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Projecting Force: The Australian Army and Maritime Strategy

With the release of Force 2030, the 2009 Defence White Paper, the Australian Government has clearly set the ADF onto the path of a maritime strategy. With this development, Australia has joined many great states—from the Athenians to the Americans—who have pursued maritime strategies to their benefit.

While the ADF does have a history of pursuing maritime strategy that arguably dates back to the landings at Gallipoli, most of its recent strategic thought has dealt with the requirements of Continental Defence. For most serving officers, maritime strategy represents an intellectual shift of direction. The essays contained in this monograph aim to facilitate that shift. They hope to draw back the curtain of poor understanding which at present obscures maritime strategy and thereby ease the three services' transition to this new guiding concept.

The authors of this study paper examine the concepts that underpin maritime strategy and the operational, force structure, and doctrinal requirements of its successful implementation. Taken together they represent an intellectual starting point on the Army's—and the RAN and RAAF's—journey towards the implementation of a revisited yet updated strategic idea. In these essays the authors demonstrate the benefits maritime strategy offers to the organisation, outline some of the challenges officers will need to overcome, and illuminate the pathways forward.