Essays on Australian defence

Author/s (editor/s):

Paul Dibb

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 161

The purpose of publishing this collection of essays is to gather together in one place my views on the Australian defence debate over the last four years. Since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, there has been an intense debate in Australia about the priorities, structure and funding of Australia's defence policy. Two schools of thought have emerged: one of them argues that the so-called defence of Australia doctrine is outdated and should no longer be the primary driver of the Australian Defence Force (ADF)'s force structure and, instead, priority should be given to developing an expeditionary force for distant coalition operations. The other school of thought argues that the defence of Australia and its vital regional interests should remain the primary drivers of Australia's force structure and that this will provide sufficient options for contributions to operations further afield-including with Australia's ally, the United States. The essays published here argue in support of the latter proposition.

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