ISSUE 150 : Sep/Oct - 2001 - Australian Defence Force Journal

adfjournal.adc.edu.au

ISSUE 150 : Sep/Oct - 2001 - Australian Defence Force Journal

(Operational Manoeuvre from the Sea:Building a Marine Corps for the 21stCentury by General Charles C. Krulak).This message is equally applicable to theADF. In preparing to respond adequately toany one or more of the broad range ofpotential scenarios within the region, the ADFshould now re-assess how it is configured andorganised. The great imponderable in thiscritical self-assessment of defence capabilityare the judgements based on intelligence andother factors that identify the threat or threatsto Australia and its interests. A greatdifficulty for the ADF, in the post-VietnamWar era, has been to identify such threats anddevelop capabilities to counter them.Consequently, the ADF has continued togenerally develop capabilities that reflect singleService perceptions of what is important to thedefence of Australia. The result has been thedevelopment of a broad range of disparateplatform centric capabilities, not necessarilyintegrated to meet future ADF requirementsand not reflecting a Total Force concept.The Way AheadAs we begin to implement the guidancecontained in Defence 2000, it is opportune toconsider a better way of doing business andadopt a more holistic approach to thedevelopment of defence capabilities. A keyfactor in this process is to acknowledge thatwhilst Australia does not currently face anobvious threat, Defence 2000 demands that weare prepared to deal effectively with any one ormore of a range of potential threats emergingwithin the region, or beyond. This requires ahigh order of flexibility throughout the ADF inboth the organisation, the command chain andin the planning process in order that anappropriate force can be assembled quicklyand prepared for deployment to meet anygiven situation. The second key factorconcerns Australia’s unique geo-strategicsituation within the region and its vasthinterland, with limited infrastructure.A FORCE FOR ALL SEASONS ... and all the right reasons 39Equally vast is the regional littoral area intowhich the ADF may be required to operate.The tyranny of distance between and withinthese vast areas requires a high level ofmobility at both the strategic and tactical levelacross the ADF.A key factor in this development is thatDefence 2000 recognises Australia’s geostrategicsituation as an island continent, set ina predominantly maritime environment, andthat the development of future ADFcapabilities will be very much centred upon aMaritime Strategy. This is a significantchange from the Continental Defence posturethat has dominated Australian defencedevelopment in the 20th century. The adoptionof a Maritime Strategy does not place Navy ina pre-eminent position over the other twoServices but does recognise the extensivemaritime nature of our surroundings and theneed to develop a Total Force capability.Stewart Fraser, in an article on Littoral Warfareand Joint Maritime Operations, noted that:Maritime Strategy flows directly from astate’s geo-strategic environment, and isformulated at national and grandstrategic levels. At its broadest, it maybe defined as the utilisation of nationalmaritime-based power – military andcivil – to meet political and economicobjectives:Maritime strategy is specificallyconcerned with the exercise ofmaritime power, as opposed tonaval power. The difference issignificant. Maritime power isinherently joint in nature. Itemanates from forces drawn fromall three Services, both land andsea-based, supported by nationaland commercial resources,exercising influence over sea, landand air environments. 1The reality of deploying and operating inthis environment, in a flexible and mobilemanner, needs to be fully examined and all

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