Ghosts of Papers Past:The Strategic Basis Papers and Australian National Security Strategy in the Twenty-First Century

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Abstract

    In 1948, George Kennan defined ‘national security’, as ‘the continued ability of the country to pursue the development of its internal life without serious interference, or threat of interference, from foreign powers’. ‘Power’ is, in the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, ‘the ability to move others by the threat or infliction of deprivations’, And although ‘power’ in this context implies coercion, the ‘deprivations’ through which it is effective are of a broader kind than direct military force alone. Terrorism, insurgency, the subversion of democratic institutions for political or criminal gain, or the deliberate interruption of trade and supply of energy and raw materials, all fall into the remit of national security, as they and the measures aimed at their avoidance are all strategic behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Government, Australian National University
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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