Unless you are a major power, a nation's geography is one of the most important factors driving military posture and force structure. But the idea that Australia's strategic geography primarily determines the size and shape of its defence force is being discarded in favour of expeditionary forces designed to operate in a subordinate role to allies in distant theatres. As a result the nexus between strategic geography and force structure is now broken. Purchases of expensive military equipment are being made without any clear articulation of strategic necessity. This article argues the case for force structure planning based on the abiding nature of Australia's regional strategic geography, while providing an improved (albeit still limited) expeditionary ability to support our US ally. The consistent application of strategic geography should be an iron discipline for a country with Australia's modest sized defence force and limited resources.
|Journal||Australian Journal of International Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|