Journal Articles | 09 August 2006

Time to move on in the defence policy debate

The paradigm of strategic geography gained prominence in Australian defence policy in the 1987 Defence White Paper 'The Defence of Australia'. Time and evolving strategic circumstance has made this paradigm increasingly irrelevant to Australia's defence. Recent Government defence policy, operational commitments and acquisitions reflect this fact. Despite this, adherents continue to advocate the need for strategic geography as the bedrock of Australian defence Policy.In an article published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 60(3), pp. 358-363, September 2006, the Lowy Institute's Army Fellow, Mark O'Neill, argues that the case has been made to move on from the strategic geography paradigm. He points out that many of the arguments made in support of it do not stand up under detailed examination.

Mark O'Neill

  • Mark O'Neill

The paradigm of strategic geography gained prominence in Australian defence policy in the 1987 Defence White Paper 'The Defence of Australia'. Time and evolving strategic circumstance has made this paradigm increasingly irrelevant to Australia's defence. Recent Government defence policy, operational commitments and acquisitions reflect this fact. Despite this, adherents continue to advocate the need for strategic geography as the bedrock of Australian defence Policy.In an article published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 60(3), pp. 358-363, September 2006, the Lowy Institute's Army Fellow, Mark O'Neill, argues that the case has been made to move on from the strategic geography paradigm. He points out that many of the arguments made in support of it do not stand up under detailed examination.

Mark O'Neill

  • Mark O'Neill