy - Old Wine in New Bottles?

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Gray, Stephen

PDF Url : ADA328826

Report Date : APR 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 87

Abstract : For the major part of its history Australia's national defence policy has relied upon alliances with major world powers to ensure its security. The Nixon Doctrine and withdrawal of United Kingdom forces from East of the Suez persuaded Australia to develop a more independent strategy, which attempts to develop regional balances of power and cooperative security agreements. Australia's defence forces are required to become self reliant, but within a framework of alliances. Although contemplated throughout the 1970s, this strategy was first articulated in 1986, and was most recently reinforced through the release of the 1994 Defence White Paper "Defending Australia." The paper examines this strategy, its history and objectives, and reviews it in relation to Australia's regional setting and proposed objectives. Limitations such as constraining the area from which threats to Australia are assumed to occur, the definition of the nature of the threats, and the time frame within which major threats may occur are examined. A series of questions suggest that the strategy does not reflect current or potential future regional balances of power, perspectives and culture, while also failing to address emerging threats and actors such as non-state institutions, information warfare and economic warfare. The paper concludes that the strategy is flawed because it assumes the outcome of political, military and diplomatic liaison will be as hoped, and falls to provide any alternative in the event that unanticipated regional tensions or hostilities eventuate which may threaten Australian interests. Stopping short of suggesting an alternate strategy, the paper recommends approaches to defining the region, including the use of alternate futures development.

Descriptors :   *FOREIGN POLICY, *POLITICAL ALLIANCES, *AUSTRALIA, *DEFENSE PLANNING, *REGIONAL PLANNING, MILITARY STRATEGY, NATIONAL SECURITY, DECISION MAKING, MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), POWER, AGREEMENTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, COOPERATION, ECONOMIC WARFARE, INFORMATION WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE