Perspectives - Royal Australian Navy


Sea Power Series No. 1

Sea Power Series 1

A Maritime School of strategic thought for Australia Perspectives

A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia Perspectives Edited by Justin Jones

Edited by Justin Jones

Sea Power Centre - Australia

A maritime school of Strategic thought for australia perspectives

© Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2013 This work is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, and with the standard source credit included, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Inquiries should be address to the Director, Sea Power Centre - Australia. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Government, the Department of Defence and the Royal Australian Navy. The Commonwealth of Australia will not be legally responsible in contract, tort or otherwise for any statement made in this publication. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------National Library of Australia - Cataloguing-in-Publication entry: Author: Title: ISBN: Series: ISSN:

Jones, Justin 1970 A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia: Perspectives 978-0-642-29772-3 Sea Power Series, No. 1 2202-8099

Subjects: Royal Australian Navy Maritime Policy Maritime Strategy Maritime Security

A maritime school of Strategic thought for australia perspectives Edited by Justin Jones Sea Power Centre - Australia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Sea Power Centre - Australia was established to undertake activities to promote the study, discussion and awareness of maritime issues and strategy within the Royal Australian Navy, the Department of Defence and civil communities at large. Its mission is: • to promote understanding of sea power and its application to the security of Australia’s national interests • to manage the development of RAN doctrine and facilitate its incorporation into ADF joint doctrine • to contribute to regional engagement • contribute to the development of maritime strategic concepts and strategic and operational level doctrine, and facilitate informed force structure decisions • to preserve, develop, and promote Australian naval history. Comments on this volume or any enquiry related to the activities of the Centre should be directed to: Director Sea Power Centre - Australia Department of Defence PO Box 7942 Canberra BC ACT 2610 AUSTRALIA Email: Website:

[email protected]

Foreword It gives me great pleasure to introduce this book on a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia, as I think such thought processes are fundamental to an Australian-centric view for our national strategic development. I am delighted this book contains such a range of perspectives because, although the RAN has an obvious interest in maritime affairs, a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is about much more than just the Navy. Every Australian is intimately connected to the sea: we depend on it for the fuel in the cars we drive, for the much of the furniture we use and clothes we wear; we depend on it to export the ores, grains and manufactured goods we produce; and we depend on it for food and the irreplaceable role it plays in our environment. As we find more and better ways to utilise marine resources, expanding humanity’s permanent and pervasive presence at sea, Australia’s national interests will include ever‑greater maritime components. Good order at sea and healthy oceans are simply crucial for the security and prosperity of all Australians, something we share with our neighbours, allies and partners around the world. In this collection, John Hattendorf and Geoffrey Till remind us that many aspects of maritime strategy are enduring. However, as Chris Rahman and Michael Evans point out, Australia does have its own unique strategic culture and history, something we need to understand as we push forward for a truly Australian school of strategic thought, created on our own terms for our own circumstances. One of the first major decisions taken by the new Australian Government was the decision to purchase a modern fleet. This decision was based on an appreciation of Australia’s strategic circumstances and the knowledge that national security and prosperity were, and are, inextricably linked; something best summed up on 7 April 1902 by Major General Edward Hutton, Commandant of the Military Forces of the Commonwealth: The defence of Australia cannot, moreover, be considered apart from the defence of Australian interests. Australia depends for its commercial success and its future development firstly upon its seaborne trade and secondly upon the existence, maintenance, and extension of fixed and certain markets for its produce outside Australian waters. It therefore follows that Australian interests cannot be assured by the defence alone of Australian soil.1 I think this broadly based maritime heritage is worth remembering as the Navy and Australia celebrate the centenary of the arrival of the first Australian Fleet on 4 October 1913.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

I would like to thank all the authors who have contributed papers, as well as those who attended the seminars run by the Sea Power Centre – Australia. The diversity of perspectives, from government to industry and covering diplomacy to hydrography, is one aspect of this book I find particularly encouraging. It will, I hope, be the basis for future development of Australia’s maritime strategic thought.

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN Chief of Navy

Notes 1 David Stevens (ed), In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning Since 1901, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence no. 119, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 1997.

Acknowledgements The papers that form this book are the result of a short research project and call for papers to examine the notion of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia, espoused in 2012 by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN. The seminar series not only provided important background for the project, but inspired many of the participants to contribute their thoughts to paper and therefore this book. Recognition must go initially to the seminar participants, speakers and delegates alike, who willingly gave up their time to contribute to the lively discussion evident at each event. Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Till and Christian Le Mière provided their perspectives from afar, adding another beneficial dimension to the offering. Professor John Hattendorf agreed to revisit his original paper ‘What is Maritime Strategy’ from the 1997 book In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element In Defence Planning since 1901. Once again, his paper underscores our understanding of the term ‘maritime strategy’. Simon Walstrom from QinetiQ attended the Sydney seminar and was moved to make available an edited form of the executive summary from Global Marine Trends 2030, a study of the future marine environment sponsored by QinetiQ, Lloyd’s Register and the University of Strathclyde. All of the other authors contained herein considered it worthwhile to make the time to submit a paper. Their contributions are the heart of the book and help us to understand how we might realise the manifestation of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia. Finally, thanks must go to the staff of the Sea Power Centre – Australia, particularly Commander Greg Swinden, RAN; Dr David Stevens; Andrew Forbes; Lieutenants Andrew Forman, Jamie Imlay-Gillespie and John Nash; and Nick Stewart. Neither the seminars nor this book would have been possible without their considerable assistance.

Captain Justin Jones, RAN Director Sea Power Centre - Australia Canberra, 2013


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Notes on Contributors Commander Guy Blackburn, RAN Commander Guy Blackburn joined the RAN in 1989. He completed degree studies through the Australian Defence Force Academy graduating in 1991. Following postings in the Fremantle class patrol boat HMAS Gladstone and destroyers HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, Commander Blackburn was awarded his primary qualification as a seaman officer. Commander Blackburn graduated from the Principal Warfare Officers course in 1998 as a surface warfare specialist. He has been the Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer in HMA Ships Brisbane, Darwin and Stuart and directing staff at the Principal Warfare Officers Faculty and Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre. Commander Blackburn commanded the Anzac class frigates HMA Ships Stuart, Ballarat and Parramatta in 2010-12. His operational service includes deployments to the Middle East Area of Operations in 2002-03 and 2011-12. Headquarters postings have been in personnel, capability, staff and policy in Navy Strategic Command 2007-10. Commander Blackburn is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Masters of Maritime Studies, Masters of Arts (Strategy and Policy) and a Masters of International Relations. He is currently the Assistant Director Military Strategy Options in Strategic Policy Division at Defence Headquarters, Canberra.

Captain Jenny Daetz, CSC, RAN Captain Jenny Daetz (nee Morrison) joined the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell in 1986 and specialised as a hydrographic surveyor in 1990. In 1997, as a lieutenant, she became Commanding Officer of HMAS Shepparton and was the first woman to command a RAN ship. In 2000, she completed hydrographic surveys of the Boat Harbour (adjacent Mawson’s Hut) and Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica. She was appointed in command of HS Red (HMA Ships Leeuwin and Melville) in 2005 and HMAS Cairns in 2007. Commander Daetz was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 2009, was promoted to captain in January 2011 and appointed Director of Hydrographic and Meteorological Policy and Coordination, also known as Deputy Hydrographer. She holds a joint masters - a Master of Business Administration and Master of Conflict Dispute Resolution from James Cook University.

Dr Peter J Dean Dr Peter J Dean is a fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University where he holds the position of Director of Studies. Dr Dean lectures at the Australian Command and Staff College in expeditionary warfare and military operations and on Australia’s strategic alliances at the Acton Campus. He is the author


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

of Architect of Victory: Lieutenant General Sir Frank Horton Berryman (2011) and editor of Australia 1942: In the Shadow of War and Australia 1943: The Liberation of New Guinea. He is a contributing editor and board member of the Global War Studies journal, managing editor of the Security Challenges journal and is currently working on a number of projects on Australian defence policy, the ANZUS alliance and amphibious warfare.

Professor Michael Evans Professor Michael Evans is the Hassett Chair of Military Studies at the Australian Defence College and a professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University.

Andrew Forbes Andrew Forbes is the Deputy Director (Research) in the Sea Power Centre - Australia. He is also a visiting senior fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong; a research fellow at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University; an associate of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy; and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. He is the Australian representative on the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific study group on maritime security, and the Australian representative (and secretariat) to the International SLOC Group.

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN Vice Admiral Ray Griggs is the Chief of Navy. Vice Admiral Griggs joined the Adelaide Port Division of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve in 1978 as a radio operator and entered the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell in 1979. He undertook training in the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, and HMA Ships Advance and Yarra before attaining his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate in the Royal Navy vessel HMS Jersey. He served as Navigating Officer of HMA Ships Cessnock, Torrens, Tobruk, Jervis Bay and Perth; was the commissioning Executive Officer of HMAS Anzac helping to bring that class of ship into service; and commanded HMAS Arunta and the Australian Amphibious Task Group. Vice Admiral Griggs has served in a wide range of postings including Deputy Fleet Commander, a member of the 2009 Defence White Paper team, Deputy Head Strategic Reform and Governance and Deputy Chief of Joint Operations. He assumed command of the RAN in June 2011.

Professor John B Hattendorf Professor John Hattendorf has been the Ernest J King Professor of Maritime History at the US Naval War College since 1984. He is the author or editor of more than 40 volumes, including Naval History and Maritime Strategy (2000), The Oxford Encyclopedia

Notes on Contributors

of Maritime History (2007), The Evolution of the US Navy’s Maritime Strategy, 1977-1987 (2004), the three-volume series US Naval Strategy: Selected Documents (2006-08) and Talking about Naval History (2011).

Group Captain Mark Hinchcliffe Group Captain Mark Hinchcliffe is the Director of the Air Power Development Centre. A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) navigator with 28 years of service, he is a graduate of the US Air Force Air Command and Staff College with a Masters Degree in Military Operations. He holds a Diploma of Teaching Secondary Science and Maths, a Bachelors degree in Politics with First Class Honours and a PhD in International Relations. Group Captain Hinchcliffe has taught at the RAAF School of Air Navigation, the Air University Maxwell AFB Alabama and was the Deputy Director Air Power Development at the Air Power Development Centre prior to taking up the position as Chief of Air Force Fellow Australian Defence Force Academy from 2009-12.

Martin Hoffman Mr Martin Hoffman has been the Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism since July 2010, with particular responsibility for the R&E Group. He joined the Australian Public Service in March 2009 in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC), and was responsible for the Cabinet Implementation Unit, the Coordinator General function for the economic stimulus plan, as well as leading PMC’s involvement on number major projects including the National Broadband Network initiative. He holds a Masters of Business Administration with Honours from the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland; Master of Finance, Macquarie University; and Bachelor of Economics, University of Sydney. He completed the Executive Fellows program at the Australia New Zealand School of Government in 2009, and was awarded the James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to study at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013.

Captain Justin Jones, RAN Captain Justin Jones is the Director of the Sea Power Centre – Australia, and a graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College; the Australian Command and Staff College; and the National Security College, Australian National University. He was the Commanding Officer of the guided missile frigate HMAS Newcastle in 2009-10, prior to a short tenure as Navy Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Captain Jones holds a Master of Management Studies and a Master of Arts (Strategy and Policy). He is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and the Australian Institute of Navigation; member of the Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific; and an Associate Member of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies,



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

King’s College London. He is also a Visiting Military Fellow at the University of New South Wales – Canberra. Captain Jones is a PhD candidate in maritime strategy at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong.

Dr Sanu Kainikara Dr Sanu Kainikara is the Air Power Strategist at the Air Power Development Centre of the Royal Australian Air Force. A former fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force, he retired voluntarily as a wing commander after 21 years of commissioned service. He is a graduate of the Indian National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and the College of Air Warfare. He holds two bachelors degrees (human resources and strategic studies) and a Master of Science in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras. His PhD in International Politics was awarded by the University of Adelaide. Dr Kainikara was the senior analyst of a US Training Team in the Middle East for four years, specialising in military strategy and air operations before migrating to Australia.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Langford, DSC Lieutenant Colonel Ian Langford is a commando officer currently working in Army Headquarters as Staff Officer Future Land Warfare. He has deployed as an operational commander with the Special Operations Task Group to Afghanistan. He has additionally served in that theatre with the NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre on the 2008 review of International Security Assistance Force special operations. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the US Marine Command and Staff College (2009) and was the 2010 Honour Graduate at the US Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting. He has also served on multiple tours to Timor Leste, the broader Middle East, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and as part of Australia’s domestic counter-terrorist response.

Peter Layton Peter Layton is a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales researching a framework for use by policymakers when formulating new grand strategies. In 2011 he completed a fellowship at the European University Institute and has taught grand strategy at the US National Defense University. Widely published, Mr Layton has extensive experience in Defence and defence matters.

Christian Le Miere Christian Le Miere is Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Before joining the institute, he was from June 2006 the editor of Jane’s Intelligence Review and Jane’s Intelligence Weekly, while

Notes on Contributors

simultaneously managing a team of security analysts. During this period, he launched Jane’s Intelligence Weekly, pioneered the use of satellite imagery intelligence within open source magazines and developed a quantitative global security risk system. His research focus was on East Asian security and maritime developments, reflecting his earlier position at Jane’s as an Asia analyst from August 2004. In other professional positions, Christian has acted as a managing editor at risk-analysis firm Business Monitor International and Southeast Asia editor at Europa Publications. He undertook undergraduate studies in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, and he holds a Masters in War Studies from King’s College London.

Associate Professor David Letts Associate Professor David Letts joined the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law in December 2012 after a RAN career of nearly 32 years. Significant military postings include Supply Officer HMAS Brisbane; Fleet Legal Officer; Chief Legal Adviser to the UNTAET/UNMISET Force Commander in Timor Leste; Director of Studies at the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies; and Chief of International Law for the Multi-National Force in Baghdad, Iraq. Subsequent postings included Chief Staff Officer to the Chief of Navy followed by a lengthy period running the RAN’s personnel branch. His final military position was Deputy Inspector General ADF where his role was to assist the statutory appointment of Inspector General ADF independently monitor and assess the health and effectiveness of the military justice system. Associate Professor Letts is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program; has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University’s Lauterpacht Centre for International Law; and a member of the teaching faculty at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy, since 2001. He holds a Masters of Law from the ANU and a Bachelor of Communications from the University of New South Wales.

Peter Morris Peter Morris is the Chief Information Officer of the Rottnest Island Authority in Fremantle, Western Australia. Born and educated in Perth, Mr Morris has experience in the marine environment as a seismologist in the field of marine oil exploration and as a manager in the aerospace industry, predominantly in the design and supply of marine control, automation and auto-station keeping systems. Mr Morris also has an extensive background in information and communications technology (ICT) as a network architect and consultant, an ICT Manager and IT Director and as a consultant and project manager in management security and security systems in Australia, Asia and parts of the Middle East. His career spans more than 30 years in both the private



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

and public sectors. Mr Morris holds two degrees in applied physics and was recently awarded a Masters Degree in International Relations by Curtin University in Western Australia. He has since commenced a PhD within the same faculty.

Dr Alexey D Muraviev Dr Alexey Muraviev is an award-winning strategic affairs analyst and a senior lecturer in international relations and national security at Curtin University. He is Coordinator of the International Relations and National Security programs at Curtin University. Dr Muraviev undertook his undergraduate studies in politics and history at Moscow State University (Russian Federation) and Curtin University of Technology. He holds a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours in Politics and International Relations, and a Doctorate in Political Science, both from Curtin University.

Dr Albert Palazzo Dr Albert Palazzo is a Senior Research Fellow with the Land Warfare Studies Centre, a part of the Directorate of Army Research and Analysis in Canberra. He has published widely on the Australian Army and contemporary military issues. His current research is on Australian strategic policy and the war in Iraq.

Dr Chris Rahman Dr Chris Rahman is the Senior Research Fellow in Maritime Strategy and Security, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security University of Wollongong. He holds a Bachelor in Politics and History from Victoria University of Wellington, a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Waikato and a PhD from the University of Wollongong. Dr Rahman is an academic strategist with wideranging research interests within the disciplines of strategic studies and international security. His research currently is focused upon the rise of China, strategic theory, US national security strategy, Australian defence policy, Asia-Pacific maritime strategy, and security and maritime domain awareness.

Llew Russell, AM Llew Russell was the Chief Executive Officer of Shipping Australia Ltd up until his retirement in August 2013. Mr Russell has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland and a Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and is a fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport. In 2013 he was awarded a

Notes on Contributors

Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for promoting the protection of our borders. He is a member of a number of other relevant professional associations and, in 2009, was awarded the honour of a Member of the Order of Australia.

Christopher Swain Christopher Swain is the Director, Strategic Policy and Legislation within the Maritime Identity and Surface Security Branch, Office of Transport Security, Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Till Professor Geoffrey Till is Professor of Maritime Studies and Director of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, King’s College London. Before that he was Professor of History at The Royal Naval College Greenwich. He has taught at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth; in the Department of Systems Science at the City University; in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where he completed his MA and PhD; and for the Open University. With the help of a NATO Defence Fellowship he was a visiting scholar at the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. Later, he held the Foundation Chair in Military Affairs at the US Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia. In 2007 he was a Senior Research Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, and in 2008 the inaugural Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Chair in Strategic Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington. In 2009 he returned to the Maritime Security Programme of the RSIS as Visiting Professor. He is currently working on a historical study of naval transformation. His works have been translated into nine languages, and he regularly speaks at staff colleges and academic conferences around the world.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Notes on Contributors Abbreviations


v vii ix xxi


Part I Setting the Scene A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia


Ray Griggs What is a Maritime Strategy?


John B Hattendorf

Global Marine Trends 2030: Setting the Scene for a Maritime School of Strategic Thought


QinetiQ, Lloyds’s Register and University of Strathclyde

Part II Cultural Perspectives The Withheld Self: The Impact of National Culture on the Development of Australian Maritime Thought


Michael Evans Why we need a Maritime School of Thought: A Cultural Perspective Mark Hinchcliffe



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

part III Maritime Strategic Perspectives A Maritime Strategy for Australia


Geoffrey Till Big Thoughts: Grand Strategy and Alternative Maritime Strategies


Peter Layton The Inescapable Ocean: On Understanding Australia’s Strategic Geography


Chris Rahman A Maritime School of Strategic Thought


Christian Le Mière Maritimisation of Maritime Australia


Alexey D Muraviev Australia, Maritime Strategy and Regional Military Diplomacy


Peter J Dean Land Forces and a Maritime Strategy for Australia


Ian Langford Air Force in a Maritime Strategy: Challenges and Opportunities


Sanu Kainikara The End of Maritime Strategy


Albert Palazzo

Part IV Economic Perspectives The Importance of Maritime Trade: Perspectives on Australia’s Energy Security


Martin Hoffman The Sea as a Source of National Power Guy Blackburn



A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia: Legal Considerations


David Letts The Creation of a Maritime School of Strategic Thought: A Long Overdue Concept


Llew Russell The Economic Benefits of Naval Shipbuilding


Andrew Forbes A Maritime Strategy with Considerations for the Tourism Industry


Peter Morris Filling in the Gaps: A Maritime School of Strategic Thought?


Jenny Daetz Maritime Thinking in Foreign Affairs and Trade


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Maritime Transport Security 2025


Christopher Swain

Annexes The Maritime Strategy for the Australian Defence Force


Martime School of Thought Seminar Dates, Locations and Attendees




A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Abbreviations A2AD

Anti-Access and Area Denial


Australian Defence Force


Australian Federal Police


Australian Hydrographic Service


Australian Imperial Force


Air-Launched Cruise Missile


Australian Maritime Safety Authority


Amphibious Ready Group


AirSea Battle (US)


Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Chief of Navy


Hobart class guided missile destroyer


Defence of Australia


East Asia Summit


Electronic Chart Display Information Systems


Exclusive Economic Zone


Electronic Navigational Chart


Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Platform


Gross Domestic Product


US Army and Marine Corps Gain and Maintain Access Concept


gross tonnes


Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief


Her/His Majesty’s Australian Ship


Her/His Majesty’s Ship




International Maritime Organization


International Force East Timor


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia


Indian Ocean Naval Symposium


International Ship and Port Facility Security Code


Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance


Joint Operational Access Concept (US)




Canberra class amphibious ship


Liquefied Natural Gas


United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982




Marine Expeditionary Unit


Maritime Security Identification Card


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


National Energy Security Assessment


nautical mile


Naval Power Index


Oceans Policy Science Advisory Group


Primary Operating Environment


Royal Australian Air Force


Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands


Royal Australian Navy


Revolution in Military Affairs


Royal Navy


Search and Rescue


Sea-Based Ballistic Missile


Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile


Sea Lines of Communication


Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974


Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units



United Nations


United States


United States Navy


Weapons of Mass Destruction


World War I


World War II



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Introduction Justin Jones A maritime nation could be defined as a nation in which the maritime environment impacts extensively in the geographic, economic and strategic dimension. Even if these factors are all a reality the nation will remain an incomplete nation, a flawed entity in the maritime dimension if the psychology of its people is not rooted in the sea. This is the case for Australia.1 In 1997 the RAN’s Maritime Studies Program published one of its earliest endeavours. In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning since 1901 was a collaborative project with the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.2 The book explored the nation’s search for an effective maritime strategy in the 20th century. It was not the first attempt to argue for a maritime approach to Australian strategic thinking. The Creswell – McCay debates of the early 20th century are evidence enough of the longevity of this subject. Still, even early in the 21st century one researcher was compelled to record the words captured by the quote above. Paradoxically, that view followed not only Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, the 2000 Defence White Paper, the first to use the term maritime strategy, but also the release of the findings of a Senate inquiry into Australia’s maritime strategy.3 The present work is inspired by the aforementioned book, In Search of a Maritime Strategy, yet its genesis is quite different and its coverage broader. In August 2012, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN, gave a speech to the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, in which he lamented the binary nature of the defence policy debate in Australia, which is entrenched as an either-or choice between continental defence or ‘Defence of Australia’ and that of forward or expeditionary defence. In exploring potential alternatives he noted, ‘There is, in my view, a third way – a maritime perspective, or school if you wish, which is rooted in the geostrategic reality of our national situation’.4 Vice Admiral Griggs’s words were timely in that they followed a similar speech by Professor Michael Wesley to the Australian Naval Institute, in which he too had recorded his surprise at the lack of maritime imagination in Australia: Despite the fact that modern Australia was founded as an act of maritime strategy, and so much of our history has been shaped by sudden shifts in maritime power, Australia has not crafted a strong maritime culture at the core of its sense of self.5 Despite, or perhaps in view of, these lamentations, 2012-13 may come to be seen as a watershed period for maritime strategy in Australian strategic thought. The Sea Power Conference held in January of 2012 explored the broad theme of ‘The Naval Contribution


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

to National Security and Prosperity.’ In the opening session, the chiefs of Army and Air Force had spoken of their services’ roles in a maritime strategy. Later in the year, after the Wesley and Griggs speeches, the Land Warfare Conference was themed ‘Potent Land Forces in a Joint Maritime Strategy.’ In a similar vein, the 2013 Chief of Air Force Symposium was titled, ‘Air Power in a National Maritime Strategy.’ The notion of a national, joint maritime strategic approach was clearly gaining momentum. This volume of papers is the result of a research project conducted in the first half of 2013, designed to explore further the notion of a maritime school of strategic thought espoused by Vice Admiral Griggs. The project comprised two, parallel approaches. A series of five seminars were convened: three in Canberra, and one each in Perth and Sydney. Where possible, the seminars were designed to capitalise on the presence in Australia of well known strategic thinkers, such as Richard Bitzinger from the S Rajaratnum School of International Studies in Singapore; Dr Norman Friedman from the United States; Dr C Raja Mohan from the Observer Research Foundation in India; and Professor Robert Ayson from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Notwithstanding the desire to tap into foreign talent, a central aim of the seminar series was to capture the thoughts of Australian industry and other government departments, including a state-based perspective. At one of the Canberra seminars, Andrew Shearer, then Deputy Secretary International Engagement Group within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, provided a state perspective. At the Sydney seminar, participants benefited from presentations by Martin Hoffman, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; Bill Elischer from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Llew Russell, outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Shipping Australia; and Owen Hegarty of Tigers Realm Minerals. Alongside the seminars, participants and other members of academia, industry and government were approached to submit short papers that elucidated the many and varied interpretations of a maritime school of strategic thought. These papers form the basis of this book and are the reason for the subtitle: perspectives. Part I is designed to set the scene for the perspectives that follow. Vice Admiral Griggs’s paper is based on the original speech that he gave at the Lowy Institute and also a follow on at the aforementioned Land Warfare Conference. A key point in the paper is that maritime strategy is not a strategy owned by the Navy or solely for the Navy. Taking up this theme, Professor John Hattendorf explores the meaning of maritime strategy in a fully revised and updated version of the original that appeared in In Search of a Maritime Strategy.6 Rounding out the scene setting is an edited executive summary from Global Marine Trends 2030, sponsored by QinetiQ, Lloyd’s Register and the University of Strathclyde. It explores the possible futures that may emerge in the period to 2030 and the implications for naval power.


In Part II, the cultural dimension to maritime strategic thought is examined. Professor Michael Evans’s paper takes on the difficult task of probing the tension between national cultural identity and its influence on strategic thought. He concludes that a lack of maritime consciousness is a feature of the Australian psyche that will not be easily displaced. Mark Hinchcliffe approaches the same subject through the lens of a cultural tradition of fear and dependence. Although reaching a similar conclusion to Evans, Hinchcliffe exhorts the pursuit of a more holistic, inclusive, independent and self-assured approach to national security. In his mind, a maritime school of strategic thought is a means of broadening the Australian approach to national strategy. The two papers are complementary, particularly in their treatment of the predominance of the land over sea in Australian culture. These domains have equal parts in the nation’s history, however Australia has lacked a maritime cultural icon of the calibre of Henry Lawson or Banjo Patterson. JE Macdonnell is the closest we have had to a maritime version of Lawson or Patterson. During his 14 years in the RAN, Queensland-born Macdonnell was promoted through all lower-deck ranks to commissioned gunneryofficer. This experience is evident in his sea novels, which capture the essence of the sea in Australia’s war experience: The servitude of the sea is austere. The sea is a hard master, and woe befall those who challenge its authority, or fail to give it the due of unremitting watchfulness and total respect. The sea can lull its users into a sense of false security, and it can strike suddenly.7 And yet Australian children are far more likely to recognise prose from The Drover’s Wife or The Man from Snowy River. Part III explores the core maritime strategic aspects of the proposed school of thought. In following Geoffrey Till’s overview of the subject as it relates to Australia, Peter Layton proposes a grand strategic framework to apply to the classical maritime strategic theories. If it is accepted that grand strategy refers to the ‘pursuit of political ends (primarily in international relations) not only with military tools, but also with diplomatic, economic or even cultural instruments’ then we would do well to appreciate Layton’s observation that ‘grand strategies bring both purpose and coherence to their subordinate strategies.’8 Moreover, a holistic, whole-of-government – whole-of-nation – approach to a maritime school of thinking must also be grand strategic in nature. Importantly, Part III includes perspectives from the other Services. Lieutenant Colonel Ian Langford writes of land forces in a maritime strategy, noting not only that Australia’s strategic geography necessitates a maritime strategy, but that land forces are integral to the total force contribution to that strategy. Sanu Kainikara provides a cockpit view of air forces in a maritime strategy. He is not the first to note the similarities between sea control, a core principle in maritime strategy, and control of the air. Perhaps it is time to develop an Australian, joint definition of ‘control,’ in the spirit of JC Wylie’s



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

general theory of power control?9 Part III is completed with a dissenting opinion. Albert Palazzo acknowledges the need for a maritime strategy as part of Australia’s national security policy, however suggests that discontinuities such as the emergence of anti access and area denial necessitate a fundamental rethink of that policy. As the centre of global economic activity continues to shift east, world economic prospects will increasingly depend on developments in Indo-Pacifc Asia. By 2030, China’s contribution to world gross domestic product is expected to be 20 per cent, with some forecasts suggesting 33 per cent.10 Underpinning these developments is trade expansion. Today, intra-regional trade in Asia accounts for 53 per cent of total Asian trade. By 2030 intra regional trade will have doubled and the major global seaborne trade routes will be dominated by those to and from the Far East and Oceania, Latin America, and Middle East.11 As has been observed, ‘it is readily apparent that our economic well-being remains closely linked to the security and stability of the seas.’12 Part IV addresses these economic realities, grouping a number of contributions that have links to the economic standpoint. Leading this part is a paper by Hoffman, based on his presentation to the Sydney seminar, which outlines an Australian Government view of energy security. A key takeaway is that the term ‘energy security’ does not necessarily refer to energy independence or energy self-sufficiency, as it is often interpreted. Part IV benefits also from discussions relating to the Australian shipping industry, tourism, naval shipbuilding, the legal context and hydrography. The latter is an oft overlooked dimension in maritime thinking and Jenny Daetz highlights well hydrography’s contribution to the blue economy. Part IV ends with two sought after views. Christopher Swain’s paper looks through the lens of preventative security regulation in maritime transport, invoking AT Mahan to remind us that shipping and trade requires secure ports and sea lanes. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade paper is based on the presentation given at the Sydney seminar. It offers a neat encapsulation of many of the papers that precede it and, in that sense, underpins that contention that a maritime school of thought – properly addressed – should be viewed as a grand strategic, whole-of-government approach. At a time when maritime strategic thinking has become prominent in defence and strategic circles, the release of the 2013 Defence White Paper was marked by its significant emphasis on maritime strategy. In a more remarkable piece of synergy for this research project, the declassified version of the inaugural Maritime Strategy for the Australian Defence Force was released during the compilation of this book, and is included as an annex. The papers contained in this volume are an eclectic mix of views that are proffered in a myriad of approaches. Many papers are inherently academic in form. Some tend towards opinion pieces, while others are edited versions of transcripts of presentations made during the seminar series. Taken together though, they are a rich vein on which


to draw our collective understanding of maritime strategic thought from a whole-ofnation perspective. This book should be seen as the beginning of a discussion relating to a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia.

Notes 1 Richard Menhinick, Sea Control and Maritime Power Projection for Australia: Maritime Power and Air Warfare, Ocean Publications, Centre for Maritime Policy, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, 2005, p. 5. 2 David Stevens (ed), In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning Since 1901, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence no. 119, Canberra, 1997. 3 Department of Defence, Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, Defence Publishing Service, Canberra, 2000; and Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Australia’s Maritime Strategy, The Committee, Canberra, 2004. 4 Ray Griggs, ‘The Navy’s Role in the Maritime Century,’ speech, (26 September 2013). 5 Michael Wesley, The 2012 Vernon Parker Oration, speech, (26 September 2013). 6 The full version of this contemporary paper will shortly be published as John B Hattendorf, What is Maritime Strategy?, Soundings no. 1, Sea Power Centre – Australia, (forthcoming). 7 JE Macdonnell, The Unforgiving Sea, 1st edn, Horwitz, Melbourne, 1967, p. 49. 8 Beatrice Heuser, The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010, p. 27. 9 Joseph C Wylie, Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1989. 10 Wylie, Military Strategy, p vi; and Lloyds’s Register, QinetiQ and University of Strathclyde, Global Marine Trends 2030, QinetiQ: London; Lloyd’s Register Group: Glasgow and University of Strathclyde: Farnbogough, 2013, p. 23. 11 QinetiQ, Lloyd’s Register, University of Strathclyde, Global Marine Trends 2030, pp. 28-29. 12 D Jagoe, ‘US Naval Doctrine and Professional Military Education’, in M Duffy, T Farrell and G Sloan (eds), Doctrine and Military Effectiveness : Proceedings of the Conference held at the Britannia Royal Navy College, January 16th-17th, 1997, Strategic Policy Studies Group of the Britannia Royal Naval College and Exeter University, Exeter, 1997, p. 31.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

part I Setting the Scene


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia Ray Griggs This paper is based on speeches given at the Lowy Institute for International Policy on 11 August 2012 and at the Land Warfare Conference in October 2012. The notion of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is timely. Australia has entered a century that has already received many labels. One such label is a maritime century and that is the label on which this paper focuses initially.1 The basic premise is that Australia is more reliant on the sea and a proper functioning global maritime trading system for our prosperity than at any time in the past. In short, we are absolutely reliant on good order at sea. Yet we have a land-centric mindset that underpins our strategic discourse. This mindset needs to be changed. We are a maritime nation and the sea’s contribution to our prosperity needs to be properly recognised and reflected in our approach to our security thinking. Why can we refer to this as a maritime century? And why is it particularly important now? We have had a globally connected economy for more than two centuries. Surely maritime trade is nothing new and the links between it, economic prosperity and national power should be well understood? Are they though? If the historical linkages between trade, economic strength and military power need reinforcing then there is no better explanation than Paul Kennedy’s two ‘rise and fall’ works on great powers and British naval mastery. What has changed in recent years is the pervasiveness of maritime trade. Australia has always been connected to the world by sea, so the huge growth in global maritime trade is less visible from a domestic perspective. If the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, which measures the changes in coastal nations’ connectedness via shipping networks, is examined, then between 2004 and 2012 it is evident that 75 per cent of countries experienced an increase in their connectivity. Alongside this trend, there is an even greater growth in international container traffic. This has grown by an order of magnitude from about 40 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in 1982, to over 500 million TEU in 2008. Even allowing for the Global Financial Crisis, the net effect of these trends is to place a lot more international trade on the oceans of the world – the effect of maritime trade is thus far more pervasive, more widespread than ever before. Much of this trade is not in finished goods. It is instead in components for globalised industries. And many of these just-in-time international supply chains depend on consistently predictable deliveries. In addition to the containerised traffic, there is Australia’s complete dependence on the free and uninterrupted movement of bulk


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

carriers for shipping grains, oil and gas, ores, and coal to our overseas markets – here, maritime trade is simply essential to Australia’s ability to benefit from our natural wealth. Australia also depends on the bulk trades for imports. Without the constant import of petroleum products, Australia only has enough to supply the country for a few weeks. The economic and social dislocation would be massive if there was any significant interruption. Indeed, you could argue that we are now more dependent on maritime trade for the sinews of our economy than at almost any stage of modern Australian history. Notwithstanding the growing importance of maritime trade, there is much more to the notion of a maritime century. The second major trend to be highlighted is that, more than ever before, humanity depends on maritime resources. The gradual extension of coastal state jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Convention 1982 was driven primarily by the value nations have seen in two areas: offshore oil and gas, and fisheries. Both of these have a direct connection to our national prosperity. The offshore mineral resources industry is essentially a post‑World War II (WWII) phenomenon. The first offshore drill rigs out of sight of land were deployed in the late 1940s. In Australia, it was the 1950s and 1960s before the West Australian and Bass Strait offshore fields were drilled commercially. Today, deep water drilling technology has created the capacity to tap into an even wider pool of resources. Moving from energy to food, the proportion of the world’s food sourced from the ocean is also growing. Again, starting in the 1960s, the efficiency and effectiveness of industrial scale fishing has enabled a near doubling in the per capita consumption of fish protein. As wild fish stocks have been depleted or been insufficient to match demand, aquaculture production, usually located in littoral areas, has increased 50-fold over a similar timespan. In 2012 marine aquaculture provided over 63 million tonnes of fish protein, with much of this fish farming occurring in the Indo‑Pacific and, in 2013, global farmed fish production exceeded that of beef.2 Finally, no matter what your view of climate change, it seems self-evident that today we place a lot more value on the intrinsic worth of our maritime environment – the focus on compulsory pilotage for vessels transiting the Great Barrier Reef is a practical testament to this. In addition, maritime tourism around Australia’s coast makes a big contribution to our economy, a point seldom mentioned. None of the trends outlined so far are likely to be reversed – the 21st century is a maritime century, just as much as it is an Asian century. In fact, an Asian century will be even more maritime in nature by virtue of the region’s geography – Asia’s intra-regional trades and linkages are more maritime in character than either Europe or North America – and of course the region has more maritime boundary disputes than in any other region of the world.3

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

So what does this mean for Australia? Clearly a key issue for Australia is how we can contribute to ensuring that the use of the sea, for a multitude of activities, remains free and uninterrupted. There is no doubt that no single nation can maintain the security of the maritime trading system. Like most things at sea, security on this scale must be a cooperative and collaborative venture. A big problem for us in thinking through these issues is that our national security discourse has been overwhelmingly land-centric. In some ways this is inevitable. Most human activity takes place ashore and that is where decisions are made. But our national security debate has been a largely binary discussion between the disciples of the continental and expeditionary schools of thought. This is a discussion that skews the overall perspective and ignores some important issues. As Michael Wesley said recently, what Australia needs is a well developed maritime imagination. For the continentalists the focus is very much on the physical security of the homeland. It has been enshrined in the term ‘the air-sea gap’, a term that implies that the sea and air are devoid of features of interest or of value. The continentalist approach has never, and will never, be an appropriate school of thought for an island nation and certainly not for one in a globalised world. It simply cannot work for a nation that needs to protect its sovereignty and sovereign rights thousands of miles from its coast. Australia’s maritime zones are some of largest in the world, larger in area than continental Australia. We have 79 ports that receive 27,000 international visits each year and our maritime search and rescue (SAR) zone covers over ten per cent of the earth’s surface. We share maritime borders of different types with six nations through the Indo-Pacific. Our maritime zones have 60,000km of coastline and 12,000 islands, with a multitude of riches from oil and gas fields, fisheries, coral reefs, and all the potential that goes with further exploration and exploitation of an environment about which less is known than the surface of the moon.4 As Air Marshall Geoff Brown, Chief of Air Force, said in 2012, a continentalist approach, misses the broader context that Australia’s prosperity, and indeed our way of life, is based around our ability to trade, and more precisely, to be able to trade across the oceans and airways.5 Some may think that the expeditionary school is more maritime focused but in reality it is just as land‑centric as the continentalist school – it is just focused on land somewhere else. In this approach, the sea is really only to enable the force to be transported and resupplied. This is not in and of itself an inappropriate view in some circumstances, but it again does not fully answer the mail on what Australia really needs. Both of these schools fundamentally ignore the inherent value of the sea to Australia. They ignore or gloss over our fundamental national need to have the ability to use the sea when and as we require.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

There is, in my view, a third way – a maritime perspective, or maritime school if you wish, that is rooted in the geostrategic reality of our national situation. A school of strategic thought relevant to Australia should have an appreciation of our geographic, economic and diplomatic situation; it should include an appreciation of our interests, relative strengths and weakness; and it must be framed by a clear statement of our national aims and the manner in which we wish to pursue them. This school should consist of several characteristics: • An appreciation of the sheer scale of the area over which Australia must enforce sovereignty and can exercise its sovereign rights. For example, Australia’s maritime responsibilities for SAR and as security authority cover an even larger area, over 10 per cent of the Earth’s surface. With the matter of scale comes the diversity of environments, from Antarctic waters, to cities, deserts, and topical jungles and archipelagos. Arguably no other military of comparable size faces the same scale and diversity of environments across its primary operating area. The issue of scale must be framed in Australian-centric terms, not simply as scaled-down versions of the British or US forces with which the Australian military has been so closely associated. • An integrated approach that recognises national level security and prosperity are closely linked and mutually self-supporting.6 Australia’s ability to trade is its economic centre of gravity, which is a key national interest to be understood and protected. The integrated approach applies to both the object (security and prosperity) and the means (drawing on all parts of the Defence organisation, government and private industry). An example of an integrated approach to the object is an appreciation of the importance of liquid fuels to Australia’s economy and the ability of military forces to protect the nation’s economic centre of gravity: the ability to trade. An example of an integrated approach to the means is an appreciation of the military dependencies on private sector expertise for crucial maintenance and sustainment. The concept of resilience, which has been well developed in the domestic counter-terrorism arena, could be applied further to conventional defence to identify and understand irreplaceable functions located outside Australian sovereign control. • A regional approach that recognises Australia’s interests extend beyond our immediate vicinity and are intertwined with those of our neighbours, trading partners and allies – ‘a secure nation in a secure region.’7 This necessarily involves cooperation and collaboration with allies and partners, to define areas in which this is possible and to define the ways in which they might be achieved. While the end state

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

of ‘a secure nation in a secure region’ is fixed, the process of achieving it requires continual activity, where defence must be integrated with the full range of Australian diplomatic activity. • An appreciation of the opportunities and vulnerabilities our geostrategic situation presents. The highly interconnected just-in-time economic system is of such complexity it is beyond the ability of any single nation to understand and protect. Interruptions to the system, in whole or part, could occur in the online/cyber or physical components. • A drive toward the best possible framing of strategic choices and the best possible knowledge of when choices should or must be made. This necessarily involves a long term view of Australia’s circumstances over at least a few decades, and more when possible, as well as being alert to the potential for near-term events with strategic impact. A maritime school of strategic thought with characteristics such as these should enable Australia’s grand strategy to continue to develop based on current and future national interests for security and prosperity. While history and past conflicts are one part of informing strategic schools of thought, they should never be the only factors. For Australia, located in a maritime region, linked to the world by communications through three great oceans and the world’s largest archipelago, and with massive marine resources and responsibilities, it is most appropriate for a school of strategic thought to be a maritime school of strategic thought. This incorporates ports, airports and coastal lands as well as coastal waters, trading routes and exclusive economic zones. To paraphrase Senator George Pearce, Australia’s longest serving Minister for Defence: an Australian maritime school of thought is, for a maritime nation, a logical outcome for a maritime region in a maritime century.8 We do of course need each of the components of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), they each bring their experience in the domain-specific capabilities on which they focus. What we do not need though is a duplication of functions. And above all we do not need a strategic mindset that ignores the very thing our nation is girt by. Intellectually the 2013 and 2009 white papers largely represented this maritime outlook by not only dealing with the defence of Australia from direct armed attack and the security, stability and cohesion of our immediate neighbourhood, but also the stability of the wider Asia Pacific region from North Asia to the Indian Ocean. A maritime outlook to our strategic thinking encompasses all of these key strategic interests. In order to achieve the stability of the wider Asia Pacific region from North Asia to the Indian Ocean a maritime outlook is simply essential. It has always been curious to those in the Navy why we as a country tend to think of ourselves as a Pacific nation and very rarely as an Indian Ocean one. It took some vision in the 1960s and 1970s to build HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. It took just as much to seriously



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

adjust the Navy’s force disposition in the late 1980s and 1990s to create a two-ocean navy. Many Navy personnel have spent long deployments in the Indian Ocean. In the early 1980s in particular it was our real brush with the Cold War when the government deployed ships as part of an independent presence in the northwest Indian Ocean following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 2013, in very different circumstances, we currently have HMAS Melbourne as the 56th individual ship deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations since 1990. The Indian Ocean is critical to the end‑to‑end global trading system on which Australia depends – whether ships come around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Suez Canal and the Bab el‑Mandeb Strait or through the Strait of Hormuz. The goods or material they carry might not be bound for us, but, they are almost certainly bound for one of our major trading partners. The Malacca Strait, for example, is the major eastern access to and from the Indian Ocean. About 30 per cent of all world trade passes through it. This includes about 80 per cent of all China’s and Japan’s oil imports. In 2006, two thirds of North Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports passed through the Malacca Strait – a percentage that may since have decreased a little due to the success of Australia’s LNG export industry. The latter trade obviously passes up through the archipelagic sea lanes of Indonesia. It is also notable that some recent domestic public discussion about the South China Sea has focused on more than just the territorial disputes. About two thirds of our exports and almost half our imports pass through this area. And for most of our key partners the area is of significant interest. Of course the South China Sea issue is a complex, multi-layered issue, but the discussion about how it directly affects us is useful. So what does this mean for Australia’s Navy? The advent of a maritime century means Australia’s Navy must be part of Australia’s overall national effort to engage with our region and we must be able to contribute to good order at sea. Australia’s ability to contribute capable forces to practical multilateral efforts makes us a valued partner and our diplomatic efforts are given strength by our ability to back up words with actions. This is one of the key outcomes of our operational and regional deployments – they showcase Australia’s practical ability to engage with and assist regional partners. What underpins and drives Navy’s capacity to serve Australia in any capacity is its warfighting capability. The warfighting task is the key reason for our existence and to have a fighting service that cannot is simply unacceptable. That is why we maintain our high-end warfighting skills in activities such as Exercise RIMPAC off Hawaii and Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, a biennial series of exercises held here at home. Our key peacetime role is the broader maritime security role, which includes the trade protection mission and, domestically, border and offshore resource protection. Finally our international engagement activities provide key confidence-building and training opportunities.

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Navies are an incredibly useful tool for government across a wide range of contingencies, not all of which need to involve the use of deadly force. Moreover, navies are inherently international and collaborative – the seas remain the great global commons. Since the international trading system is inherently global, we have a fundamental responsibility to contribute to its safe and effective operation. This is no different to our SAR responsibilities – we cannot expect help for Australian mariners around the world if we do not make a practical contribution in our area. Likewise, we cannot expect to be prosperous if we do not help maintain the system that underpins that prosperity. This collaborative approach to the global maritime trading system is a great unifier to trading nations – the potential start point to unlock some of our more challenging tensions and rub points. But our engagement does not have to be about ships per se. A particularly important form of naval diplomatic engagement is through institutions like the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus Expert Working Group on Maritime Security, the Western Pacific Naval Symposium – an innovation Australia took a leading role in – and the much younger Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). IONS is one of the few pieces of security architecture in the Indian Ocean region. It is still developing but it does represent an important gathering of naval chiefs from the Indian Ocean rim and it does offer a particular focus on the maritime security challenges we all confront. Furthermore, all of the key global navies are represented at IONS either as members or as observers. This fact alone reinforces the point former Minister for Defence Stephen Smith made about the global importance of the Indian Ocean. At present the chairmanship of IONS lies with South Africa. The RAN will take chairmanship in Perth in early 2014 at the next major meeting of IONS. This will be an important opportunity for the RAN to play a crucial role in the further development of this important grouping. In outlining the meaning of the maritime century for Australia, the type of force structure a Navy employs must be borne in mind. Successive Australian governments have always pursued a balanced fleet as part of a broader balanced force approach. It has rarely been defined what this means. Various definitions exist, but to my mind, in the Australian context, it means the most cost-effective balance of warfighting capabilities that are required over the long term to defend our national interests. This does not mean we must have a little bit of everything. It does mean we focus on those capabilities that are both difficult to reacquire if lost and those which make a significant contribution to Australian security. From a naval perspective these are the core warfighting capabilities – air, surface and undersea warfare. I do not subscribe to the force expansion and warning-time arguments that some expound – certainly not in relation to complex, high‑technology, long‑life capabilities like submarines, major surface combatants and combat aircraft. These are capabilities not quickly acquired, nor brought up to operational standards and it is fanciful and ultimately strategically dangerous to plan or act otherwise. Rapid force expansion



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

may have once held in raising an infantry battalion or building corvettes as we did in WWII, but it simply does not hold for any of the Services today. It must be accepted that the ADF is a come-as-you-are defence force. It may be small, but it had better be properly formed and able to do what it needs to do well. Looking through a maritime rather than a continentalist or expeditionary lens at the naval force structure there is one overriding factor in our strategic circumstance: we must have reach and endurance. If we accept that we may need to have presence at any of the key chokepoints of the Indian Ocean, then we must, at a considerable distance from Australia, be able to deploy and then operate in a sustained way. Even if the RAN were to operate in the north‑west approaches of the Malacca Strait as part of a multinational regional force, it needs range and endurance. Of course we have had a maritime strategy and a maritime school of strategic thought before now. Our first real foray in a maritime strategy, albeit nested within a broader empire approach, goes back to 1909, when, in one of the biggest acquisition decisions for the new Commonwealth Government, Australia decided to acquire its first fleet unit. The centenary of its 1913 arrival in Sydney Harbour is being commemorated in 2013 at the International Fleet Review and associated exercises. The fleet unit, consisting of a battlecruiser, light cruisers, destroyers and submarines, was one part of the force structure for what was then Australia’s maritime defence strategy. The Commonwealth Naval and Military Forces had three roles as part of this strategy: • Port Defence. A task undertaken jointly by the naval and military forces. Besides my enduring gratitude for the real estate it enabled Army to bequeath to Navy, I think this aspect should not lightly be forgotten – vital asset protection, as we would now understand it, is a crucial element to national defence, as it is an important part of maintaining our ability to trade. The complexity of that task, particularly as our maritime infrastructure ventures further and further into our offshore economic zones, will only increase. • Regional Security. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force was an early example of what we would now understand as the joint force in being. • Alliance Warfare. Achieved through our contribution to empire defence. In 1914, Australia carried out all three of these roles. The Germans were deterred from attacking our ports. Australian forces conducted regional security operations to deny Germany the ability to operate against us in the region, in that oft forgotten part of World War I (WWI) before 25 April 1915. Indeed, Australia did so with such success that the

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

German Asiatic Fleet left the theatre of operations entirely. And then, having secured the immediate environment, Australia was able to contribute to alliance operations further afield. So while we do not often think of it that way, Australia’s strategy for WWI was most definitely a maritime strategy. Only through understanding the role of all the instruments of national power in a maritime strategy, and the opportunities, dependencies and vulnerabilities that come with it, can we continue to manage our security and ensure our prosperity. This imperative is fundamental for Australia, an island continent in a maritime century in a region driven by globalised trade and industry. That is why a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is needed.

Notes 1 The term ‘maritime’ is used in its broadest and most inclusive sense. Maritime certainly includes more than just naval issues. Likewise, the term ‘land‑centric’ does not refer to something being army‑centric. 2 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, p.3, (14 August 13); and ‘The Price of Fish’, The Economist, 10 August 2013, (14 August 2013). 3 See also Peter Varghese, ‘Australia and Asia: Building Stability by Building Institutions’, speech, (7 August 13). 4 Philip Symonds, Mark Alcock and Colin French, ‘Setting Australia’s Limits: Understanding Australia’s Marine Jurisdiction’, in AUSGEO, issue 93, March 2009; and Australian Maritime Search and Rescue Agency, website, (20 August 2013). 5 Geoff Brown, ‘Dinner with the Chiefs’, speech, (20 August 2013). 6 A related contemporary example is from Senator John Kerry’s confirmation hearing as US Secretary of State: ‘More than ever, foreign policy is economic policy. The world is competing for resources and global markets.’John Kerry, Opening Statement at Nomination Hearing to be US Secretary of State’, speech, (25 January 2013). 7 Julia Gillard, ‘Australia’s National Security Beyond the 9/11 Decade’, speech, (25 January 2013).



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

8 Pearce served from 1910-13, 1914-21 and 1932-34. He described the then Commonwealth Naval Forces as ‘a navy within a navy – a logical outcome for a nation within a nation.’ Jeffrey Grey, A Military History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1990, p. 77.

What is a Maritime Strategy? John B Hattendorf What is a maritime strategy?1 The question is a simple and direct one, but the answers complex. To add to the complexity, we are looking to history to enlighten us on some current issues in defence strategy. First, we must remind ourselves of the basic problems when studying maritime strategy in history and along with them we must know about the actual practice of maritime strategy in the past. Second, we should think about the history of maritime strategic thought and the way it has changed and developed. Finally, with those basic thoughts in mind, one can say something about the way in which we currently understand maritime strategy.

Maritime Strategy in History History has much to tell us about maritime strategy; indeed, some of the most important works on the subject of maritime strategy are analyses of history. The study of history certainly broadens our perspective and gives us deeper insight into the reasons why we have become what we have become. To study strategy in history, one must be alert to different times, outlooks, ideas, problems, mindsets, capabilities, decisionmaking structures and technologies. All of these dissimilarities show us that the past is often not a precise model to follow. Despite the contrasts between past and present, however, one can perceive some broad, recurring characteristics, issues, and problems that arise for maritime strategists in the range of action and roles that they consider. From these, one can outline a broad concept of maritime strategy, but such a concept is highly influenced, if not entirely determined, by the historical examples from which it is derived. One’s own national history and experience in maritime strategy can help to identify continuing national interests and priorities, but over time there are changes in the structure of international relations and changes in the role that a particular nation plays within that structure. Thus, in order to understand the full range of problems in maritime strategy, one’s own historical experience needs to be supplemented by an understanding of other nations’ experiences, in various time periods and in differing situations. Let me try to clarify this point in the context of 20th-century maritime strategies.

20th-Century Maritime Strategies Over the past half century, a variety of maritime strategies have been at work. Most recently in the wars involving Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait in the Arabian Gulf; regional crises in the Adriatic and in the blockade off Haiti; and both the Korean and Vietnam wars, maritime nations concentrated on using the sea for their own purposes.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

They supported and carried out military actions while also imposing blockades against enemy shipping, without having to devote their full energies to countering a concerted enemy attempt to seize control of the sea for its own use. Thus, the maritime strategy of these more recent wars was different from that of the two World Wars as well as different from the maritime strategy of the Cold War. The experiences of the 20th century show that there is no one maritime strategy that is valid for all situations. Maritime strategy changes with the context, structure, national purposes, technologies and equipment available. Our abstract understanding of maritime strategy has also changed. As we examine strategy in history, particularly for the 20th century, we need to be aware of these changes and know that the theory of maritime strategy has been evolving over time, even if the actors in history may or may not be aware of the changes.

The Development of Maritime Strategic Thought Nations have practiced maritime strategy for centuries, but historians, political scientists, and theoreticians have only examined it analytically for a relatively short period of time. It was nearly 125 years ago that Alfred Thayer Mahan pointed out the role of sea power in wartime national policy; it has been a century since Sir Julian Corbett first provided a more complete theoretical statement of the principles for establishing control of the sea in wartime.2 Although some historians have objected that leaders in this period did not think strategically, others have countered that point by showing that they acted strategically. At the very end of the period of naval wars under sail, only a very few people, men such as Carl von Clausewitz and Antoine-Henri Jomini were just beginning to think more abstractly about military strategy — although not maritime strategy.3 Sailors continued to practice the craft of maritime strategy pragmatically until the last quarter of the 19th century without worrying about this subject. Both seamen and statesmen knew, from long practice, the characteristics and capabilities of their ships and men; with that knowledge, they could easily calculate a maritime strategy. The maritime world of the late 19th century was at the beginning of the phenomenon of technological change we have come to experience every day. As people came to grips with this phenomenon, many argued that the best choice was to run with the change, go wholeheartedly for the new technology and the new capabilities. The reactionaries, of course, dreamed of a return to the old days and dug in their heels to change of any kind. Some pragmatic naval officers, however, began to struggle with the same issues that we deal with today, asking the pertinent questions: Do we really need the new equipment? What new and essential capabilities will it give us? How much will it cost? How much is enough?

What is maritime strategy?

The pioneer thinkers in this area (Sir John Knox Laughton, Vice Admiral Sir Philip Colomb and Corbett in Britain with Rear Admiral Stephen B Luce and Mahan in the United States) turned to two areas of established thought to begin to work out their answers: military theory and historical study. This effort paralleled the spread of ideas and procedures used by the German General Staff to develop war plans, to train staff officers and to advise senior military commanders. This was the foundation of modern maritime strategic theory. Since that time, both the practice and the theory of naval and maritime strategy has progressed, widening perceptions. Today there is a much larger theoretical understanding that builds on, expands and modifies these earlier ideas for wartime strategy. New technologies, situations and experiences brought wider practice, and stimulated further development of theory. World War II, for example, brought home the need for the navy, and all the separate armed Services, to work together more closely. Among theorists, Rear Admiral JC Wylie, USN, was the first to attempt to integrate the main, Service-oriented theories into a general theory of power control.4 Additionally, the Cold War stimulated wide thinking about, in particular, the uses of military power for deterrence and a navy’s diplomatic and persuasive uses in peacetime. These broadened perspectives have extended the foundations of theory for modern, and peacetime, maritime strategies.5

Schools of Naval Strategy Beginning in the late 19th century, clusters of naval thinkers and writers developed similarly-minded approaches to thinking about the broad roles and functions of navies. Although rarely associated with particular institutions, they were more commonly associated with, and followers of, specific thinkers and typically involved particular weapons, and individual national interests and navies during specific periods. These groupings may be called ‘schools of naval strategy’. The Anglo-American school of naval strategy is associated with the cumulative writings of Laughton, Luce, Mahan, Corbett and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond. In its early days, some referred to them collectively as the ‘historical school,’ since an analytical study of historical experience played such an important role in the underpinning of their thought. In this, the main figures were grappling to develop an approach that Clausewitz had also promoted in using historical study as the best means for experienced officers to learn how to exercise high command.6 Quite in opposition to this approach was the French Jeune École, or ‘Young School,’ which involved a range of approaches including strategy, operations and tactics based around newly developing concepts for a single specific new technological system then under development: the torpedo boat.7 These ideas became deeply entwined in internal political debates as well as controversies over the ethical and international law aspects involved in using torpedoes to attack merchant shipping.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Other schools of naval strategy developed in other countries, such as Germany, Japan, Italy and the Soviet Union. However, such schools often dealt in operational and tactical doctrine rather than in broad maritime strategy.8 In another nuance to the subject, the United States and other countries in the 20th and early 21st centuries developed extensive statements (sometimes in forms similar to governmental white papers or green papers) of their naval strategy that were designed to serve multiple internal and external purposes. These purposes could range from declaratory deterrent warnings to an international rival to the basis for allied diplomacy, or even to parliamentary, procurement, and budgetary issues.9

Strategy in Modern Warfare The experience of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as terrorism, piracy, and military activities involving the activities of ideologically motivated groups, is gradually leading to a more nuanced understanding of conflict in the modern world. Some aspects are useful to keep in mind when thinking about the maritime sphere. While some are new, other aspects that been present in other periods but have not been emphasised the way they might have been. This gives us another reason to examine past conflicts in history to gain new insights as well as to think more innovatively about what the future might hold. First, the interdependence of the global economy in the modern world has long roots in its maritime development, but it brings into question some economic aspects of warfare between states. For example, one traditionally thought about attacks on merchant shipping in terms of the national flag merchant vessels flew and drew from the effects of those attacks a direct corollary to the national economy of the vessels. In a globalised world under the regime of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, with the additional and widespread use of flags of convenience, the calculation must be very different.10 While such aspects of globalisation immediately come to the minds of a sailor, globalisation combines also with the information revolution that connects warfare to much broader audiences, going far beyond the armed forces involved and the peoples that they represent. This means modern warfare involves many more dimensions than the traditional two-sided clash of armed forces. In the past, we have tended to view each of those two sides as each having a distinctive and cohesive national or alliance-oriented strategy. The recent wars have underscored the fact that this is not necessarily the case. There are a range of core strategic views within each side, and increasingly understood in the modern world, there are multiple audiences that view and judge the legitimacy of the opposing strategies used in an armed conflict. There are a variety of domestic audiences that range from lawmakers to the press, specific interest groups and the general public, while outside one country they may stretch from small rival tribal groups, to regions, and even involve the entire global community.

What is maritime strategy?

There are many subtle issues about strategy that need to be understood with greater clarity than we presently do. In a particular conflict, there may be a difference between the uses of military force and fighting a war. A war is more than just about the employment of armed force; it extends to all methods that bring about a political impact on the opposing sides.11 Future understanding of maritime strategy will need to move beyond our current understanding of the subject in order to deal with the full range of such possible future challenges.

Modern Maritime Strategy Both our experience of practicing maritime strategy and our historical examination of other maritime strategies during the last century show that maritime strategy is a kind of subset of national grand strategy which touches on the whole range of a nation’s activities and interests at sea. In its broadest sense, grand strategy is the comprehensive direction of power to achieve particular national goals. Within those terms, maritime strategy is the direction of all aspects of national power that relate to a nation’s interests at sea. Navies serve this purpose, but maritime strategy is not purely a naval preserve. Maritime strategy involves the other functions of state power that include: • diplomacy • the safety and defence of merchant trade at sea • fishing • the exploitation, conservation, regulation and defence of the exclusive economic zone at sea • coastal defence • security of national borders • the protection of offshore islands • participation in regional and worldwide concerns relating to the use of oceans, the skies over the oceans and the land under the seas. Regarding the final point, such issues include expanding the scientific and technological understanding of the entire maritime environment, working with the full range of national organisations (the navy, army, air force, customs, coastguard, commerce and trade, to name but a few of the ministries, bureaus and departments that touch on these issues) in order to bring forth a truly national concept for the maritime aspects of national life.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The fundamental focus of the military element in maritime strategy centres on the control of human activity at sea through the use of armed force in order to contribute to the broad ends established in a national maritime policy. There are two parts to this: establishing control against opposition and using control, once it has been established. Following the establishment of control is the use of the control in order to achieve specific ends. The effort to achieve control, by itself, means nothing unless that control has an effect. In the wide spectrum of activity that this can involve, the most important aspect is the use of maritime control to influence and, ultimately, to assist in controlling events on land. In this, the fundamental key is to have an effect on those places, times or routes of travel to which an adversary is sensitive, and which are critical and essential enough to move an adversary to alter plans or actions so as to accommodate one’s own objectives. In many past wars, fighting decisive battles between great opposing fleets or blockading an enemy fleet in port to prevent it from getting to sea were the two principal means by which one nation prevented an enemy from establishing maritime control or from interfering with its own use of the sea. In these ways, one navy could remove another as a threat. Today, there are additional means to achieve these wartime objects: submarine attack, missiles, mines and air attack. In examining the role of navies in maritime strategy, many people tend to overemphasise the effort to achieve control, focusing particularly on battles, and ignore the less glamorous, but far more important, ways maritime forces use the control they obtain. After obtaining some degree of control in wartime, the most important wartime functions of naval forces are: • protecting and facilitating one’s own and allied merchant shipping and military supplies at sea • maintaining safe passage for shipping through restricted waters and access to ports and harbours • denying commercial shipping to an enemy • protecting the cost and offshore resources • moving and supporting troops and advanced bases • gaining and maintaining local air and sea control in support of air and land operations.12 From a narrow perspective, all of these seem to describe a navy operating in its own unique element - the sea - using its specialised skills and equipment in a special way. But, in a wider understanding, all of these functions are closely related to other aspects of national power. In many cases, they are also parallel and complementary to the wartime functions of the other armed services.

What is maritime strategy?

Maritime strategy prescribes a variety of other considerations for navies in peacetime, naval operations short of open warfare and the non-war functions of naval power that continue even during wartime. One theorist, Ken Booth, has placed these under three general categories: • The military role. • The policing role. • The diplomatic role.13 The military capacity of a navy to use force in the event of war is the foundation upon which the diplomatic and policing roles rest. However, there are additional features of the military role in peacetime, which include both nuclear and conventional deterrence to prevent war. The military role also includes development of the necessary and basic shore facilities and procedures that are prudent to develop in peacetime, in case war should break out. Additionally, the military role involves protecting the lives, the property, and the interests of one’s national citizens on the high seas, in distant waters, and on other offshore possessions in time of natural disaster. Most important for all of us in the coming century, the military role includes compliance with, and active assertion of, the international law of the sea regime. Based on its military capability, a navy has a policing function within a maritime strategy. A large country, with wide geographical scope and responsibility in this function, might choose to centralise these functions and assign them to a separate and specialised coastguard service. Other states, through tradition or for other reasons, may choose to share these activities among several government agencies. Since the policing role involves military force, it is logically a naval role. Nevertheless, it is one that involves a whole range of civil responsibilities that extend to a different realm, often involving specialised procedures and legal knowledge. This can be one reason for exercising such a naval role through agencies other than the navy itself. Conversely, in a period of extended peace and international stability, when legislatures will not provide for a war fleet, the agency that exercises the policing role is the one through which wartime capabilities and seagoing experience can be preserved in a contingency force while, at the same time, performing an important naval task. In another role related to the policing function in a maritime strategy, navies can contribute to internal stability and development. This type of peaceful use of naval force is limited by geography for most countries, but can be considerable in nations made up of island groups. In case of emergencies, navies can, sometimes more readily than other agencies, supply electrical power; provide hospital facilities; and transport heavy equipment to communities on islands, along navigable rivers, and in distant coastal regions where other types of transportation are limited. In addition to ship



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

visits, naval shore facilities and active bases in distant areas serve as symbols of a nation for the peoples of those regions, contributing to a local solidarity as well as to the local economy. The third peacetime role for navies within a maritime strategy is the diplomatic and international role. In this role, navies can play an important part to reassure and to strengthen bilateral alliances, and regional and worldwide international organisations through mutually supportive cooperation. From a position of moderate naval strength, nations can contribute to international stability and maintain a nation’s presence and prestige on the international stage, while at the same time cooperating with others to achieve collective security. Building upon the natural links and mutual experience that bind professional officers of all nations together, naval men and women can create ties between navies, even though they serve under different flags. Through such ties - nurtured through personnel exchanges, language and cultural training as well as operational exercises - navies can help to reduce tensions and avoid misunderstandings. Unlike other types of military force, navies offer a quality that is not readily apparent in an army, air force or a marine assault force. While soldiers and warplanes always appear to be menacing, ships and seamen can appear in ports around the world in ways that easily allow them to be ambassadors and diplomats - or even benign helpers in times of catastrophe.14 The traditional and fundamental relationship of navies to national economies, through the international freedom of the seas and its common heritage, gives maritime forces a unique character that distinguishes them from the other services. Traditionally, navies have found their capabilities and functions derive from two complementary, but quite different spheres of tradition, one civil and one military, providing important resources for contributing to maritime strategies in both peace and war. In conclusion, one must underscore the point that a maritime strategy involves much more than a navy. While the terms ‘naval’ and ‘maritime’ are not synonymous, navies are very clearly an integral part of the maritime world. Within it, their work is linked in two directions. On the one hand, the navy is linked to the full range of activities in national defence; on the other, it is tied to the entire spectrum of civil activities relating to the sea. A maritime strategy is the comprehensive direction of all aspects of national power to achieve specific policy goals in a specific situation by exercising some degree of control at sea. In understanding the general concepts underlying maritime strategy, there are no absolute dicta, only a constantly evolving theory that in need of constant modification and correction through our understanding of maritime history, our changing experiences and challenges, and our own reflective analysis on history in the light of those experiences.

What is maritime strategy?

Notes 1 This is a revised version of the keynote address delivered at the Royal Australian Navy’s 1996 Naval History Seminar held in Canberra, 20 August 1996, and first published in David Stevens (ed), In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning Since 1901, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence no. 119, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 1997, pp. 5-18. It was revised and reprinted in John B Hattendorf, Naval History and Maritime Strategy: Collected Essays, Krieger Publishing, Malabar, 2000, pp. 229-240, and is now further revised and updated here. This is an edited version of the latest revision. The full paper can be read in John B Hattendorf, What is Maritime Strategy?, Soundings no. 1, Sea Power Centre – Australia, (forthcoming). 2 AT Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, Little Brown, Boston, 1890. His related ideas on naval strategy are summarised in John B Hattendorf (ed), Mahan on Naval Strategy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1991; Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command: The Classic Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2000; Julian S Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1988. Corbett’s role and influence on the development of maritime strategy is examined in James Goldrick and John B Hattendorf (eds), Mahan is Not Enough: The Proceedings of a Conference on the Works of Sir Julian Corbett and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, Naval War College Press, Newport, 1994. See JJ Widén, Theorist of Maritime Strategy: Sir Julian Corbett and his Contribution to Military and Naval Thought, Ashgate, 2012. 3 Azar Gat, The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to Clausewitz, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989. 4 JC Wylie, Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1989. 5 See the more detailed outline of these and the following developments in John B Hattendorf and Robert S Jordan (eds), Maritime Strategy and the Balance of Power: Britain and America in the 20th Century, Macmillan, London, 1989, Part II: Theory. 6 For an insightful exposition of Clausewitz’s thinking on this, see Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 2011. 7 Arne Røksund, The Jeune École: The Strategy of the Weak, Brill, Leiden, 2007. To see this school of strategy in broader historical perspective, consult Martin Motte, Une Éducation Géostratégique: La Pensée Navale Française, de la Jeune École à 1914, Economica, Paris, 2004. 8 See John B Hattendorf, ‘Naval Doctrine’, in Hattendorf, Naval History and Maritime Strategy, pp. 241-251; James J Tritten and Luigi Donolo, A Doctrine Reader: The Navies of United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Spain, Naval War College Press, Newport, 1995; and Milan Vego, Operational Warfare at Sea: Theory and Practice, Taylor & Francis, London, 2009. 9 To trace the US Navy’s use of this approach with its capstone strategy statements, see John B Hattendorf (ed), US Naval Strategy in the 1970s: Selected Documents, Naval War College Press, Newport, 2007; John B Hattendorf and Peter M Swartz (eds), US Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents, Naval War College Press, Newport, 2009; John B Hattendorf (ed), US Naval Strategy in the 1990s: Selected Documents, Naval War College Press, Newport, 2006; John B Hattendorf, The Evolution of the US Navy’s Maritime Strategy, 1977-1986, Naval War College Press, Newport, 2004. 10 John B Hattendorf, ‘Globalization and Navies: Some Considerations for Naval Theory’, in Ravi Vohra and Devbrat Chakraborty (eds), Maritime Dimensions of a New World Order, Anamaya Publishers on behalf of the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 32-51.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

11 For a thoughtful examination of the wide range of issues involved, see Emile Simpson, War from the Ground Up: Twenty-First-Century Combat as Politics, Columbia University Press, New York, 2012, pp. 227-244. 12 Frank Uhlig Jr, How Navies Fight 1775-1991, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1994, summary of chart on pp. 416-417. 13 Ken Booth, Navies and Foreign Policy, Croom Helm, London, 1977. 14 JC Wylie, ‘Mahan: Then and Now’, in John B Hattendorf (ed), The Influence of History on Mahan, Naval War College Press, Newport, 1991, p. 41.

Global Marine Trends 2030: Setting the Scene for a Maritime School of Strategic Thought QinetiQ, Lloyds’s Register and University of Strathclyde Produced in 2013 by Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Strathclyde, Global Marine Trends 2030 has helped to understand possible futures for the global marine and maritime industries.1 Using scenarios, it paints a picture of likely changes in commercial shipping, naval and offshore energy sectors. In the naval section, it points to the key elements of changing naval power. Given these possible, or likely, futures, we can consider the implications for technology development and the responses of navies to those developments. These potential futures, their implications and responses by navies form an important scene setter for the consideration of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia.

Global Trends Expectations for significant change between the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st were, apart from the ‘millennium bug’, limited – most people seem to have expected business as usual. The reality has been very different, and the pace of change only seems to have increased. Events in the financial world, the Middle East and emerging countries have surprised many. We are seeing a new, multi-polar, world economic configuration emerging. This poses many challenges but also opens many new opportunities for the marine industries. It will have profound impacts on commercial shipping requirements and natural resource exploitation; an emerging shift of geopolitical configurations where future competitions and conflicts between nations is more likely to involve future competition at sea. Coupled with these threats, new business opportunities are opening up for naval suppliers as a result of the increased demand for naval systems of all sorts. Understanding the possibilities requires us to consider the actual drivers, and the scenarios in which they could operate.

Scenarios and Drivers Our approach started with asking the central question: what are the possible outcomes, based on what major drivers, influencing the next two decades in the global marine industry?


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

We moved on to the first part of the question: what are the drivers or influences on our world? We found that these driving forces are: population, economy and resources. We describe these in more detail below. There are other influences. We considered technology, but found that it is more of an enabler. We assumed environment would drive our study, but the International Panel on Climate Change showed that the only marine trend that is near having a global effect in 2030 will be polar warming, with other trends taking much longer to have an impact. It should be noted that we also perceive a further global climate change in the level of atmospheric turbulence or chaos, but are not aware of a robust, scientifically-based and substantiated predictive analysis. Finally, we considered politics - the process by which people make collective decisions. This is a key differentiator, and we have used it to define our scenarios. It can be hard to predict, and yet sets the context for all of our futures. Given these drivers, we built scenario frameworks including forcing models, which we validated against data for the last few decades. Finally, we developed scenario stories, and it is these we plan to describe today.

Core Scenarios We created three possible outcomes in a quantitative, actionable and unbiased way: ‘Status Quo’, ‘Competing Nations’ and ‘Global Commons’. These principally separate out the possible actions of society in terms of international politics. Status Quo: Business as usual, clear economic growth, no single trade power dominates. In this scenario we expect long-term economic growth and an increase in global challenges. Reactive and short-term solutions will affect trade and shipping. Absence of market solutions to crises of security and conflicting laws encourage short-term portfolio optimisation and vertical integration. There will no single dominant trade power, but a collection of powers, all recognising that a reversal to insularity and protectionism is detrimental. Superior risk management is essential and maximum flexibility is called for the shipping community. Naval power continues to grow around the world. Energy demands increase offshore investment. Global Commons: Increased cooperation, a bit more growth, accelerated globalisation In this scenario, we see even more economic growth. Cross-border integration and virtual value chains are encouraged by built-in security and compliance certification and regulatory harmonisation. Networking skills and superior reputation management are essential. We envision major international agreements, and accelerated expansion of globalisation. This is a win-win world for all participants and shipping will expand. Although we see less need for naval power, investment will continue as economies grow. Offshore energy demand will increase more rapidly.

Global maritime trends 2030

Competing Nations: Weaker global institutions, a bit less growth, rise in protectionism This scenario is characterised by dogmatic approaches and conflicts, which give insiders an advantage and put a brake on globalisation. Gate communities and national standards exacerbate fragmentation and call for careful country-risk management. The shipping community will suffer with the potential roll-back of globalisation and a rise in protectionism. At best regional blocs are formed with barriers erected and a preference for intra-regional trade. Local presence for shipping is necessary and competing demands from national interests make life complicated. The naval sector will see greater demand, but suffer from lower economic growth.

Disruptive Scenarios Around these three scenarios, there will be disruptive events that would introduce step changes at almost any time, putting them beyond reach of our forcing model analysis. Some examples are: • Russia joins NATO, caused by, and causing, changes in regional cooperation and tension • the US dollar loses its reserve currency status, changing the prices for all products and services, location of manufacturing and research, flows of capital and trade, composition of monetary reserves, behaviour of investors, and the distribution of economic and political power • technology - such as the rise of robotics and autonomous systems, or synthetic fuels - changes everything. The world could enter completely new and unknown territory with massive consequences for all manner of human activities, whether in peace or war.

Global Drivers Our population model is based on United Nations demographic predictions. The population may reach 8 billion by 2030, with 96 per cent of growth coming from developing countries. India will have just overtaken China, with the largest population and the largest labour force in the world. No other country will come close. Our economic model, validated against other long-term models, suggests that - in every scenario - countries and regions will continue to grow, with the world economy potentially tripling between 2010 and 2030. In all three scenarios, the top three economies are China, United States and India, who will all be a long way ahead of any other country. These economic powers will shift the rebalance of the world. China, alone, will contribute about 20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The growth means there will be significant increases in global trade, the vast majority of which is moved by sea, and arrives in ports. An important finding is that the most important cities in the world (by population or by economic contribution) will almost all be ports. As the population, economy and prosperity increase so will the demand for resources. China will overtake North America to become the largest oil consumer. China will see massive growth as a natural gas consumer that will nearly match the United States, who will remain the world’s largest consumer. Meanwhile, China and India will be the two giant coal consumers. Massive demand in the construction sector will mean India sees the largest growth in steel consumption, at five times current levels, but China will remain the biggest consumer of steel.

NAVAL POWER So what are the implications for naval power? Does more shipping means more need for trade route protection? The underlying trend of increasing economic growth is closely tied to growing naval capability.

Naval Power What constitutes Naval Power? For the public, its often the number of ships in the navy. Naval Power is more complex than this, and subject to supply & demand influences. A simple measurement was sought for Global Marine Trends 2030, sufficient for broad assessments of possible futures – and based on simple accessible information. Detailed prediction of geopolitical forces was not considered possible, or an efficient use of resource. We simplified naval power to the capability of representative fighting elements. We also needed to understand where that power comes from. The reality is that a government commits money to generate military power (because that is the main lever they have). The relevant ministry within government will manage the distribution of the money among the navy, army and air force, according to national political needs. Assessment of national military budgets (let alone specific naval budgets), on a consistent basis, was beyond the resource of this project. We simplified economic power to the GDP of the state. Finally, we needed to understand how the propensity of a state to wage war would be affected by the three scenarios we had defined for 2030. The scenarios are based on political interactions at the international scale, defined subjectively and account for the willingness to use naval power or not. Decisions to build up or reduce naval power, usually made on the basis of a nation’s grand strategic interests, affect expenditure on navies, and the business associated with them.

Global maritime trends 2030

In summary, politics at world, regional and national levels will play the most significant part in driving the naval sector. Politics can create conditions for significantly greater or lesser development in military forces. The political dimension is accommodated by our three scenarios. Demographics and environment play a relatively smaller role in naval sector change. The economy has the largest measurable impact on the naval sector and we have used this to characterise our understanding of the naval sector in 2030. Our assessment of changing naval power for some key navies is shown below. We found that naval power will increase broadly in line with GDP. In each scenario, we see the Royal Navy as relatively static, measuring 1 on our Naval Power Index (NPI). We see a few other navies generating much greater power. Indian and Japanese navies grow somewhat. Russian and Chinese navies grow more obviously, having about ten times the power of the Royal Navy. But at a thousand times more power, the US Navy remains by far the dominant force. It starts from a high current base of power, and the growing economy helps to enable continued growth. No other navy comes near. Between the scenarios, we note that there is not much difference. The ability and willingness to pay for naval power tend to act against each other – for example, the higher GDP expected in Global Commons is mitigated by the reduced international tensions. The opposite is true for the Competing Nations scenario.

TECHNOLOGY Another interesting question is: which technologies will contribute the most to the system’s development? NPI incorporates key factors of naval power: platforms, systems and manpower. We can separate them out to show which are likely to change. Subjective trial and error with the calculations suggests a much higher proportion of naval power coming from systems development. We suggest that, on average, navies will be simply maintaining and refreshing platforms and personnel, rather than expanding their numbers. They will, however, tend to develop significantly more powerful weapons, sensors and communications systems. This escalation in naval capability suggests that there are growth opportunities for the naval sector, but that the focus should be on armament and systems capability rather than platforms or people. It is hard to tell, because technologies can come from nowhere and make a huge impact, but we anticipate that robotics and automation will be major contributors. Systems will be the battleground with the most advanced innovators and developers gaining military advantage. We expect that directed energy weapons will have achieved the highest technology readiness by 2030, and that other technologies like artificial intelligence will have moved further up the scale. Some technologies considered novel now will already be commonplace in 2030. While we cannot tell you which ones navies will be developing at the low technology readiness levels, we remain very curious, and will be keeping a close watch on a wide range of technologies as they develop.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

NAVAL RESPONSE TO GLOBAL MARINE TRENDS 2030 Most sophisticated navies already consider the future wars they may have to face. Navies should therefore consider the findings of Global Marine Trends 2030, how credible they are, and what questions they pose against current thinking. The scenarios described here are not predictions, but stories about possible futures. These stories are plausible, challenging and rigorously constructed to address the most critical questions that decision makers need to face. They also provide quantitative, actionable information that can be used to identify and challenge underlying assumptions, to enhance the Navy’s future position.

Notes 1 This paper is an expurgated version of Lloyds’s Register, QinetiQ and University of Strathclyde, Global Marine Trends 2030, QinetiQ: London; Lloyd’s Register Group: Glasgow and University of Strathclyde: Farnbogough, 2013, which was kindly provided by Simon Walstrom of Qinetiq.

part II Cultural perspectives


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Withheld Self: The Impact of National Culture on the Development of Australian Maritime Thought Michael Evans To see that Australia is a set of paradoxes, is, perhaps, the beginning of an ability to understand it. Jeanne MacKenzie, 19621 A lack of a maritime outlook remains the greatest paradox of Australia’s history. Lying between the Southern, Pacific and Indian oceans and is enclosed in the east and north by Timor, Arafura, Coral and Tasman seas, Australia is the world’s largest island continent. Given its geopolitical character and dependence on maritime trade and sea lines of communication for its prosperity, Australia should be a natural seafaring nation. Historically, this has not been the case. The country’s continental ethos and its pastoral and mining industries have always been of more importance than its maritime awareness and sea-based industries. Australia’s astonishingly immature maritime outlook has not gone unnoticed by successive generations of scholars. In his 1959 comparison of the United States and Australia, HC Allen was struck by the fact that ‘America has a great maritime tradition, which Australia, having been perhaps too long reliant on that of the mother country, really has not’.2 Two decades later, John Bach bewailed the absence of a sense of the sea in the Australian psyche observing, ‘European Australia should have been the archetype of a maritime nation. The offspring of a mighty sea-power it might have been expected to look instinctively to the same source for its strength’.3 More recently, Frank Broeze highlighted how Australia’s states have been captive to a ‘regional littoralism’ that has restricted the evolution of a national maritime outlook. While New South Wales and Queensland look out on to the Pacific Ocean, South Australia abuts the Southern Ocean and Western Australia overlooks the Indian Ocean. The nation’s maritime diversity between east and west is further compounded by the fact that the Northern Territory’s seaward focus is on the Timor Sea and into Southeast Asia through the Indonesian archipelago.4 This paper argues that it is the peculiar trajectory of Australia’s national culture that has impeded a sense of a maritime consciousness and that this situation is particularly reflected in defence policy. Historically, the imperial, literary, political and economic aspects of Australian cultural awareness have tended to uphold a strong continental ethos, elements of which have transmuted themselves into a view of defence that has


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

prevented the emergence of a mature appreciation of the strategic value of the sea. Three areas are examined to support this thesis. First, the way in which British naval power from 1788 until the fall of Singapore in 1942 fostered in Australian strategy a tradition of maritime dependence on the colonial motherland and permitted a volunteer military tradition to flourish is briefly assessed. Second, the manner in which a lack of responsibility for national defence permitted an unhindered focus on settlement and internal development of a vast continent – a process that created a cult of the inland in the Australian cultural imagination – is outlined. Finally, the potential for developing a new maritime consciousness as a globalised Australia emerges as a significant 21stcentury middle power and member of the G20 economic group is explored.

A Tradition of Maritime Dependence: Australia, British Naval Power and the Volunteer Ethos The historian observed John Hirst observed: for most of human history defence spending has been the biggest item in government budgets. In the Australian colonies it was one of the smallest, which allowed government funds to be spent on the internal development of the colony.5 From settlement in 1788 to Federation in 1901, Australia was part of the world’s greatest seaborne empire and its defence was underwritten by Britain’s global naval supremacy. The metropole subsumed Australia’s maritime identity into an imperial system absolving the colonists from any direct responsibility for their own defence. With physical security ensured by the Royal Navy, colonial Australia possessed the luxury to focus on social and economic development and the evolution of constitutional government. The transition to democratic self-government in the 1850s and 1860s saw colonial governments such as New South Wales and Victoria duplicate the virtues of British political stability providing security for property rights and individual liberty under common law.6 Throughout the 19th century, the defence of the Australian colonies was conceived in imperial rather than in national terms. Indeed, it was only in 1901 with the creation of Federation that defence became a serious political consideration. While Edmund Barton, Joseph Cook and Alfred Deakin, modern Australia’s founding fathers, came to view defence as a national responsibility they continued to view any Australian effort as part of a wider imperial system. National defence would both reinforce and, in turn, be reinforced by the resources of empire.7 In this course of action Australians were merely following the advice of Alfred Thayer Mahan, who, in 1902, wrote that Australia must,

The withheld self

frame its [defence] schemes and base its estimates on sound lines, both naval and imperial; naval by allowing due weight to battle force; imperial, by contemplating the whole, and recognizing that local safety is not always best found in local precaution.8 In terms of its strategic consciousness, at least, post-Federation Australia remained in the grip of what Gregory Melleuish has called ‘the meta-narrative of Empire’.9 It was a tradition that was to last for the first half of the 20th century. Thus, when Prime Minister Billy Hughes attended the Versailles Conference in 1919, he, like his predecessors, located Australia’s strategic position within the context of an imperial defence system. For Hughes, the northern archipelagos ‘were as necessary to Australia as water to a city. If they were in the hands of a superior power there would be no peace for Australia’.10 Yet while the essential strategic challenge might be identified, any local maritime approach toward Australian defence was elusive for it was not sailors on the high seas but volunteer soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front that provided the new polity with its martial ethos. Indeed, Australia’s interpretation of its military identity was defined by Charles Bean when he married the ANZAC Digger outlook with an outback tradition to create the legend of the ‘natural soldier’. At its heart, the Anzac military tradition remains a creed of the soldier and owes little to the sea.11 Australia’s ‘sea blindness’ has been much lamented by figures as diverse as Frederick Eggleston, TB Millar, Kim Beazley and Alan Robertson. In 1930, Eggleston noted, ‘we do not have that sense of the sea and our surroundings which is generally developed in an island people’. In a similar vein, Millar, in his 1965 book, Australia’s Defence, was moved to remind his readers that Australia was an island nation and as such did not have to be invaded in order to be defeated by events occurring at sea.12 In the late 1980s, the architect of Australia’s continental defence doctrine Kim Beazley, could observe, ‘Australia is not a maritime nation and its people do not sustain much of an interest in Australian maritime strategy’.13 For most of its existence what has passed for a maritime philosophy of the sea in Australian defence is, in Alan Robertson’s memorable words, ‘a continentalist’s idea of maritime strategy’.14 Colloquially, in terms of philosophical outlook, most Australian strategists have been dingoes rather than sharks. An Australian maritime outlook has also been further retarded by the character of a national political debate that is marked by division over how the country might best develop its own defence. The seminal issue was the bitter conscription disputes of 1916-17 and 1942 that shattered any consensus on the shape and direction of national defence. The defeat of conscription in 1916-17 was a disaster for the evolution of coherent defence policy in Australia – not least because it severed the political bond between the duty of bearing arms and the rights of citizenship.15 In this sense, Bruce Grant is right when he writes that Australia has ‘a martial history of symbolism and emotional significance, without experience in applying the first principle of the martial arts, which is that of self-defence’.16 The conscription debates ensured that Australia’s military



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

tradition would become a volunteer one associated mainly with soldiers so restricting any evolution of a maritime ethos of warfare. Thus, even when Australia fought in a great maritime campaign in the South-West Pacific in World War II (WWII) from 194245, the country looked to American sea power to replace that of Britain’s after the fall of Singapore. It is significant that the WWII amphibious operations of the 7th and 9th divisions of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in the South-West Pacific islands continue to be overshadowed in the national iconography by the 1st AIF’s experience of World War I continental battles in France such as Bullecourt, Hamel and Amiens.17 In the second decade of the 21st century, then, Australia possesses a strategic culture that, despite embracing a strong naval tradition, lacks the essential maritime identity necessary to ensure a realistic approach to defence. Since 1916, paradox and discord have occurred over the two most fundamental aspects of defence policy: who should serve and where? As Paul Kelly writes, ‘Australia [has] been a pro-war and anti conscription country – a unique mixture’.18 Similarly John Hirst, observes that since the schism of 1916-17, the proposition, that defence of the nation is a single project, and that the State should have the power to command all men to serve – these commonplace ideas have not been accepted in Australia. The result has been that ‘defence has been the empty core of Australian nationhood’.19

The Continental Imagination: Australian Literary Culture and the Cult of the Inland The way a country’s literary culture develops plays a vital role in determining a nation’s sense of identity and self-consciousness. Australia is no exception to this rule. For much of Australia’s existence there has been a division in artistic culture between universalists who have upheld Britishness and European ideas and nationalists who have upheld Australianess and nationalist ideas.20 With physical security guaranteed by British warships, Australian settlement was free to concentrate on the interior geography of a vast continent. In the 19th century, the major concern of Australian colonists became the struggle to master the land. In a real sense, the immense security that emanated from a global combination of British mastery of the seas and the intellectual supremacy of ideas of the European Enlightenment fuelled a quest for a colonial and later national identity. It is another one of the great paradoxes of Australian history that British seaborne security and European universalism came to encourage an inward-looking literary nationalism in the 19th century. Indeed, between settlement in 1788 and the consolidation of the

The withheld self

self-governing colonies in the 1880s, Australia underwent a ‘transformation from an outward-looking and dynamic view of the world and historical processes to one that saw the world in static and national terms’.21 Under such conditions, it was not mariners but explorers such as Sturt, Leichardt, and Burke and Wills who captured the Australian imagination.22 In the words of Alan Moorehead, the explorers elevated their trials with an implacable interior into ‘a mystique, a cult of barrenness and asceticism’.23 This mystique of the Australian landscape was reflected in the works of such writers as Marcus Clarke and Rolf Boldrewood and later by journalists of The Bulletin. Australian literary culture celebrated the struggle with the land as symbolised by convicts, pioneers, bushrangers, diggers and drovers. By the 1890s, Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson emerged as the two great national poets who would immortalise the bush as a Lost Eden and the bushman as ‘the true and admirable Australia and Australian’.24 Similarly, the Heidelberg painters of the 1880s, Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder, idealised the landscape, outback and pioneer spirit.25 As maritime historian Frank Broeze has noted, Australian art especially the Heidelberg School of the 1880s and 1890s celebrated, a visual continentalism that complemented and reinforced the literary impact of the writers and poets associated with The Bulletin and that was a vital ingredient of late nineteenth century Australian nationalism.26 It was the romanticised interior of landscape and outback that informed the works of later painters such as Russell Drysdale and Sidney Nolan and writers such as Patrick White, Ion Idriess and Russel Ward. For example, White’s novel, Voss, based on the explorer Ludwig Leichardt is characterised by a striking imagery of landscape in which, ‘the great empty mornings were terrible until the ball of the sun was tossed skyward’.27 The victory of an inward-looking nationalist paradigm in Australia’s literary culture and self-consciousness became evident in the first half of the 20th century. Indeed, in some respects it is possible to detect in Australian writing an antagonism toward the sea. In the 1940 poem, ‘Underground’ by poet Ian Mudie the land is deliberately celebrated over the sea: Deep flows the river, deep as our roots reach for it; feeding us, angry and striving Against the blindness ship-fed seas bring us from colder waters28



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

For Mudie, it is the outback, not the ocean that grips the minds of Australians ‘like heart and blood, from heat to mist’.29 As a member of the nationalist Jindyworobak literary movement, Mudie viewed the sea as alien and representative of an unwelcome pseudoEuropeanism and transplanted Englishness. The leading figure of the Jindyworobak movement, Rex Ingamells, was strongly influenced by DH Lawrence’s 1923 novel, Kangaroo – a book that remains unrivalled in its evocation of the connection between landscape’s ‘spirit of place’ and the evolution of a national psyche in Australia.30 For Lawrence, the Australian preoccupation with a harsh, alien landscape characterised by ‘grey, charred bush … so phantom like, so ghostly, with its tall, pale trees, and many dead trees, like corpses’ encouraged a metaphysical dread in the form of a withered and empty space in the national consciousness. There was, wrote Lawrence, a ‘withheld self’ in the Australian psyche that lacked the vision of a people with an outward-looking spirit associated with other European communities reconciled to their natural environment.31 Nowhere is Lawrence’s notion of a ‘withheld self’ more evident than in Australia’s cultural neglect of the sea. As Matthew Paris, another English writer, observed, the Australian island continent remains a Prospero’s kingdom, ‘but a kingdom where the spirits [of the land] have not quite been brought under control’.32

Australia as a Globalised Middle Power: Towards a 21st-Century Maritime Consciousness It remains debatable whether Australia will discover a maritime identity in the course of the 21st century. There are, however, contemporary signs of a greater outward awareness that can only signal a changing national consciousness. The Australia of 2013 is not the polity of dependent 1883 colonial self-governments; nor is it the tentative Federal experiment of 1913, little more than a decade old and on the brink of plunging into a disastrous World War. Still less, is it the inward-ridden, tariff-laden and protectionist country of 1983 resisting international economic competition and on the cusp of declining into Paul Keating’s ‘banana republic’. On the contrary, the Australia of 2013 is a product of 30 years of profound socio-economic revolution involving an embrace of both globalisation and free market liberalism that has created a more confident country which increasingly favours universalism over insularity.33 Australia’s developmental statistics over three decades are impressive. Between 1990 and 2010, the Australian economy tripled in size. Per capita gross domestic product grew by 182 per cent following the reform and internationalisation of the economy in the 1980s and 1990s – a process driven by the combined forces of information technology, the rise of Asia and a domestic minerals boom. Today, with a population of nearly 23 million, Australia possesses the 13th largest and the 7th most developed economy in

The withheld self

the world. The country is a member of the exclusive G20, East Asia Summit and is a foundation member of the Asia Pacific Economic Council. In 2008, the Australian dollar emerged to become the sixth most traded currency on world markets.34 Such global outwardness might be expected to encourage a stronger Australian maritime school of thought. Yet aspects of the old Jindyworobak-style national insularity still linger, most strikingly in defence policy that has struggled to keep abreast of unprecedented change since the late 1980s. In yet another paradox, in 1987 – even as Australia opened its political economy to the world – a nationalist and continentalist Defence of Australia (DOA) doctrine, which recalled the spirit of the Jindyworobak movement, was adopted. It was a posture that flew in the face of an emerging global era as the Cold War disappeared into history. In many respects the DOA doctrine of the 1980s and 1990s was a strategic manifestation of the parochial nationalism associated with literary continentalism. Yet, as Asia and its Indo-Pacific sea lines of communication have become the economic sinews of a new prosperity, Australia’s defence policy has obsolesced in two key aspects. First, it is increasingly evident that any form of continental defence based on a narrow conception of geography is inadequate in globalised security conditions. Second, the old technique of expeditionary warfare using mainly soldiers to uphold international order can no longer compensate for the lack of a genuine maritime strategy focused on a dynamic Asian region. The main challenge in defence policy over the past 25 years has been the steady realisation by policymakers that Australia must embrace its offshore maritime environment as the authentic basis of a regional security architecture with Asia. The strategic direction and force structure imperatives of defence documents between 2003 and 2013, including two Defence white papers, have been marked by the re-equipment of the Royal Australian Navy, a feature of which is a return to capital shipping in the form of large helicopter carriers. The combination of destroyers, amphibious ships and a new amphibious approach by the Army represent the beginnings of generational change towards the use of the sea in Australian strategic thinking.35 In the decades ahead, Australia will need to reconcile its terrestrial cultural identity with a new maritime consciousness. The latter must reflect its status as an outwardlooking, Western-formed middle power and an ally of America situated in the world’s new Asian economic heart. Such an outlook will take statesmanship, time and effort to cultivate in the minds of the political, foreign-policy and economic elites of Australia. In defence and security terms, a new maritime outlook must be forged on the anvil of an unreserved engagement with archipelagic Southeast Asia. Much of this will be irresistible as Asian geopolitics and global economic activities combine to transform Australia into the great southern anchor of the island chain that divides the Indian and Pacific oceans.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

In terms of fostering its national interests, Australia’s policy elites must strive to construct a narrative of Australia as an island nation intimately connected by a sea-air-land bridge to the Southeast Asian and Pacific archipelagos beginning with the Cocos to the north-west running through Indonesia to Papua New Guinea to the Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east. There will be little choice in this because the logic of the globalisation of economics, societies and security will compel the architects of Australia’s national culture to re-imagine their imperatives for the 21st century. To be sure, the process of change may take several decades and is likely to be uneven and contested in its philosophical trajectory but it is likely to be irreversible in its character and drive. Ultimately, some type of enhanced Australian maritime consciousness that embraces foreign policy, trade and security will emerge from a new synthesis of history, geography and national culture, however, the speed of change and the intellectual contours of the journey remain impossible to predict.

Conclusion For most of Australia’s history, it has been the blast of the sun on land not the swell of the sea against shore that has marked both cultural outlook and national identity. Lack of a maritime consciousness has been a striking feature of the Australian psyche and one that will not be easily implanted or developed quickly. Yet cultural identity is never static; nor is it a permanent barrier to Australia developing a compatible understanding of its future development in maritime as well as continental terms. In the course of the 21st century, it is likely that the accelerating domination by a globalised economy and the increased multicultural demography of a middle power Australia will gradually erode the insular proclivity towards Lawrence’s ‘withheld self’ in the national character. What is required, then, is a cultural commitment to balancing the imperatives of an Anglo-Celtic national identity with the newer benefits that come from being part of a multicultural global civilisation. The need is for an Australian polity that sees its development in complementary rather than competitive terms – a country that can reconcile a proud British-derived national culture with newer Asian geo-economic and inter-cultural dynamics that accentuate the sea. Just as 19th- and 20th-century Australians laboured physically to master a vast continent in order to build a modern nation, so too must future generations begin the psychological conquest of European Australia’s tendency towards national insularity and a rejection of the sea. The overcoming of the ‘withheld self’ through refocusing Australian culture to meet more universal realities is the key to the nation’s maturation as an island continent ‘girt by sea’. Australians, while respectful of their continental ethos, must increasingly seek to recast the national cultural narrative towards the seas of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific. They must embrace a new spirit of maritime thought and, in so doing, rediscover the vital importance the oceans have played, and will continue to play, in Australia’s prosperity and security.

The withheld self

Notes 1 Jeanne MacKenzie, Australian Paradox, FW Cheshire, Melbourne, 1962. 2 HC Allen, Bush and Backwoods: A Comparison of the Frontier in Australia and the United States, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1959, p. 4. 3 John Bach, A Maritime History of Australia, Thomas Nelson, Sydney, 1976, p. 2. 4 Frank Broeze, Island Nation: A History of Australians and the Sea, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 258-259. 5 John Hirst, Sense and Nonsense in Australian History, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2005, p. 311. 6 Hirst, Sense and Nonsense in Australian History, pp. 314-315; 317-319 7 Michael Evans, ‘Island-Consciousness and Australian Strategic Culture’, Institute of Public Affairs Review, July 2006, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 21-23 8 David Stevens (ed), In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning Since 1901, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence no. 119, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 1997, p. 155. 9 Gregory Melleuish, The Power of Ideas: Essays on Australian Politics and History, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2009, p. 215 10 Norman Harper, A Great and Powerful Friend: A Study of Australian American Relations Between 1900 and 1975, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1987, p. 30. 11 See Jane Ross, The Myth of the Digger: The Australian Soldier in Two World Wars, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1985. 12 TB Millar, Australia’s Defence, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1965, p. 30; and Evans, ‘Island-Consciousness and Australian Strategic Culture’, pp. 21-23. 13 Kim C Beazley, ‘The Development of Australian Maritime Strategy’, Department of Defence, Selected Speeches 1985-1989 by the Hon Kim C Beazley, MP, Minister for Defence, Directorate of Departmental Publications, Canberra, 1989, p. 184. 14 Alan Robertson, Centre of the Ocean World: Australia and Maritime Strategy, Sea View Press, Henley Beach, 2001, p. 52. 15 Hirst, Sense and Nonsense in Australian History, pp. 229; 257-258. 16 Bruce Grant, The Australian Dilemma: A New Kind of Western Society, Macdonald Futura, Sydney, 1983, p. 80. 17 Evans, ‘Island-Consciousness and Australian Strategic Culture’, 21-23; and Michael Evans, The Tyranny of Dissonance: Australia’s Strategic Culture and Way of War, 1901-2005, Study Paper no. 306, Land Warfare Studies Centre, Canberra, 2005. 18 Paul Kelly, 100 Years: The Australian Story, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2001, p. 14. 19 John Hirst, Australia’s Democracy: A Short History, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2002, pp. 295; 293-294; 300-301. 20 Melleuish, The Power of Ideas, pp. 215-246. 21 Melleuish, The Power of Ideas, pp. 215; 221-223. 22 Geoffrey Serle, From Deserts the Prophets Come: The Creative Spirit in Australia, 1788-1972, Heinemann, Melbourne, 1973, p. 7. 23 Alan Moorehead, Cooper’s Creek: Tragedy and Adventure in the Australian Outback, Dell Publishing Company, New York, 1965, pp. 10-11. 24 Serle, From the Deserts Prophets Come, p. 63.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

25 Serle, From the Deserts Prophets Come, pp. 77-78. 26 Broeze, Island Nation, p. 224. 27 Brian Kiernan, ‘The Novels of Patrick White’, Geoffrey Dutton (ed), The Literature of Australia, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1964, pp. 461-484. 28 Serle, From the Desert Prophets Come, p. 133. 29 Evans, ‘Island-Consciousness and Australian Strategic Culture’, pp. 21-23. 30 Melleuish, The Power of Ideas, pp. 271-275 31 DH Lawrence, Kangaroo, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1985. For an analysis of the significance of Kangaroo see John Pringle, The Australian Accent, Chatto and Windus, London, 1965, pp. 26, 35 & 37. 32 Matthew Paris, ‘Sleight of Land’, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 27-28 February 2010, pp. 40-41. 33 Paul Kelly, The End of Certainty: The Story of the 1980s, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1992; and Michael Wesley, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2011. 34 Wesley, There Goes the Neighbourhood, pp. 10-27. 35 Michael Evans, ‘The Essential Service: The Future of the Australian Army in a Global Age’, Quadrant, October 2012, pp. 10-19.

Why we need a Maritime School of Thought: A Cultural Perspective Mark Hinchcliffe In a 1999 paper, Graeme Cheeseman advanced an argument that Australia’s strategic culture was one essentially characterised by ‘fear and dependence’.1 It is a generally persuasive argument and a scathing review of how the twin characteristics of ‘fear’ and ‘dependence’ have come to constitute the unconscious underpinnings of defence and security thinking in Australia since Federation. Drawing from the works of Alan Renouf, Donald Horne and Xavier Pons in particular, Cheeseman traces the historical and social roots of what has become an almost reflexive Australian fear of threat from without and an overweening dependence on great and powerful allies.2 This proposition builds upon a view expressed by Horne in his 1964 work, The Lucky Country, in which he famously opined ‘Australia is a lucky country, run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck’. In this, Horne was making the case that in the years since foundation Australian society had become characterised as provincial, dependent and lacking imagination.3 In a more recent paper, Michael Evans argues that Australian strategic thinking is entrenched in a discourse framed by a largely intractable divide between Creswellian continentalists and Fosterite expeditionary advocates.4 Taken together these views suggest that there may be something amiss in Australian strategic thinking and policymaking, which has led to the Australian strategic debate reflecting a narrow and culturally determined set of propositions, rather than a broad and inclusive framework to meet the demands of contemporary reality. This paper will argue that Australian national strategy discussion is largely constrained within a discursive context that has been shaped and determined by a cultural tradition of fear and dependence. Furthermore, it will assert that in many regards Australian strategic culture remains fearful, dependent and unimaginative, shaped still by the reflex-like and often uninventive propositions regarding the inevitability of armed conflict with external adversaries and the privileging of military force as the primary means of ensuring national security.5 It will subsequently propose that enlarging this context to include a ‘school of maritime thought’ will helpfully contribute to freeing the strategic debate from the constraints of the historic but largely artificial frame of reference that sees Australia’s strategic options limited primarily to either the projection of military force in support of our allies or narrowly focused on the defence of our immediate environment.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Strategic Culture Matters – a Lot In a clear-eyed discussion of the state of strategic debate in this country, Evans demonstrates how it is entirely possible to construct and perpetuate a framework of strategic discourse that is for the most part apparently not aware of the forces and factors that have set the boundaries for that discussion.6 By revealing, and appropriately naming, the broad traditions of strategic thought in Australia over the past decades, Evans’s work demonstrates how Australian strategy, security and policy thinking have rarely if ever challenged the deeply held convictions regarding the nature of the threats to national security; the role, utility and primacy of military force in meeting those threats; nor the cultural predispositions of fearfulness and dependency that give contextual meaning to them.7 His study leads one to infer that when examining strategy and strategic policymaking one ignores culture, in this instance strategic culture, to one’s detriment. In the context of Australian security policymaking, Evans’s work supports a view that it has been an historic disregard for, or a particularly narrow view of, strategic culture that has shaped the Australian strategic discourse into the polarised and unimaginative conversations it has become.8 Cheeseman had previously characterised this national conversation as one that has been almost entirely contained and constrained within a discourse which defined security and strategy within a Western realist referential framework in which power, states, military forces and the identification of external threats form the language and context of all discussion. For Cheeseman it has been an enduring national proclivity to fearfulness and the attendant dependency on a security guarantor that has narrowed and constrained the national security and strategy debate. This dependence has become not just a reasonable and reasoned approach to attaining a measure of national security in a complex and dynamic international security environment, it has, in his estimation, become an unchallenged pillar of strategic thinking – a cultural shibboleth that undergirds almost all security discussion. Together, fear and dependence have constituted the subconscious cultural basis of strategic thinking and policymaking in Australia from Federation to the present. It is of course one matter to suggest that strategic discussion in this country is limited and largely determined by factors outside of the general discourse of security and strategy, but it is another to assert that such is detrimental to both the process of strategy formulation and the outcome of such in terms of national security and the advancement of national interests. Just how important can culture be in shaping strategic debate? Furthermore, even if we accept Cheeseman’s assertions would this have any material bearing on national policymaking or its consequences? Strategic culture matters, and few have said it more eloquently than Elizabeth Kier in Imagining War: French and British Military Doctrine between the Wars, her seminal work, or more forcefully than Cheeseman as noted above. In both of these works the role and significance of military and strategic culture in shaping national strategy

Why we need a maritime school of thought

are examined in detail, highlighting that often it is what is not spoken or explicit that critically shapes the products of strategic decision-making and national policy. In these accounts an examination of the values, beliefs and norms that shape the specific communities involved – in this case the strategic and military decision-making communities – affords a more nuanced and sophisticated appreciation of the decisions made and the courses of action pursued. In fact in both studies the values, beliefs and norms examined were shown to have not only formed the foundation upon which most important assumptions were built, but set also the very language and ‘boundaries of imagination’ possible in each circumstance. In Imagining War Kier examines how French and British military doctrine in the interwar years were fundamentally, and consequentially, shaped by the military cultures of each nation.9 Kier demonstrates that military organisations inhere particular worldviews that are fashioned by culture, tradition and history. What is most significant in this analysis is how Kier enlarges the frame of reference from the operational to the strategic to the cultural to find the root causes of vital aspects of French and British doctrine. Similarly significant, is the fact that these cultural norms, values and beliefs were largely unchallenged, in fact not even considered as relevant, in the strategic deliberations of the time. Kier’s discussion highlights the consequential effects that military or, in our case, strategic culture can have on strategy development and ultimately implementation. Both British and French military thinking and strategic planning in the interwar years were premised on deep-seated cultural norms regarding the use of force and the proper employment of military forces. In both cases cultural values set the framework and boundaries for what could even be considered possible, appropriate or successful. Those same cultural roots consequently shaped military doctrine, which was subsequently translated into the development of military strategy, how that strategy was implemented, and ultimately influenced whether the strategy proved successful or not. In similar fashion deep-seated cultural values and norms shape the realm of the possible in Australian strategic thinking. That Australia should almost instinctively and exclusively conceive security as a military matter worthy of serious defence consideration only, is in part a consequence of a long heritage of externalisation of threats and an almost unbroken history of overt and deliberate dependence on a great power ally. Security in the Australian context has come to be narrowly interpreted as a military matter. One need not accept the argument that Australia has a strategic culture characterised by fear and dependence to appreciate the value of the cultural critique, nor even necessarily accept that culture plays an independent causal role in shaping strategic preferences, but to dismiss it out of hand is narrow-minded, unhelpful and potentially dangerous.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

This then must lead us to consider the question of how an appreciation, if not an understanding of, the role of strategic culture might usefully inform strategic debate in Australia today. What insights can we gain from a self-awareness of the contours of national strategic culture in the context of 21st-century strategic debate? What might we reconsider, reshape or reconstitute in light of, even a grudging acceptance of, the role of culture? There are two key insights that this paper will argue are important and necessary by-products of a cultural appreciation: • The boundaries of strategic debate in this country need to be enlarged to consider alternative perspectives to the established Defence of Australia – expeditionary divide. • Reconceptualising Australian national strategy within a maritime context is appropriate, sensible and more useful than either of the foregoing.

Maritime Context and Culture In 1997 the Maritime Studies Program, a precursor to the Sea Power Centre - Australia, published In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element of Australian Defence Planning since 1901. In this excellent work, David Stevens as editor brought together leading authorities to ‘comprehensively examine(s) Australia’s search for an effective maritime strategy in the twentieth century’.10 Stevens suggests this work was the first to examine this topic in detail and it stands as something of a beacon of creative thinking in the otherwise predictable Australian strategy debate. The book may well have been the first comprehensive work on the topic but it was certainly not the first time the idea of conceiving Australian security within a maritime strategy had been raised. Indeed in his abstract Stevens notes that ‘since Federation there has been a continuing struggle to reconcile differing perceptions of threat, competing defence strategies, conflicting force structure priorities and economic and political constraints’.11 That Australia’s security is inextricably tied to its maritime environment is not a novel idea and Australia’s naval contributions to the wars of the 20th century affirm that the sea and security within it, and control upon it, are enduring features of national strategic thinking. The novel aspect of In Search of a Maritime Strategy was that a maritime strategy was vying for pre-eminence in the national strategic discourse. An attempt that probably failed to gain the traction, attention or consideration it deserved. Despite the Maritime Studies Program’s and others’ attempts to broaden the strategic debate, discussion has to date remained resolutely entrenched in the classic divide. That the debate has resisted further development or expansion in part is the reasonable upshot of a lack of sufficiently attractive, compelling or essential alternatives. Despite some form of maritime strategy persisting as a subtext to strategic discussion it has

Why we need a maritime school of thought

never gained much serious support. In part it is because the maritime cause never rang particularly true, authentic or culturally attached in the public and official conscience, and because too often the maritime strategy itself was too narrowly conceived. In a foundation paper on Australia’s maritime strategy to support a Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry the case is very well made that despite the natural and obvious connection that Australia shares with its maritime environment, a sense that we are a maritime people in a maritime nation has never become established as an explicit cultural premise.12 Australia is, and always has been quite obviously a maritime nation, yet the nation has no particular overt sense of this, no particular national identification with this and consequently no strategic discourse to reflect such reality. Australia is a nation that draws its deepest sense of identity from the land. The sea has historically been something to pass over to maintain our heritage with England and our special close relation with the United States, and an inconvenient obstacle between our regional trading partners and us. It is the land, and the continent almost ignorant of its context, that has shaped Australian’s collective imaginations and framed the discussions regarding security, strategy and identity. That Australia is a maritime trading nation is a premise that this paper takes as selfevident and not requiring significant discussion or elaboration. The case is well made in numerous recent sources including speeches given by the Service chiefs in 2012 at various venues where the topic of a maritime strategy has constituted something of a common theme in defence discussion.13 Any number of statistics, trade figures and so forth can be mustered to bolster the case that not only is Australia a maritime trading nation but that it ought to self-consciously see itself this way if it is to realise its potential in the coming century.14 What differs between commentators and between the Services is the implications of such a maritime conception for national strategy; the common understanding of ‘security’; and a raft of defence policy matters such as force structure, force posture and regional engagement strategies. How might a sophisticated understanding of Australia’s maritime context, strategic drivers and force implications impact the national strategic discourse? Would such a view fundamentally challenge the classic strategy divide? What role might military force play in a maritime strategy? Clearly there is much to consider but it would be premature to delve into the implications of a maritime strategy without first addressing the second contention raised above: that the notion of a maritime strategy itself has too often been problematically narrowly conceived. It is axiomatic that a maritime strategy is not simply a naval strategy, a point the Service chiefs have been careful to make clear in recent speeches. But a maritime strategy is not simply a military strategy either. Without doubt a national maritime strategy would precipitate a military maritime strategy when required, but as a national approach a maritime strategy is, or ought to be, something wholly more holistic, and broadly conceived. It is a strategy for how Australia would pursue its national interests



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

as a maritime trading nation, both within the region and globally. It is a concept, that includes ends, ways and means, for a whole-of-nation approach to maintaining and advancing our uniquely Australian way of life, and it would include all elements of government and society - to the extent that all these can be directed in a common cause. This is a conception of a big ‘S’ maritime strategy, as it has at times been called, and it is the necessary context within which all subordinate strategies can be developed and harmonised. So why don’t we have one? Or if we do why is it not explicit? As argued above, culture matters. It matters within the context of military strategy, and it matters in the context of national strategy making. Australia has no significant self-aware identity as a maritime trading nation. It has no tradition that privileges a maritime identity and its strategic culture is not one steeped in an appreciation of its maritime context in any meaningful way. This is both a limitation on our collective strategic imagination and a vulnerability in our strategic thinking. If our identity and culture are discordant with our reality then our potential to realise our national interests are at best hamstrung. What we need therefore is a means of investigating, examining and promoting a maritime mindset, a sort of ‘sea-mindedness’ if you like, across public and official discourse.15 In many respects this implies a degree of cultural change not only within the strategic policy community but more broadly across the public as well. The point being not that Australia is totally ignorant of the importance of the maritime domain, it clearly is not, but that a more explicit identification with such would allow the strategic debate to be expanded to include a raft of considerations not presently included in the strategic debate. But traditions and culture start somewhere, and there is a role to be played here by the Services and academia working in conjunction. Were a school of maritime thought to be established and progressed as a joint project between government, the Services and academia, then very possibly the foundations for cultural change could be established and a substantive broadening of the strategic discourse begun. The content and bounds of the discussion such a school might pursue are beyond the scope of this paper and so too is speculation regarding the particular implications of a maritime school of thought for the individual Services, Defence as a whole, and the rest of the national security and strategy community. However, it would be reasonable to expect that in time a maritime school of thought could take its rightful place at the table with the more customary strategic viewpoints and usefully shape all levels of strategic discourse.

Conclusion While this paper has asserted that Australia needs a maritime school of thought, it recognises that there are still significant limits to a maritime strategy that do not sufficiently meet the objections raised, for example, in the works of Cheeseman and Kier. A maritime school may still tend to privilege military force as a first option in security discourse and it may still conceive of security in fairly narrow realist

Why we need a maritime school of thought

terms – but it need not be so. A very broad conception of a maritime strategy would perhaps see military force play a useful but subordinate role in pursuing national interests. Subordinate to the diplomatic and other approaches to a common regional maritime context in which a regional and potentially more global security paradigm is centred on the common and safe access to, and utilisation of, maritime commons, the resources they contain, the food stocks they nurture and the substantial access the sea environment affords. A mature maritime strategy and the attendant cultural norms that would sustain such an approach is potentially one that would allow the historically fearful and dependent mindset to be superseded by a more independent and self-assured approach. This paper has adopted a provocative approach to argue a position regarding the nature of Australian strategic thinking and the need for change. Historic cultural vestiges of fear and dependence, it suggests, hardly equip us to meet the challenges of the coming century. If Australia is to provide for its security, advance its national interests and play a significant role as a good global citizen, then we need to think as broadly and inclusively about national strategy as we can. A binary focus on military strategy is not only an outdated mode of thinking but it is an unhelpful and potentially dangerous one as well. Enlarging the strategic debate to include a maritime school of thought would be a useful and important step in developing a sensible and appropriate national strategy.

Notes 1 Graeme Cheeseman, ‘Australia: the White Experience of Fear and Dependence,’ in K Booth and R Trood (eds), Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific Region, Macmillan Press, Basingstoke, 1999. 2 Alan Renouf, The Frightened Country, Macmillan Press, Melbourne, 1979; Xavier Pons, A Sheltered Land, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1994; Donald Horne, Ideas for a Nation, Pan Books, Sydney, 1989; and Coral Bell, Dependent Ally: A Study in Australian Foreign Policy, 2nd edn, Unwin and Allen, Sydney, 1988. 3 Donald Horne, The Lucky Country, Penguin, Australia, 1964. 4 Michael Evans, ‘Overcoming the Creswell-Foster Divide in Australian Strategy: The Challenges for Twenty-First Century Policy Makers’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 61, no. 2, June 2007, pp. 193-214. 5 Cheeseman, ‘Australia: the White Experience of Fear and Dependence’, 1999. 6 Evans, ‘Overcoming the Creswell-Foster Divide in Australian Strategy’, pp. 193-214.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

7 To be clear, Evans does not explicitly make this case, rather his work highlights that such cultural considerations have largely formed no part of the discussion and to most have appeared irrelevant to the serious business of providing for Australia’s security. 8 Evans, ‘Overcoming the Creswell-Foster Divide in Australian Strategy’, 2007. 9 Elizabeth Kier, Imagining War: French and British Military Doctrines Between the Wars, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1997. 10 David Stevens (ed), In Search of a Maritime Strategy: The Maritime Element in Australian Defence Planning Since 1901, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence no. 119, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 1997. 11 Stevens, In Search of a Maritime Strategy. 12 Alex Tewes, Laura Rayner and Kelly Kavanaugh, Australia’s Maritime Strategy in the 21st Century, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2004. This paper is annotated ‘not for attribution’, although most in Defence will be aware of it and its authors. 13 Ray Griggs, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Lockheed Martin White Ensign Dinner, May 2013, speech, (20 May 2013); and Geoffrey Brown, Air Power in the Australian Maritime Context, (10 May 2013). 14 Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, Australian Maritime Trade: 2000-01 to 2004-05, Working Paper 69, Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, Canberra 2007; and Australian Bureau of Statistics, . 15 While there may be no overt national identification with a maritime culture, it would be a mistake to over–egg this point. There is clear evidence that Australian national policy operates with some understanding of the importance of the role of the maritime domain, albeit at an implicit level. Norman Friedman recently used the term ‘maritime consciousness’ and I think this is perhaps an even better term than ‘sea-mindedness’.

part III Maritime strategic perspectives


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

A Maritime Strategy for Australia Geoffrey Till ‘Facts are like sacks,’ the playwright Pirandello famously observed, ‘they don’t stand up unless you put something in them.’ The same goes for the concepts of maritime strategy. Unless you ‘interpret’ them by relating them to the Australian context, they remain abstractions of limited use to force-planners facing hard choices and budgetary constraints in a world of uncertainty. Only by contextualising such timeless concepts as sea control and maritime force projection can force-planners derive the guidance they need in order to size and shape the fleet needed to contribute to a the maritime defence of Australia. The word ‘maritime’ is worth emphasising. It needs to be understood in a joint Corbettian sense. It simply refers to a strategy for a situation, or a war, in which the sea is important. It is not just another word for ‘naval.’ As far as Corbett was concerned, naval strategy was about the disposition, movement and immediate purposes of the fleet; this, he thought, should essentially derive from the maritime strategy that decided the role of the fleet in relation to that of land (and air) forces, and indeed every other aspect of national policy. Accordingly, the exact balance to be struck between the naval and land components of a joint maritime strategy should depend on general national circumstances (for some nations were clearly more maritime than others) and also on the particular strategic exigencies of the moment – the context in other words.

Australia’s defence context The deciding characteristics of Australia’s defence context are so obvious they run the risk of degenerating into the kind of truisms that people wearily read (or more usually skip) without thinking about. First, Australia is physically a big island, with an even bigger maritime estate all around it. Although the prospects of this watery or territorial real estate being attacked, let alone invaded, currently seem very low, the ultimate aim of Australia’s defence forces is to keep things that way, partly through old-fashioned strategies of deterrence. In this regard, Australia is no different from any other state. Even so, that real estate is also prone to a variety of less dramatic threats, such as local disorder (not least in the islands of the South Pacific), the spill-over of possible conflicts elsewhere, international maritime crime in its many forms and a host of environmental threats. These need to be guarded against. Second, as a major trading state, Australia’s security and prosperity depends on the stability of the worldwide sea-based trading system. Anything that threatens that, indirectly threatens Australia. Accordingly, when Australian forces contribute to the ‘defence of the system,’ either in near seas or more distant ones, they serve Australian national, as well as more altruistic and humanitarian, interests.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Finally, as previous Defence white papers have pointed out, Australian security depends on international stability and the avoidance of state-on-state war, most especially in the Asia-Pacific region. However benign the international system in the region currently appears to be, the possibility of state-on-state conflict, and Australia’s deliberate or inadvertent involvement in it cannot be ruled out. Indeed present tensions in Northeast Asia, and, nearer to home, unresolved disputes in the East and South China seas and the proliferation of submarines in Southeast Asia rather reinforce the point. With this comes a requirement for engagement in order to help reduce such risks and for keeping Australia’s powder dry in case of failure. Coping with such a complex defence context requires a mix of cooperative and competitive naval functions. It raises issues of choice and priority, since a force ideally structured for deterrence and other such competitive functions may not be best suited to such cooperative alternatives as contributing to international maritime security through action against pirates or drug and people smugglers for example. Being concerned with its position within the international system, Australia has perforce to cater for a wide variety of maritime contingencies across the competitive/cooperative spectrum. This calls, of course, for a balanced fleet, but to avoid this notion being seen by potential critics or short-sighted cost-cutters as little more than a supine consequence of an inability to predict, greater precision is needed in the articulation of the contributions that such a balanced fleet should make to the maritime defence of Australia. This requires far more debate than is possible in a short paper like this but some of the present and likely issues can at least be sketched out.

Questions Arising The first basic task of all navies is to be able to defend or secure the degree of sea control needed in order to achieve national purposes. Importantly, sea control is not an end in itself, merely a means to a variety of possible ends. Because sea control is not an absolute but a relative concept measured against someone or something else, two obvious and connected issues currently arise. What scale of potential challenges to Australian sea control need to be addressed, and, importantly, where and when? The latter question is perhaps the easiest to address, since at the moment there are no significant challenges to Australia’s ability to use its near seas, although the gradual naval rise of the country’s close and more distant neighbours may ultimately change that. This suggests that Australia’s sea control concerns are likely to arise at a greater geographic distance which increases the need for the range and sustainability of its naval forces. The scale of Australia’s necessary investment in forces capable of securing or maintaining sea control is much more difficult to assess, since it depends on the kind of issues of who with and who against that politicians and diplomats most dislike talking about in public, because referring to other countries as possible adversaries helps confirm them as such. But even so in the current circumstances, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that responding to the current debate about the balance between anti-

A Maritime Strategy for Australia

access/area denial strategies on the one hand and AirSea Battle on the other is a key issue for Australia, as for most other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which needs to be thought about. This is probably best dealt with not as the grand strategic issue, as so often portrayed in the media, of deciding between China and the United States, but as much more focused on the narrower, more professional and technological issue of emerging developments in the perennial tensions between sea control and sea denial. Here the questions are about relative investment in surface ships and submarines, in diffused or concentrated naval power (more, smaller ships or fewer big ones) of the balance to be struck between ships and aircraft, and so forth. The second aspect of sea control is less about securing or maintaining it than about its exercise. With such a vast immediate maritime domain to protect, with so many disparate strategic and economic threats to confront, and with the need to contribute to more distant concerns such as the control of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, there is a particularly strong incentive for Australia to maintain numbers of air and surface units, of perhaps somewhat lesser standards of capability. This reflects the need for the conscious cooperation with other navies and coastguard agencies that, encouragingly, is the general trend across the Asia-Pacific region. Accordingly, serious thought is needed on the balances to be struck between investment in the securing sea control and its exercise, in the fleet structure best suited for the mix of cooperative and competitive conceptions of sea control, and, finally, in the contribution to sea control (of both sorts) more cost-effectively made by land-based air power. Interest in high-intensity sea-based deterrence and its corollary, ballistic missile defence appears to be gradually growing in the Asia-Pacific region. At the moment this is especially true of Northeast Asia but with the possible basing of Chinese SSBNs at Ya Long in Hainan province and the development of India’s sea-based nuclear capability, these issues are getting somewhat closer to Australia geographically. These developments could prove unwelcome, perhaps requiring thought about appropriate maritime responses. The display of the kind of military capability that underpins conventional deterrence on the other hand is a traditional function of Australia’s armed forces and remains as relevant now as it has ever been. For both variants of deterrence, the constant monitoring of international developments around the region is an essential pre-condition for sensible and timely (and perhaps proactive) responses. Another increasingly manifest trend around the region is the development of joint force projection capabilities since crises are best dealt with at a distance rather than at home, most obviously in a geographic environment dominated by the world’s biggest ocean, a multitude of islands and a host of sea-based disputes. The need to respond to a depressingly common range of natural and man-made disasters across the region seems to greatly reinforce this development. With this, Australia and the other countries of the Asia-Pacific region are most closely approaching the Corbettian ideal of a truly



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

joint maritime strategic approach, justified by the now commonsense acceptance of the fact that in these globalised days, no country, even an island as big as Australia, is ‘entire of itself.’ This trend mandates the development of an expeditionary mindset in all three Services. Since the end of the Cold War, for Australia and everyone else, the concept of security has widened enormously. It has moved far beyond the confines of national defence against military threats from other nation states, now also incorporating threats ranging from transnational criminality, through cyber attack, international terrorism and general disorder. Maritime security, based on the provision of good order at sea, is a precondition for wider security and prosperity, particularly for oceanic trading states like Australia. This simple observation is driven home by the manifest consequences of its absence for countries like Somalia. As remarked earlier, the diversity of such low-level but nonetheless serious threats to Australia’s security and prosperity requires home and away capabilities and a holistic multi-agency response from all three Services and a multitude of other governmental and indeed non-governmental agencies. All the same, in Australia’s geographically dominated case, there is much to be said for the Navy assuming a lead responsibility for the provision and maintenance of maritime security in many instances. Finally, the maritime defence of Australia requires the kind of concerted campaign of naval engagement, particularly, though not exclusively with the rest of the region, that is designed to deter aggressors and other wrong-doers, and to win friends and influence people. Again the growing extent to which navies of the region are cooperatively working with each other against common threats such as piracy in the Malacca Strait or tsunami relief operations is a most encouraging trend. It develops the habits of cooperation that in themselves reduce the prospects of conflict. From the Australian perspective, the full implementation of this may well require: • a greater focus on such issues as the defence of the freedom of navigation • a more active pursuit of arrangements to reduce the risks of accidental encounters at sea • the development of a wider network of mutually-beneficial naval relationships around the region complementing those centred on the US Navy. For all the due deference we should be paying to the great masters of maritime strategic thought, Mahan, and particularly Corbett, one common element in many of the issues addressed here is their comparative novelty, and the relatively under-developed state of their conceptual underpinnings, when compared to traditional concerns about sea control or amphibious operations. For reasons of space, this paper has accordingly raised issues rather than answered questions, it has at least hopefully reinforced the conclusion that the startling rate of economic, technological and strategic change

A Maritime Strategy for Australia

across the Asia-Pacific region and the emergence of so many currently unresolved issues justify a much closer look at, and a much more sustained debate about, the parameters of a maritime strategy for Australia.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Big Thoughts: Grand Strategy and Alternative Maritime Strategies Peter Layton All strategy is grand strategy. Colin S Gray1 Maritime strategies are once more back in fashion, and in response a wide range of such strategies seem suddenly on offer. Of course, some may not be strategies at all, being instead risk management plans that seek to limit losses if bad events eventuate, or opportunistic approaches that seek to batten onto and exploit others. 2 Even so, there seem many alternatives from which to choose and this raises questions about how to think about such issues. Where does maritime strategy fit in the big picture? What might maritime strategy involve? How should we structure our thoughts when formulating new maritime strategies or when simply assessing those on offer? This paper addresses these questions by approaching maritime strategy from a different direction to that commonly used. It will discuss maritime strategy from the top down, which is from the direction of grand strategy. This paper does not provide a pre-processed solution with a memorable bumper-sicker slogan, rather it tries to provide a means to imagine, envisage and conceive the notion of maritime strategy, what it entails and where it fits into the overarching strategic framework. If this is the ‘ends’ we seek, the ‘ways’ we use are by looking through the lens of grand strategy, a term often briefly mentioned but rarely examined.3 The ‘means’ used is to consider this complex area at a level of abstraction that can give practical people some useful conceptual tools. We want to see the forest - not the trees - as we are talking strategy, not tactics. This will be done in three steps. First, the paper will consider what grand strategy does for strategy. Second, it will outline the types of grand strategy. Finally, the paper examines how these different types of grand strategy can lead to alternative maritime strategies from which to choose.

What Does Grand Strategy Do For Strategy? Strategies – whether maritime or otherwise – are simple devices. They are merely a method people can use to reach some objective but in this they are not independent thought bubbles with some life of their own. Instead strategies are subsets of much more expansive, higher level grand strategies.4 A single grand strategy informs and


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

guides several lower level subordinate strategies that each use different means. Thinking simply, these different means can be diplomatic, informational, military and economic – the DIME concept.5 If strategies so nest within grand strategies, how are the two linked? A grand strategy provides the objectives – the ends - of a strategy. Strategy is itself simply the ways, the courses of actions that will be taken. Strategy is only an ideational construct about how we think our imagined sequence of actions will lead to the ends our grand strategy seeks. However, with several subordinate DIME strategies it is important that each strategy seeks the same outcomes and in a way that does not work at cross-purposes with the others. Grand strategies, in providing the high-level ends and ways, bring both purpose and coherence to their subordinate strategies, which can avoid unintentional conflicts like trading with the enemy.6

Types of Grand Strategy With grand strategies being ‘grand’, is there only one type of grand strategy? Are all grand strategies the same? While there are generic characteristics of grand strategy as a form of strategy, several types of grand strategy exist. Importantly, each type of grand strategy has implications for the construct of subordinate maritime strategy. Classifying types of grand strategies can, depending on the criteria used, be a complex business, which then relates to the purpose of the classification scheme. For the purposes of this paper, the scheme used takes a high-level utilitarian view. First, the type varies depending on whom the grand strategy is applied against. A simple approach is two choices: milieu, that is shaping the whole global order in some way; or positional, that is applying the grand strategy to one or more countries or regions.7 Most grand strategies are positional, although perplexingly many people think of the milieu type when they talk grand strategy. The point is to be quite sure about who the target of a grand strategy is – and is not. Second, the the types of grand strategy vary with the ways used to influence the now identified target. There are three types – denial, engagement and reform – all built around the central aim of grand strategy: influencing other countries for your benefit. Denial involves stopping others doing what they would like to do. Engagement involves helping others achieve what they want. Reform entails changing the ideas that others have. Understanding these grand strategic approaches underpins an examination of the types of maritime strategies associated with each.

Big thoughts

Connecting Grand Strategies to Maritime Strategies The denial type of grand strategy involves relative power. The aim is to work against others increasing their relative power, by both increasing one’s own power and by diminishing theirs. This is a zero sum game. A denial grand strategy assumes that superior power determines outcomes; others can be stopped from achieving their objectives by being more powerful than them. In such a grand strategy military and economic might is used in ways that means others will avoid disagreeable behaviours or, if needs be, can be physically stopped. In this form of grand strategy one becomes more powerful by building up military and economic power, or by forming alliances with other states to amass superior power, or by doing both. The problem with alliances though is that allies may only be fairweather friends seeking to maximise their benefits. Denial grand strategies can be used to create three alternative types of international order based around relative power. If overwhelming (hegemonic) power is built, one can dominate completely and disregard all others. Another option is to form a small likeminded group of similarly powerful equals that together manages other lesser states (a ‘concert of powers’). Lastly, if only a moderate amount of power is possessed, one can increase relative power, sufficient to balance against others, to offset their power and prevent them dominating you. These are not orders of friends, but orders of power. Denial is conceptually uncomplicated in using force or the threat of force to stop others, however, this is not a permanent solution. This grand strategy always includes the possibility of war as an acceptable policy tool. Examples of denial grand strategies include containment, offshore balancing, coercive diplomacy and deterrence. The maritime strategy of sea denial fits nicely within this grand strategy. In sea denial, relative power wins. Moreover, if this strategy does not involve others, there is independence of action and freedom of manoeuvre – in a strategic sense. For Australia, the attractions of sea denial were considered compelling in The Defence of Australia 1987, the 1987 Defence White Paper. This maritime strategy has often appealed to the lesser naval power including the Germans in both World Wars, the Soviet Union in planning contingency naval operations for a third world war and some would say modern China as evidenced by its building anti-access forces. An engagement grand strategy involves working with others to achieve common goals. This is an absolute power game – not a zero-sum one. Others attaining more power is fine, as long as one’s national objectives are met. Indeed, an underlying intent is to improve participant nations’ situations, keeping all contributors connected and working together. In this type of grand strategy, war is not a normal instrument of policy; it is not an ever-present option but a last resort and an admission of failure – and clearly one never makes war against friends.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Engagement grand strategies are based on working with others and can be used to create three types of international order: • Complex interdependence. Where other states are made permeable across many sectors of society and allow easy access to specific domestic groups that can be usefully exploited and manipulated • Institutional. Orders of this type see joint institutions are created to impose rules that all agree to abide by. • Liberal. In this order democracies come together to cooperate very closely together under agreed rules and with strong economic linkages. These are orders of friends, not disinterested raw power. Engagement grand strategies can have a long-lasting effect and be low cost but they rely on finding, or creating, useful partners. Moreover, hidden within this simple aspiration is a more complex matter of providing support for those groups within another country that will keep the social purpose of that state as required. The imposition of international economic sanctions is a good example of an engagement grand strategy in action. Many friends are needed to make enforcement practical but beyond this the sanctions should then be targeted to support those domestic political groups that are favoured, while fragmenting and disintegrating those that are not. An engagement grand strategy suggests a maritime strategy of sea control. While at the tactical level, localised sea control for short durations may be achievable, sea control at the strategic level involves working cooperatively with others for the common good. The sea is the great commons that all use; controlling it is not something that can be done alone with complete disregard for all other parties. The involvement of others inherently constrains independence of action and freedom of manoeuvre. There is a further twist, achieving success means keeping the other groups on the required path, this can involve carefully working with and through them to ensure that their purpose is as desired. Such groups can be states, institutions, international bodies or even non-state actors like business or civil-society groups. Australia is often attracted to sea control strategies to address shared problems such as piracy, and the imposition of economic, financial and trade sanctions. In a Cold War example, the 1951 Radford-Collins Agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the United States provided for the wartime protection and control of shipping in the Australian, New Zealand and Malayan areas, and for regular peacetime maritime surveillance.8 More recently, the 2013 Defence White Paper hints at such a maritime strategy as a part of the Asian century’s grand engagement with key nations of the Indo-Pacific. A reform grand strategy is all about changing the ideas people hold. People come to see that the wisdom in particular new ideas by careful persuasion rather than through material force. In this, the old ideas first need to have collapsed with people convinced

Big thoughts

a replacement idea is essential. Then those particular members of a society who have a strong influence on the ideas people adopt need to be convinced that a new notion is the answer. After this, these advocates need to be given support until their message convinces enough people to reach a tipping point, a cascade occurs and most accept the new thinking. The new idea though has to be shown to be enduring; if it fails, old ways may return. Reform grand strategies can create two types of order related to the targets of change: identity or norms. Identity is how someone conceives of both themselves and others, while norms define what is the right kind of actions to take and which actions are unacceptable. These are ideational orders that are quite unconnected to notions of material power. Indeed, if others already hold the ideas sought, their power can become irrelevant to the issue. For example, Australia has little objection to French thermonuclear weapons even though France is a nearby South Pacific neighbour, but we do about North Korea’s unsophisticated atomic weapons half a hemisphere away. Reform grand strategies reshape the principles on which societies operate and create permanent change, although this may take time to achieve. Moreover, it may be difficult to have new ideas available at the right time just as the old ideas collapse, knowing who the idea marketers are in a society and then how to influence them. In such grand strategies, war is a conscious choice whose usefulness is judged solely on whether it helps achieve the reform goal. Reform grand strategy examples include rollback, regime change, responsibility to protect, humanitarian intervention and counterinsurgency. A reform grand strategy is compatible with a maritime strategy of power projection. In this, a joint force may intervene on a distant shore and working with other forms of national power change the other society’s collective mind about particular issues. This is joined up warfare on an epic scale that is deeply interrelated with the society being changed. The other society holds the key to whether the nudge power projection gives is both sufficient and sophisticated enough to succeed. Moreover, in such a grand strategy that involves selling a message to a society there are sharp constraints on one’s independence of action and freedom of manoeuvre. And, of course, some individuals are always likely to disagree. Like many post-Cold War nations, Australia has been attracted to reform grand strategies and subordinate power projection strategies. If others can be turned into stable, robust democracies, then they will never again present a security problem. Such lofty aims underpinned interventions in Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Iraq. The three types of grand strategy - denial, engagement and reform – each have their own logic that guides and informs their subordinate maritime strategies. In this, the way that military or other forms of power are used really matters, as specific objectives can only be reached by using power in certain ways. Ends really are directly related to the ways and means.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Notes 1. Colin S Gray, The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010, p. 28. 2. Peter Layton, ‘An Australian National Security Strategy: Competing Conceptual Approaches’, Security Challenges, vol. 8, no. 8, Spring 2012, pp. 103-120. 3. For more on the nature and scope of grand strategy see Peter Layton, ‘The Idea of Grand Strategy’, The RUSI Journal, vol. 157, no. 4, August/ September 2012, pp. 56-61. 4. The conventional chain is: grand strategy, strategy, operational level plans, tactics. 5. This division of policy instruments was first suggested by Harold D Lasswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When, How, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958, pp. 204-205. 6 A significant part of what grand strategy gives a strategy: resources – manpower, money, material, legitimacy and soft power – is not discussed in this paper. These are matters are vitally important to the success of all strategies. 7. G John Ikenberry, ‘An Agenda for Liberal International Renewal’, in Michèle A Flournoy and Shawn Brimley (eds), Finding Our Way: Debating American Grand Strategy, Center for a New American Security, Washington, DC, 2008, pp. 43-60. 8. Alex Tewes, Laura Rayner and Kelly Kavanaugh, Australia’s Maritime Strategy in the 21st Century, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2004, pp. 12; 15.

The Inescapable Ocean: On Understanding Australia’s Strategic Geography Chris Rahman The development of a distinct maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is an important initiative by the current Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN. Griggs has explicitly attempted to surmount the intellectual obstacle posed by an increasingly sterile defence debate that has witnessed the growth of an expeditionary school of strategic thought as a counter to the longstanding continental school, dominant in Australian policy since 1986. Instead, Griggs has rejected the ‘binary’ approach of this debate to suggest an alternative, maritime, school.1 In so doing it is essential to pay due consideration to Australia’s strategic geography. The argument that follows states, for Australia, the ocean quite literally is inescapable.2 It establishes the strategic meaning of Australia’s geographical position in the context of both current and past international geopolitical circumstances, and related defence debates.

Geopolitical Context The fact that Australia is an island, albeit one of continental dimensions, is of course universally accepted. Also well understood is the maritime character of the regions immediately adjacent to Australia: the eastern Indian Ocean, archipelagic Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Southwest Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. The difficulties instead often repose upon a deeper understanding of what this particular physical geography actually means in broader strategic terms for Australia, and, in particular, Australian foreign policy and defence strategy. It is less well understood that the inherent interconnectedness of the unbroken expanse of the singular world ocean links Australia not only to immediately adjacent regions but also to contiguous parts of the world farther afield. In contemporary geopolitical circumstances, Australia is quite directly connected by its political, economic and strategic interests to the two rising centres of power in Asia. In the first case Australia is connected via the Pacific Ocean and the semi-enclosed seas of East Asia to China; in the second the connection is via the Indian Ocean to India. These linkages are vital not only for trade in tangible commodities and for international communications of the digital variety, but have real strategic meaning too. The strategic dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region, the centre of the most important geopolitical changes in the contemporary world, is characterised by perceptions of quite rapidly changing power relationships amongst the major powers.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Unavoidably, the story of the times is a China-centred one. In brief, that story is one of an increasingly assertive, distinctly non-status quo power, attempting to rearrange the regional geopolitical order in its favour. The scope of Beijing’s ambition, currently restricted primarily to a quest for primacy in East Asia, may well prove to be unattainable, but is nonetheless directly challenging to Australia and its vital national interest in sustaining the liberal, rules-based order that allows not just Australia, but all states (ironically including China itself), to prosper in relative security, if they choose to do so. There are any number of reasons why the sea literally is inescapable in understanding the consequences of the China challenge for Australia, but three of the most important follow. First, the region is distinctly maritime in character. Second, the foci of China’s geopolitical ambition are the littoral states and adjacent semi-enclosed seas of East Asia, including most notably the region’s disputed territories and waters. Indeed, the apparent extensiveness of China’s claims throughout maritime East Asia are sufficient to threaten not only the sovereign and jurisdictional interests of most of the region’s littoral states, but also those of user states such as Australia, which are dependent upon freedom of navigation and the safety and security of shipping for both commerce and strategic assurance. Third, the extent to which the liberal order is sustained in East Asia remains a function of US security guarantees to its allies and the more general role the United States plays globally. The nature of the US alliance, for Australia and America’s other partners, is maritime: the principal strategic lines of communication with the effectively geostrategically insular US homeland are oceanic, protected primarily, albeit not solely, by the US Navy. The last point is particularly cogent. Dependence upon the leading liberal sea power of the day as the ultimate guarantor of national security has been a cornerstone of Australian history. At this stage it is important to warn of the dangers of falling for the rhetorical trap that argues Australia has been drawn into strategically competitive relationships, and even major wars, simply to curry favour with its protector-ally of the day. To do so is to misinterpret Australian strategic history. The implication of this argument in contemporary circumstances is that Australian interests would be better served by avoiding any involvement in putative Sino-US competition. Yet it is the certain dire implications of a potentially regionally dominant China that drives Australia and other states to take political and strategic countermeasures against such a prospect.3 While the United States may be a most willing partner in such moves, it acts mainly as a magnet for other strategically likeminded (or threatened) states rather than as the coercive sheepdog herding its flock of allies and partners into a coalition counterpoised against Beijing’s strategically destabilising ambitions. Similarly, Australia’s vulnerability in previous geopolitical eras and involvement in major conflicts has at times been woefully misinterpreted; sometimes, one suspects, intentionally, for political purposes or based upon political myths and prejudice.

The Inescapable ocean

Typically flawed notions have included the geostrategic fallacies that World War I was simply a conflict between ‘other peoples’ in distant lands, into which Australia was tragically and foolishly drawn by an inability to shed its obsolescent Imperial links to Britain; that the main threat in World War II was posed by an admittedly strategically proximate but ultimately capability-constrained Japan rather than by a distant would-be German totalitarian superpower; and that Australia needed to team with the United States in the Cold War solely to contain the southward spread of Asian communism rather than to counter any global threat posed by the Soviet Union itself. Each of these myths may be viewed as a form of myopic strategic parochialism. Each also fails to grasp the geopolitical context of the times. There is a common geopolitical thread running through those different 20th-century strategic eras. Australia has always been a vulnerable, demographically small, culturally-isolated island far removed from the seat of its security guarantor of the day. In each of the examples cited above, it is inconceivable that Australia could have survived as a free and prosperous, liberal democratic, English-speaking state had the dominant totalitarian Eurasian-continental super threat been successful. In the wake of allied defeat, the oceans would have been dominated by the victors, rendering Australia almost defenceless. Ultimately, not just freedom but even national survival in any meaningful sense was at stake. The same strategic fundamentals apply today, even in the absence of a comparable global threat, and will continue to do so into the future; certainly at least in the likely continuing absence of an independent Australian nuclear deterrent capability.4 Australia’s dependence on the maintenance of a world order framed on liberal principles thus represents the marriage of quite particular, culturally engrained political values to the arguably value-free notions of strategic geography. The essential point to comprehend in the development of a maritime school of strategic thought is that in each of the cases noted above the alliances that defeated the respective threats of the day were maritime in nature, linked primarily by sea lines of communication, in which the sea served favourably to offer strategic depth to the dominant sea power protector: first Britain and the Royal Navy, and then the United States and its maritime forces.5 Further, it must be understood that the current international system can in many ways be viewed as a maritime one, intrinsically dependent upon the oceans as a vector for both trade, and thus also for a prosperous international economy, and as the basis for tying together the US-led alliances and coalitions that protect that seaborne commerce and the system writ large. Preservation of that system is a policy necessity for a liberal democratic Australia, not a matter of preference or choice. If one can conceive of the extant international system in this way, recognising its maritime nature, it becomes easier to comprehend why maintaining a stable maritime order is so important in peacetime. The international economy, in general, and specific markets, in particular, are highly vulnerable to disruptions or even perceptions of risk



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

posed by conflict, piracy or the threat of maritime terrorism. Particular vulnerabilities pertain with respect to the international supply of essential commodities, especially oil, which mostly originates from politically unstable or unfriendly parts of the world and continues to be practicably irreplaceable as a source of liquid transportation fuels. The Australian economy shares this vulnerability to interruptions to its supply of both crude oil from the Middle East and refined petroleum products from Singapore. Confidence in the continued viability of regional trade, more broadly conceived, can only be harmed by the challenge posed by China’s rejection of basic principles of international law that codify freedom of navigation and the limits imposed on the maritime jurisdiction of coastal states; a challenge that has been increasingly apparent in both Chinese statements and actions at sea. Viewed in these contexts it is easy to understand why the United States has been so active in promoting international maritime security cooperation in the service of sustaining a secure global maritime order.6

Geography and Strategy Paradoxically perhaps, despite those enduring systemic facets of Australia’s geopolitical circumstances established above, Australia does have choices in determining its strategy for employing the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in service of higher political objectives. As alluded to earlier, the Australian defence debate has been dominated by the continentalist versus expeditionary.7 Contrary to the geographical determinism of the leading proponents of the continentalist school of strategic thought, our strategic geography does not dictate that Australia must follow any particular strategy or equip the ADF with any particular force structure.8 Interestingly, all schools of thought privilege a maritime strategy. It is just that the predominating variety in stated policy since the 1986 Review of Australia’s Defence Capabilities until, arguably, the 2009 Defence White Paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, has been maritime strategy very much in the continentalist mould, more akin to that of continental-sized land powers such as the Soviet Union or China than a maritime-oriented state. So, for example, the 2000 Defence White Paper, Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, could sincerely argue that ‘we need a fundamentally maritime strategy.’9 But it was one still based on the land-centric notion of a layered defence by denial of notional concentric circles of strategic interest, which diminish in importance and value for force structure development the further one moves in distance away from the continent itself; it viewed Australia’s maritime strategy in terms of the capability to erect a military barrier across the so-called air-sea gap or maritime approaches to our north.10 The argument here is not that such a strategy is invalid, only that is less than appropriate for an island state with sovereign rights over vast areas of ocean; located in a predominately maritime region; inextricably tied by culture, history and strategic interests to its (maritime-based) alliance partner; and deeply embedded within, and dependent upon, the globalised seaborne trading system.

The Inescapable ocean

Strategically, the sea can be viewed, therefore, as either a barrier, or in the Mahanian tradition of constituting a ‘great highway,’ as explicated by Norman Friedman:11 If seapower makes the sea a barrier, then it is a tool to promote isolationism … It is better to use the sea as a highway, and engage potential threats as close to source as possible. That is the ultimate character of maritime strategy …12

Australia and the Inescapable Ocean It can be quite misleading to mull over a standard Mercator projection map and perceive Australia to be only a thumb’s width from our nearest neighbours. Yet in practice the ADF has significant distances to cross to reach even the closest regional sea routes. For example, for ships based at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia it is 1440nm to the Lombok Strait and 1691nm to the Sunda Strait. These distances equate to approximately four days, seven hours steaming time to the Lombok Strait at a conservative cruising speed of 14 knots, or three days at a faster and far more expensive clip of 20kts; and five days to the Sunda Strait at 14kts or three-and-a-half days at 20kts.13 Such transit times would be longer still for the Collins class submarines, which are reported to make a surface or snorkel-depth speed of just 10.5kts.14 This situation illustrates that the ADF requires joint capabilities for operations in the maritime environment that have significant range and endurance characteristics to fulfil even the needs of the continentalist conception of maritime strategy. At a minimum this poses serious questions of the Royal Australian Air Force’s extremely range- and endurance-challenged combat wing, which in the absence of sea-basing options would seem to require access to friendly, viable air bases close enough to the specific area of operations to support the strategy. A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia needs to acknowledge not only the vast distances and challenges involved in operating throughout our regional maritime environment, but also the strategic benefits of being able to conduct maritime strategy in the Friedman sense: as far from our own shores as possible. If one fully comes to grip with the nature of the sea primarily as a medium for mobility, whether commercial or strategic, then one can also begin to comprehend the potential advantages that can accrue to states with maritime strategic outlooks. Either way, Australia can never escape its oceanic environs.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Notes 1 Ray Griggs, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Lockheed Martin White Ensign Dinner, May 2013, speech, (20 May 2013). 2 The title of this essay is adapted from Colin S Gray, ‘Inescapable Geography,’ in Colin S Gray and Geoffrey Sloan, (eds), Geopolitics: Geography and Strategy, Frank Cass, London, 1999, pp. 161-177. 3 Edward Luttwak overstates the extent to which Australia and other states have organised against China. But the logic of his argument is irrefutable even if slightly premature on the basis of available evidence. See Edward N Luttwak, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2012. 4 For a strongly contrary view see, Paul Keating, ‘Forget the West, Our Future Is to the North,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 November 2012. Keating is, at a minimum, guilty of mixing his metaphors: The ‘West’ referred to in the title of his opinion piece is the political West, but the ‘North’ is the geographically northern region of archipelagic and peninsular Southeast Asia. 5 Norman Friedman, Seapower as Strategy: Navies and National Interests, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2001. 6 Chris Rahman, The Global Maritime Partnership Initiative: Implications for the Royal Australian Navy, Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs no. 24, Sea Power Centre – Australia, Canberra, 2008. 7 For discussion, see Michael Evans, ‘Overcoming the Creswell-Foster Divide in Australian Strategy: The Challenge for Twenty-first Century Policy-makers’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 61, no. 2, June 2007, pp. 193-214; and Michael Evans, The Role of the Army in a Maritime Concept of Strategy, Land Warfare Studies Centre Working Paper no. 101, Canberra, 1998. Evans fits most comfortably into the expeditionary school. 8 For geographical determinism at its worst, see Paul Dibb, ‘Is Strategic Geography Relevant to Australia’s Current Defence Policy?’ Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 60, no. 2, June 2006, pp. 247-264; and Paul Dibb, Review of Australia’s Defence Capabilities: Report to the Minister for Defence by Mr Paul Dibb, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1986. 9 Department of Defence, Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, Defence Publishing Service, Canberra, 2000, p. 47. 10 Hugh White, ‘A Wobbly Bridge: Strategic Interests and Objectives in Force 2030’, Security Challenges, vol. 5, no. 2, Winter 2009, pp. 21-29. Here White, the principal author of Defence 2000, elaborates on these ideas in his critique of the 2009 Defence White Paper 11 AT Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783, 5th edn, Dover Publications, New York, 1987, p. 25. 12 Friedman, Seapower as Strategy: Navies and National Interests, p. 232. 13 Calculated using data from National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Distances between Ports, 11th edn, pub. 151, Bethesda, 2001. 14 Eric Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 2005-2006: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2005, p. 18.

A Maritime School of Strategic Thought Christian Le Mière It is relatively easy for the Australian population to develop ‘sea blindness’, that affliction whereby few thoughts are given to the importance of the sea. Almost all human activity occurs on land, and there is plenty of land to go around in Australia’s vast continent. Moreover, Australia is currently enjoying the longest period of economic growth ever recorded, and much of this success has been facilitated by the mining boom. It is the rich veins and deposits deep within the reddened earth that have led to Australia’s remarkable economic growth in recent years, not the sea. This, though, is a misconception of the significance of the maritime domain to Australia. While the Australian population may perceive its recent affluence as stemming from the land, this is a necessary but not sufficient condition to explain the country’s recent good fortune. The iron ore and minerals mined in Australia would be useless surplus were it not for the ability to sell them to hungry customers in Asia, across the sea. Thus, it is not just the mines that make Australia wealthy, but the ships that transport the minerals. Despite this dependence on the oceans, Australia currently lacks an entirely maritimefocused strategy. Speaking in August 2012, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN, Chief of the Navy, criticised both the dichotomy between the continentalist and expeditionary strategic schools of thought for being land-centric. The development of a maritime strategic school of thought would help focus attention on that most important of domains for Australia: the sea.

The Importance of the Sea The importance of maritime trade to a nation’s wealth is not a new concept. For 500 years maritime trade has been the bedrock of some of the most powerful empires, from the Portuguese to the Spanish, Dutch, French and British. Sir Julian Corbett, writing in the early 20th century, made the point clearly: ‘It is commerce and finance which now more than ever control or check the foreign policy of nations’.1 But the growth in the volume and value of maritime trade has been remarkable. According to the World Ocean Review, world trade since the 1950s has more than trebled, as containerisation and global supply chains have increased the efficiency and ubiquity of maritime trade. More than 90 per cent of all trade by volume is shipped by sea.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The fishing industry has also witnessed vast expansion with the industrialisation of fishing techniques. Factory ships able to process large catches and freeze them in most weather conditions have meant the global catch has increased by more than 1000 per cent between 1945 and 2010 from 14 million tonnes to 148 million. Fish catches account for over 15 per cent of the global population’s intake of animal protein. At the same time, the sea is now used for much more than just trade and fishing, the two functions that have served mankind for millennia. The development of offshore drilling, in increasingly deeper waters, has enabled companies to exploit oil and gas resources up to two miles underwater. Just over 30 per cent of global oil production now stems from offshore wells; for Australia, net oil imports have increased from 12,000 barrels per day in 2000 to 519,000 in 2011, all of which arrives by sea. Even tourism in Australia, specifically, and many other countries, generally, is at least boosted by if not dependent on the sea. Diving, sailing and fishing all contribute to a thriving tourist trade on Australia’s coastlines. The sea’s potential for aiding economic development is not yet exhausted. Wave power is becoming a more viable source of renewable energy, although there are significant barriers to overcome if it is to be used more widely. Seabed mining, meanwhile, is moving from science fiction to reality, which will allow key metals and minerals, such as copper, nickel and rare earth metals, to be harvested from beneath the ocean.

Sea as a Strategic Resource It seems a relatively straightforward argument, therefore, that the sea and its riches are a strategic resource. Such a key resource, without access to which Australia would be economically and culturally impoverished, would justify a strategy and a school of strategic thought. This is a key point for many countries, not just Australia. It is true that Australia is an island nation. However, all countries are either island nations or parts of an island. While landlocked countries are unlikely to perceive the ocean to be as keenly integral to their economic wellbeing as small island nations, all countries are now reliant on maritime trade for their economic prosperity and wellbeing, and all countries will make use of minerals and riches of the sea. Arguably, therefore, all countries should have a maritime strategy. For Australia, though, the need for a maritime school of strategic thought is acute. Beyond the country’s economic dependency on maritime trade, and therefore the security of sea lines of communication globally, there are a number of maritime security issues closer to home. The arrival of migrants and narcotics by boat is an issue that regularly captures the public’s attention.

A Maritime school of strategic thought

This requirement is made all the greater by the sheer size of Australia’s area of maritime sovereignty, in which it can exercise exclusive rights to the resources in and under the sea. Australia’s exclusive economic zone around its coastline and those of its offshore islands is the third largest in the world, extending to more than 8.1 million km2. Within this area, Australia has the exclusive right to exploit all resources, living and non-living, in and under the sea. Further, Australia has also had its application for an extended continental shelf of some 2.56 million km2 of extended continental shelf, an area in which the country has the right to exploit the resources of the seabed and subsoil area agreed by the United Nations. The fact that Australia maintains external territories in Heard and McDonald, Cocos, Christmas, Norfolk, and Macquarie islands not only means these maritime zones are greater, but also that they are more dispersed. The furthest of these territories lies nearly 4000km from Australia’s shores. This creates an immense ocean space that not only needs to be monitored but also crossed in order for Australia to maintain its sovereign rights throughout its waters.

Beyond the Navy In order to protect its sovereignty and reap the greatest possible rewards from these vast oceanic areas a methodical approach of study, analysis and practice is required. In order to identify key vulnerabilities and opportunities, as well as ways of meeting these challenges and developing these prospects, Australia requires a culture of maritime strategic analysis. This is, importantly, different from just a naval strategy: the tasks required for Australia to make the most of its maritime spaces involve roles beyond warfighting and sovereignty protection and agencies beyond the RAN. Rather, what Australia needs, and currently lacks, is a school of strategic thought dedicated to the sea that utilises the gamut of existing academic and practical institutions, from universities to the shipbuilding and shipping industries; from the Navy to the Australian Federal Police, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Marine Conservation Society, and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Such a school of thought would involve a variety of government departments, from Defence to Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Resources, Energy and Tourism. Similarly, a key goal for such a school of thought is to identify the vulnerabilities and threats to Australia’s maritime interests beyond the traditional concerns of navies. This does not mean just those hard security issues that so often take up the time of Defence officials, but the broader contextual issues that are often ignored. For example, Australia’s reliance on maritime trade is sharpened by the global economy’s reliance on just-in-time manufacturing and delivery. In order to save costs on warehousing and storage, modern businesses have evolved to deliver products just



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

before they are needed. As such, the global maritime trade industry has moved from one of sporadic delivery of individual items to a flow of constant deliveries of many items to satisfy demand. While this saves costs, it also creates a key vulnerability: any disruption to the flow of trade brings the whole system to a halt. A clear example of this occurred in the United Kingdom, another island nation, when flights were cancelled across Europe as a result of the 2010 Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull eruption. While the vast majority of perishable goods are transported to the United Kingdom by sea, the drop in air freight meant that supplies of certain fruit and vegetables became sparser in remote areas of the country. Australia’s maritime strategy therefore needs to take into account maritime trade flows as a whole, and not just those to and from Australia’s ports. The fact that large percentages of maritime trade passes through just a few narrow chokepoints also highlights a key weakness. This helps explain why so many nations have been eager to deploy forces to the multinational counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia for the past five years, or why countries as distant as Canada and Australia collaborated in the US-led international mine counter-measures exercises in the Arabian Gulf in May 2013. The protection of sea lines of communication around the world are now the concerns of every nation, and not just a few or those close to the chokepoint itself. Critics may argue that Australia is largely immune to such strategic shocks as much of its imported oil comes from Southeast Asia and avoids the Strait of Hormuz or Gulf of Aden. Similarly, Australia’s five main trading partners are all in Asia or North America. However, the interconnected nature of the globalised marketplace means that the actions in one region seemingly remote from Australia’s strategic interests can now have a grave effect on Australia itself. A simple example can be constructed from the possibility of disruption to shipping in the Gulf or the Strait of Hormuz, similar to the Tanker War of the 1980s but perhaps more comprehensive. While most Australian shipping would not be directly affected, the shock to the price of oil on internationally traded markets would have a clear effect on Australia’s economy. Topics that would traditionally not have been regarded as security issues by Defence officials, such as environmental degradation and climate change, would also make up an integral part of a maritime school of strategic thought. The destruction of Australia’s coral would have a direct effect on tourism, while the movement of populations from low-lying Pacific islands and the destabilisation of coastal communities may create security problems within the country’s immediate neighbourhood.

A Maritime school of strategic thought

A Maritime School of Strategic Thought All of which is to say that Australia has an excellent opportunity to develop its own maritime resources more efficiently while understanding the broader global maritime issues that are of relevance to the country. Such a strategy would move beyond traditional views of continentalist or expeditionary strategies, and while issues such as the rise of China cannot be ignored, it would concentrate on Australia’s true strategic interests: the sea as a means of communication and trade, and therefore the importance in securing sea lines of communication. The development and implementation of such a strategy will require cooperation and collaboration between private and public sectors, across government departments and with other countries. Such a strategy would be constantly evolving. It should also be a whole-of-maritime approach, focusing on the maritime domain in its entirety, from trade flows to the resources within and under the seas. More clearly situating Australia’s strategic thinking within this context would allow a lucid definition of the country’s strategic interests and a greater understanding of how to secure them.

Notes 1. Julian Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1911, p. 95.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Maritimisation of Maritime Australia Alexey D Muraviev A shift is finally occurring - a shift in Australian strategic thinking. National strategic and defence planners are coming to terms with recognising what may seem to be obvious in the first instance: Australia requires a maritime strategy, which should be at the core of the nation’s operational and strategic thinking and planning. The 2013 Defence White Paper, released earlier this year, clearly states ’Australia’s geography requires a maritime strategy for deterring and defeating attacks against Australia and contributing to the security of our immediate neighbourhood and the wider region.’1 However, it is clear the eventual recognition that our strategic and defence thinking and planning should be maritime centred and driven does not present the nation with a clearly articulated approach of how a country anchored in a maritime domain but married to a long standing continentalist defence tradition would endorse it. The principal challenge is to maritimise what seems to be maritime Australia. When the Australian strategic and defence community debates the future maritime strategy for Australia it may be practical to consider scoping both the Anglo-Saxon and non-Western strategic schools of maritime thought.

Back to the Basics A national maritime power is determined and influenced by its maritime policy and strategy. A broad definition of maritime policy is that area of public and private policy concerned with the economics of maritime transport, ports and terminals; maritime security and defence; maritime labour; the law of the sea; policy governing and management of use of the sea; national and international regulation; and oceanic- and coastal-zone environmental protection. Maritime strategy, on the other hand, is an integral part of the national strategy that is concerned with the complete spectrum of a nation’s maritime related activities and interests. Much of our modern understanding of the importance of maritime strategy can be traced directly to the writings of Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett. Although both naval strategists brought different perspectives to the subject - Mahan concentrating on the destruction of an enemy’s fleet at sea and Corbett on the need to dominate sea lines of communications - both drew the link to the tremendous strategic potential of the sea, and the link between maritime power and liberal societies.2 Naval theoreticians and experts have a tendency to explain the essence of maritime strategy by considering only the military aspect. For example, Corbett defines maritime strategy as ’the principles which govern a war in which the sea is a substantial factor.’3


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Another prominent member of the Anglo-Saxon strategic school of thought Admiral Peter Gretton, RN, looks at maritime strategy from the view of one using the sea to the advantage of the user and denying it to its opponent.4 By way of comparison, Russia’s modern naval strategic school of thought understands the term maritime strategy as a theoretical interpretation and practical implementation of a large spectrum of a nation’s activities to develop and sustain adequate naval power to ensure the effective protection of national interests at sea.5

Identifying Core Pillars Whilst it is the RAN that drives current policy debate on the future maritime strategy of Australia, a national maritime strategy is not purely a naval preserve, as it tends to operate in two main ways. While maritime strategy helps to form national defence by being part of a national strategy, it is also involved in all activities a nation conducts via the sea. Maritime strategy constitutes other functions of the state power, such as diplomacy, protection of merchant trade at sea, fishing, exploration and exploitation of the ocean resources, protection of the exclusive economic zone and state maritime borders, coastal defence, protection of offshore territories, and many others. According to Mahan, the creation of a true maritime power depends upon the following six factors: the geographical position of a nation; its physical conformation (including the extent of its territory, the material production and climate); the size of its population; the character of its people and the government, including national institutions; whether or not it has a maritime tradition; and its national diplomatic and military strategy.6 British Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, RN, reduced the number of key elements to three: merchant marine activities and shipping, overseas possessions and/or bases, and the nation’s naval forces.7 US Navy thinkers Admiral Joseph Clark, USN, and Captain Dwight Barnes, USN, grouped all key elements into five categories: national foreign and defence strategy and policy with pro-maritime orientation, foreign trade and merchant marine, shipbuilding capacity and the shore-based infrastructure, ocean exploration and development, and a strong naval force.8 Later in the 1980s, Geoffrey Till identified four principles that, in his view, form a modern maritime power: maritime geography, merchant marine, resources, and government and society.9 Prominent thinkers of powers with strong continentalist strategic approaches reach similar conclusions. Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, the founder of the Soviet oceanic navy, argued that national maritime power is determined not only by a country’s military capability to conduct maritime operations but also its merchant and fishing fleets, its maritime outlook and tradition.10 German Vice Admiral Friedrich Ruge also argues a ‘real maritime power’ is determined by four main principles or categories: geographic factors, a large naval fleet and merchant marine, available convenient ports and bases, and a ruling regime capable of understanding maritime issues.11

Maritimasation of maritime Australia

Using a combination of the above-mentioned definitions of what constitutes a modern maritime power a set of six core elements can be identified, one of which is a nation’s geographical position with respect to the sea, and the remaining five make up national maritime potential (see Figure 1): • The Geographic factor. The geographical interaction of a nation with a maritime domain: the actual access to the open sea, availability of good harbours and ports, and extension of the coastline. • Dependency on commercial maritime activities. Relates to maritimedriven overseas trade, and the exploration and development of sea-based food natural resources and food supplies. • Diplomatic and military strategy. These form a comprehensive foreign policy aimed at developing and maintaining relations with overseas allies and partners, as well as a defence policy with a strong emphasis on the protection of maritime approaches. • Maritime traditions. Comprise a history of interaction with the sea of the state and its people. • The state of the national shipbuilding. The industrial potential to build and maintain merchant and naval fleets. • Military power at sea. The availability of a strong naval force capable of defending national maritime approaches and interests at sea. NATIONAL MARITIME POWER GEOGRAPHICAL FACTOR MARITIME ACCESS T E C H N O L O G Y







Figure 1: Structural composition of a modern national maritime power



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Lessons from Gorshkov Adopting the optimal maritime strategy for Australia is half the challenge we are currently facing. To some extent the RAN today faces similar challenges of what the Soviet Navy under Admiral Sergey Gorshkov faced back in the 1960s, prior to its titanic push towards a true global force. Whilst geographies of Australia and Russia are fundamentally different (an island continent of 60,000km of maritime frontier versus a massive continental power with a combined land and maritime border of some 61,000km), there are, nonetheless, some peculiar similarities. Profoundly, both nations appreciate the paramount important of the strategic depth factor. There is a strong emphasis in both naval doctrines on supporting army operations roles. The Australian ‘air-sea gap’ operational concept compares with the Russian operational concept of outer and inner defence perimeters. A force composition that places a strong emphasis on sub-surface sea denial and strategic strike capabilities is another similarity. Finally, in my view, the RAN today suffers from what suffocated the Soviet Navy and its Russian successor in late the 1950s to early 1960s under Khrushchev and then in the late 1980s to mid-1990s under Gorbachev and Yeltsin - the lack of political support of a ruling elite, due, in part, to poor understanding of the growing strategic role of naval power and maritime power in broader terms. The Sea Power of the State, Gorshkov’s world renowned monograph, targeted not as much Western audiences but the national political elite.12 The essence of Gorshkov’s postulation is as follows: a strong maritime tradition based on both the whole of nation’s appreciation of the country’s interdependence on its surrounding maritime domain, driven by economic interests and security considerations, understanding of a nation’s strategic geography, and endorsement of its maritime heritage is one of key principles of the realisation of a nation as a maritime power. On this basis, the following points could be considered by Australian strategic planners and decision makers.

The Mother of Strategy In the light of the mounting debate about the future maritime strategy, Australia needs to reassess the appreciation of its strategic geography, particularly in the context of medium- to long-term strategic and defence planning. Two factors need to be taken into consideration: the advantages that Australian geography offers to elevate the geopolitical status of the nation and the strategic challenges posed by the geographytechnology matrix.

Maritimasation of maritime Australia

Dramatic shifts are occurring in global maritime geopolitics. The North Atlantic geomaritime vector (US–Europe link), which played same strategic role over the past two centuries as the Mediterranean vector in Ancient and Middle ages, gradually gives way to the Indo-Pacific geo-maritime vector. It has become an accepted norm to acknowledge that by sitting at the juncture of the Pacific and the Indian oceans Australia’s finds itself in a unique geopolitical position. Although such comments are appropriate and timely, particularly in the light of the growing acceptance of the Indo-Pacific geopolitical model, they fall short on allowing the nation to realise fully its true potential. The next 20 to 30 years will see growing power contests for the world’s poles. Already, we are witnessing the mounting power struggle to control vast areas of the Arctic, especially its continental shelf, which promises to enable lavish exploration opportunities. The battle for the Arctic, which now involves not just the littoral states but outside major players such as China, may be a prelude for the upcoming battle for the Antarctic, where Australia is destined to play a key role.13 Consequentially, by linking the nation’s geographical position to the emerging geopolitical trends of the 21st-century Australia finds itself potentially commanding the emerging strategic geo-maritime tripod: • The Pacific vector. • The Indian Ocean vector. • The Antarctic vector. The 2013 Defence White Paper acknowledges how continuous innovations in offensive military technology (the geography-technology matrix) affect geographical circumstances of a nation.14 Advances in applied naval technology in the second half of the 20th century and the first half of the 21st century shifted the balance of forces at sea. The growing strategic significance of naval power resulting from the continuous introduction of new advanced-strike capabilities affect the security environment of littoral states and continental nations, not on the tactical (regional) level but at the strategic level. The factor of strategic depth is becoming more compromised than ever before.15 For nations like Australia, considerations about security are no longer limited to exclusive economic zones, territorial waters and coastal areas (zone 1); much larger territories, sometimes even the entire country (depending on its size), may be under threat (zones 2 and 3)(see Table 1).



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Land Zone

Distance from the Sea (km)

Naval Weapons-Systems Used

Coast (Zone 1)

0 – 500

Ship artillery, short-/medium-range SBCMs, naval aircraft (including armed helicopters), marine assaults

Inland (Zone 2)

500 – 2000

SBCMs, carrier-borne strike aircraft

Heartland (Zone 3)

Over 2000

New generation SBCMs and ALCMs, SLBMs

Table 1: Growing strike capabilities for sea-based operations against the land With the introduction of new generation weapons systems in the not-so-distant future, especially sea-based cruise missiles with a range of up to 5000km, improved guidance systems and a more destructive capability, conventional forces would gain the capability to mount conventional operations against an enemy’s heartland, thus further diminishing the advantages of strategic depth, even for countries with considerable continental reach, including Australia, China and Russia.

Maritimising Hearts and Minds The successful implementation of a national maritime strategy requires a shift in the national strategic culture. It is ironic that a nation with clear maritime interests in the heart of the global water world with some strong maritime tradition suffers from a lack of a maritime culture. Reflective of a historically dominant continentalist defence tradition, the Australian culture is heavily influenced by a popular beach culture mentality, rather than a sea culture mentality. A clear message needs to be sent to the community and its elected representatives explaining why the sea is critical to Australia. One effective means to overcome this problem is to develop and adopt a dedicated media campaign to popularise Australian naval history. With an exception of the once popular SBS documentary series Submariners, little has been done in recent years. At the same time, there are numerous opportunities to make or remake documentary or TV series based on the RAN’s past and present accomplishments: the sinking of SMS Emden, Australia’s first naval victory; operations of the Australian submarine force in World War I; the fatal duel of HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran; RAN operations during the 1990-91 Gulf War and its role in 1999 Timor Leste crisis; even a dedicated series on the RAN’s involvement in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden area. These are just few examples that can be used to popularise Australia’s rich naval heritage.

Maritimasation of maritime Australia

Such a campaign should be driven by the Australian Government in strategic partnership with major industry stakeholders that have vested interests in having a secured maritime domain. After all, it is government endorsement and an unconditional support of maritime strategy as the driving vector of the Australian strategic and defence planning that can see it succeed. Tertiary institutions can play a powerful role in both educating the next generation of Australian strategic thinkers and planners, and in promoting the national maritime idea. Tectonic geopolitical shifts elevate Australia’s status based on its geography and regional engagement to a higher than ever level, offering the nation a unique opportunity to secure a new strategic role in the evolving international system. In the early 20th century, one of the patriarchs of contemporary geopolitics Sir Halford Mackinder awarded Russia with a status of the global centre of the continental heartland. The 21st-century geopolitics organically awards Australia with a leadership palm of becoming the global centre of the water world. Gorshkov observed, ‘with the aid of navies, maritime states have achieved important strategic goals in war and also in peacetime by using them as a telling argument in disputes with rivals.’16 The defence establishment, including the RAN, requires all out political and public support. A new agenda is required to secure such support. Australia is a maritime nation that finds itself in a global maritime environment with a military strategy that is officially maritime. It is time to review of our national mentality, thinking and planning, and strategic culture, by making it girt by the sea, not by the beach. The time has come for a true maritimisation of Australia.

Notes 1 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, Department of Defence, Canberra, 2013, p. 28. 2 Julian Corbett, Principles of Maritime Strategy, Mineola, Dover Publications Inc, New York, 2004; P Crowl, ‘Alfred Thayar Mahan: The Naval Historian’ in P Paret (ed), Makers of Modern Strategy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1986. 3 Corbett, Principles of Maritime Strategy, p. 13. 4 Peter Gretton, Maritime Strategy: A Study of British Defence Problems, Cassell, London, 1965, p. 3. 5 R Golosov and V Koryavko, ‘O Ponyatii ‘Voenno-Morskaya Strategiya Rossii’ [On the Meaning of Russia’s Naval Strategy], Morskoi Sbornik, no. 5, 1999, p. 16.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

6 Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660–1783, Methuen, London, 1965, pp. 25–89. 7 Herbert Richmond, Sea Power in the Modern World, G Bell & Sons, London, 1934, pp. 37–62. 8 JJ Clark and Dwight H Barnes, Sea Power and its Meaning, Franklin Watts, New York, 1966, p. 127. 9 Geoffrey Till, Modern Sea Power: An Introduction, Brassey’s, London, 1987, pp. 6–7. 10 Sergei G Gorshkov, The Sea Power of the State, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979, pp. 27–46. Note: An obvious reflection of the Soviet conception of maritime power, with its appreciation and value of an extensive merchant and fishing fleets, as well as its challenge to the traditional perceptions of the functions of maritime and land powers. Nevertheless, it reflected the growing interaction of the global community with the maritime domain following the end of World War II. 11 Friedrich Ruge, Der Seekrieg [The Navy of the Third Reich 1939–1945], Tsentrpoligraf, Moskva, 2003, p. 18. 12 Gorshkov, The Sea Power of the State, p. 154–155. 13 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, p. 19; Anthony Bergin and Marcus Haward, ‘Frozen Assets: Securing Australia’s Antarctic Future’, ASPI Strategic Insights, no. 34, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, April 2007. 14 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, p. 30. 15 Prior to the introduction of strategic nuclear weapons, long-range cruise missiles and a new-generation carrier-borne strike aircraft with in-flight refuelling capability and an array of strike weapons, the offensive capabilities of the most powerful navies were limited to the littoral areas. These technological limitations offered large countries territorial ‘safe heavens’, which could not be hit because of their distance. 16 Gorshkov, The Sea Power of the State, p. 153.

Australia, Maritime Strategy and Regional Military Diplomacy Peter J Dean This paper will address the issues of an Australian maritime strategy and, in particular, focus on the new Australian Defence Force (ADF) amphibious capability and its role in both this strategy and regional military diplomacy.1 These issues will be covered within the boundaries of Vice Admiral Ray Grigg’s, Chief of Navy (CN), call for a ‘maritime school of strategic thought’. Such a school needs to start with a broad understanding of its core element to the ADF: what a maritime strategy is and how it is applicable to Australia.2 In conceptualising such an approach both the nation and specifically the political, defence and policy communities, need to move from a ‘girt by beach’ to a ‘girt by sea’ conceptual understanding of Australian society.3 We need an embedded public view of our maritime interests that extends beyond boat people arriving on our shores. This is of course more easily said than done. As CN noted to the Submarine Institute of Australia conference in November 2012, ‘articulating and embedding the notion of a maritime strategy in the general consciousness’ is not easy and one of the first tasks is ‘to shake off the thought that a maritime strategy is all about Navy.’4 One of the key problems is that more often than not it is the Navy prophesying the benefits of a maritime strategy; it is not often you hear Army or Air Force talking about one with the same level of conviction.5 Further this school should endeavour to ensconce a regional maritime understanding into the community’s consciousness. As CN notes we need a genuine intellectual basis for this strategy, which is a path that the whole ADF must be on. As a middle power (with small power pretensions) Australia can only afford one committed intellectual focus and path.6

An Australian Maritime Strategy CN’s argument that a maritime strategy must be ‘integrated across [the] whole of government’ is logical. However, we must be cautious as to the level and depth of such an approach. Any integration must be undertaken in the context of the differences between policy and strategy. A maritime strategy should be shaped in response to policy. Like other interests, political objectives or moral conditions such as ‘freedom’, maritime is not a grand strategy. Strategy is a military means; maritime describes our geography and helps to define our interests. Strategy can used to protect, enhance or achieve these enduring interests and objectives, however, we need to ensure that we do not have a strategy to set policy, but rather a policy to set strategy.7 As it stands Australia’s military strategy is focused


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

on the maritime domain.8 This is a reflection of the broader grand strategic, or at least policy framework, which has been outlined in the National Security Strategy, the Asian Century White Paper and the 2013 Defence White Paper.9 The link between policy and strategy is critical as maritime is a type of military strategy that, at times, is more related to operational concepts than a whole-ofgovernment approach. Of course CN’s vision for a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia consists of much broader elements than just a discussion of Australia’s maritime strategy, which this paper will concentrate on. But needless to say any maritime strategy should be appropriate to the overall national strategy and the national policy framework. The notion of a maritime strategy as fundamentally a military strategy rests on the idea of the use of armed force for policy achievement. As Julian Corbett noted, ‘by maritime strategy we mean the principles which govern a war in which the sea is a substantial factor.’10 However, beyond this reference to war it is also a strategy that is as much about winning the peace as it is about ‘how [it will] lead to a successful conclusion of a conflict.’11 Maritime is therefore an operating environment where the sea is a dominating feature, however, sea power is only one ‘enabling instrument of [this] strategy.’12 Only when combined with the land and air realms can these three elements of military power combine to form a maritime strategy. This joint approach is a critical enabling element that helps to guide and direct strategic outcomes. As Corbett states the army and navy should operate as ‘two lobes of one brain, each self-contained and instinct with its own life and law, yet inseparable from the other: neither moving except by joint and unified impulse.’13 Joint operations are also pivotal in that events at sea, and in the air, are critical in influencing what happens on land. While in a maritime domain the role of the sea and sea power is fundamental it should not be forgotten that: since men live upon the land and not upon the sea, great issues between nations at war have always been decided - except in the rarest cases - either by what your army can do against your enemy’s territory and national life, or else by the fear of what the fleet makes it possible for your army to do.14 The importance of such an approach is often forgotten. For example the lack of recognition of this principle has been prevalent in the debate over the US AirSea Battle (ASB) concept. ASB is in fact only one component of the US Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC).15 JOAC integrates, rather than excludes, land power through embedding the US Army and Marine Corps gain and maintain access concept.16 ASB however is restricted to a focus on gaining access to an operational area. This is achieved so that

Australia, maritime strategy and regional military diplomacy

military force can be exerted in a region to influence events on land. Thus JOAC is inherently joint, ASB is not; yet too often the current debated has focused on ASB over the more encompassing JOAC. Nevertheless while we do not live at sea it is absolutely critical to human existence, as is the nature of sea lines of communication and control of the global commons to influencing how – and sometimes whether – people live and work.17 The strategic and operational context of a country or specific conflict will define the role that a maritime strategy plays in achieving national objectives. As such, of general importance to Australia is the fact that 71 per cent of the world’s surface is water and that a significant bulk of its population lives within 200km of the sea. Of critical importance is the enduring geographic features of Australia: an island with vast littoral, and archipelagic northern approaches and broad regional and maritime interests. A maritime strategy does have different meanings for different countries and their unique circumstances. For Australia such a strategic approach is framed by our enduring strategic circumstances, which include geography, demography and culture, as well as the political system, the economy (and economic interests) and the nation’s military capacity.18 As a result an Australian maritime strategy is one that implies a number of key defining elements including: • an operational environment • a description of terrain19 • a joint force • a reflection of Australia’s primary operating environment, the main emphasis of ADF operations in our own region • a link to the notion that Australia is an island and its northern geographic region is fundamentally archipelagic and littoral • a recognition of Australia’s exceptionally broad maritime interests (including the Southern Ocean). Encompassing these key features is the fact that we remain a fundamentally Western style democratic middle power in the Asia-Pacific region. This is a region where all the decisive ‘turning points of world history in general and of occidental history in particular, have been of a maritime nature.’20 In the 2013 Defence White Paper this is defined by a broad Indo-Pacific arc that narrows into two specific areas of direct interest: the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Both this broad arc and the more narrow concentration are maritime environments.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Interests and Australia’s Use of Force This is not to deny that Australia has interests beyond these areas, the Middle East is an example that springs to mind. But throughout our history Australia’s commitment of military force to the Middle East and beyond has always been dependent on a stable Asia-Pacific, one that is largely devoid of tension and major strategic competition. Not only that, but when our military forces have undertaken deployments as part of a distant expeditionary strategy Australia has followed its ‘great and powerful friends’, who themselves have been guaranteeing Australia’s maritime security in Asia.21 Since World War II such deployments have been largely niche, single Service contributions to larger coalitions. If history is any guide then there is a high possibility that such deployments will occur again, but these operations have almost invariably been ‘wars of choice’. Deployments in our immediate region have, and will, continue to hold much more significance for Australia, while those in our South Pacific inner arc are, as Paul Dibb has noted, ‘nondiscretionary’.22 Furthermore as competition in the Asia-Pacific raises the likelihood of a significant ADF deployment to distant conflicts such has those in the Middle East will decline. As a creative middle power it is imperative that Australia maintains a regional focus. We do not have the capability to exercise decisive military force in a global manner. What is more, over the last two decades the epicentre of global strategic power and competition has moved much closer to home and this will continue into the foreseeable future.23 Another key aspect has been how we have historically used force in our immediate region. Any such reflection reveals a clear maritime orientation to these operations. For instance the Australian Naval and Military Force’s seizure of Papua in 1914, the campaign in the South-West Pacific theatre 1942-45, the INTERFET and the RAMSI have all been joint maritime operations – inherently expeditionary operations.24 Such a regional focus is indicative of Australia’s approach to strategy. As a middle power Australia seeks to create and preserve national interests and when those interests are heavily maritime in nature, then the preservation of these can be achieved through the use of a joint maritime strategy. Joint force integration is particularly important for middle powers where effective joint systems and operations act as critical force multipliers.25 The defence of an island like Australia, one that is so large as to also be a continent, requires a maritime approach to strategy. However, with the lack of an existential threat and the grave difficulties of a major power being able to launch expeditionary operations against the continent it is necessary to consider the ADF’s focus beyond the narrow confines of the ‘Defence of Australia.’26 Given the exceptionally low possibility of a direct attack on Australia the key focus for the ADF’s force in being is:

Australia, maritime strategy and regional military diplomacy

Principal Task 2: contribute to a stability and security in the South Pacific [and] Principal Task 3: contribute to military contingencies in the Indo-Pacific region, with priority given to Southeast Asia.27 This regional focus is critical to developing a maritime strategy as these tasks involve engagement in a region that is inherently littoral and archipelagic.28 Such tasks also require maritime power projection, which means the focus of the ADF has to be much more than the defence of a supposed air-sea gap to our north. Rather given our extensive maritime interests, offshore territories as well as the requirements of principal tasks two and three the ADF has an air-sea-land operating environment to its north to focus on.

Military Diplomacy and Australia’s Regional Maritime strategy Within this environment one key element to Australia’s maritime strategy is the importance of military diplomacy and engagement to shaping our strategic environment. The RAN like many other navies around the globe has a very long tradition of the use of naval diplomacy.29 But the new ADF amphibious capability can be a game-changer, for Australia’s regional defence diplomacy effort.30 It builds on this long standing RAN practice in regional naval diplomacy and expands it into a new joint maritime operating space.31 Diplomacy is one of the three primary roles that Ken Booth espoused for navies, the others being warfighting and constabulary operations.32 But as part of a maritime strategy, as opposed to a purely naval one, the focus needs to be on a force that leverages its joint elements to develop a force multiplier dimension to military diplomacy. This concentration is soon to be available with the arrival of the new amphibious ships (LHDs) that package of both a credible naval force and a capable embarked land force.33 It has been argued that a focus on capabilities such as the LHD is ‘a technological maritime strategy based principally around specific capabilities that are considered especially significant and intrinsically valuable.’34 According to Peter Layton this ‘technological’ maritime strategy is a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy focused specifically on the arrival HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide. However, this is a back-tofront argument. An effective amphibious capability is just one critical part of a maritime strategy and the utility of such a capability is underscored by their importance within a maritime strategic approach, not the other way around.35 The arrival of the LHD is a long overdue recognition of the types of regional operations the ADF has undertaken in the past and will do so in the future and the utility of a joint force approach to operations such as regional engagement.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

This joint force can utilise the great advantages of sea power in regional engagement such as long loiter times and presence, which enables picture building, as well as providing a platform for enhanced power projection.36 Such a robust capability provides for improved effects in: humanitarian and disaster relief, assistance to friendly nations, joint military exercises, evacuation operations, presence, and preventative diplomacy; all critical areas to strategic-shaping activities.37 An embarked joint amphibious task force it also has the ability to create a much greater presence ashore. It takes military diplomacy, collaboration and coalition building to another level as it also does in terms of coercion, especially through deterrence and compulsion.38 The US Navy and Marine Corps have excelled at such an approach to their maritime strategy in the Asia-Pacific and around the globe. They have also recently reaffirmed that ‘now, more than ever, the rapid-responsiveness, readiness, flexibility, precision and strategic mobility of maritime forces are essential to ensuring continued access and security in the global commons and the littoral regions that border them.’39 The cornerstone of their presence and military diplomacy efforts in the Asia-Pacific region has been their amphibious ready groups with an embarked marine expeditionary unit (MEU), which have ‘long played a central role in securing the global interests of a maritime nation’.40 Only recently the US Marine Corps’ ‘force in readiness in the Asia Pacific’, the 31st MEU participated in the multinational Exercise COBRA GOLD in Thailand.41 This exercise consisted of 13,000 multinational participants from Thailand, US, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, with an additional 20 observer nations. The US Commander Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel J Locklear, USN, noted that the, exercise demonstrates … resolve to peace and stability in this region and … is critical to building our multinational coordination, our interoperability with all of our partners in the region and to allow us to collectively respond to crises and protect the peace and prosperity of all our people.42 This exercise included an amphibious assault demonstration, small-boat and helicopter raids, multilateral non-combatant evacuation operations, a live-fire exercise, and jungle warfare training. In addition to the main exercise the MEU conducted a staff exercise with the Thai military, senior leader engagements and civic action projects that included building a primary schoolhouse.43 Such activity is part of a long tradition. Over the last decade alone four MEUs were involved in supporting the UN operation in Timor Leste and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) in Bangladesh in 2007, Myanmar in 2008, and after the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami and 2006 Philippines landslides.44 The versatility of the amphibious groups and their embarked land force was also evident during this decade in operations against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, as well as alongside Filipino forces in operations against Jemaah Islamiyyah and Abu Sayyaf in the Sulu Archipelago.45

Australia, maritime strategy and regional military diplomacy

This type of concept for a focus on regional stability, military engagement and diplomacy is not new. For instance it was a major feature of a maritime strategic issues workshop hosted by the Chief of Naval Staff at HMAS Creswell in November 1992 and it was a key feature of Foreign Minister Gareth Evans’s ministerial statement on regional security cooperation in 1989.46 However, such an approach has taken on a renewed emphasis and for the first time has been laid out in defence strategic guidance. The 2013 Defence White Paper sees it as a ‘critical component … of managing the strategic transformation occurring in our region’ and sees defence engagement as both a ‘strategic necessity and a strategic asset.’47 This is a core component of Australia’s own ‘pivot’ back to the region. The new amphibious capability provided through the acquisition of the LHD as well as Army’s focus on developing its amphibious skills provides an opportunity to mesh together operations that reflect the defence priority on the region and on diplomacy.48 It also provides an opportunity to leverage off the vast experience of our major alliance partner, the United States, in these types of operations and their existing regional engagement architecture. It also creates a space for Australia to carve out its own bilateral agreements and exercises based on our regional geography, especially with courtiers such as Indonesia and those of the South Pacific. Furthermore as Washington rebalances to the Asia-Pacific it will expect allies such as Australian to ‘step up and provide more support.’49 The joint amphibious capability provides an opportunity to operationalise burden sharing activates in the ‘Indo-Pacific Arc’, especially in Southeast Asia as well as regional bilateral defence engagement activities. This approaches lines up with the Australian Government’s rhetoric about its focus on our ‘own region’ as well as the 2013 Defence White Paper’s statements about making ‘a substantial contribution’ through deploying ‘joint task forces in the Indo-Pacific region … particularly southeast Asia.’50 This regional approach also links to the 2013 Defence White Pape’rs notion of self-reliance, which is now embedded ‘within the context of our Alliance with the United States and our cooperation with regional partners.’51 This, as Stephan Fruehling notes, makes the 2013 Defence White Paper the first ‘post Indonesia guidance document since the early 1950s [and it ] highlights the disconnect between the traditional interpretation of the concept [of self-reliance] and the reality of Australia’s strategic environment’.52 A joint maritime based expeditionary force such as the new ADF capability provides enhanced platforms for this renewed focus on military engagement and diplomacy. They provide a range of attributes including the ability of ‘variable visibility’, which allows the joint force to take as much or as little of engagement activities and cooperation as required, on the ground, at sea and in the air. It also offers scalability, lethality, (selfreliant) autonomy, mobility and responsiveness.53 While its sea basing has the added benefit of both limiting the effects of presence on local populations while maximising military to military engagement. It is critical that a regional engagement approach



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

embedded into a maritime strategy is driven into the consciousness of both the ADF and the policy communities. This is an essential element in achieving the value and benefits of a truly joint interagency approach to operations through Australia’s maritime strategy. Beyond regional engagement, HADR and strategic shaping the ADF needs to develop a capability to undertake joint expeditionary operations across the spectrum of operations and develop a capability for a warfighting maritime strategy to defend Australia and our interests as defined by our national policy settings and within the limits of our national power.

Notes 1 The author wishes to thank Rear Admiral James Goldrick, RAN; Admiral Chris Barrie, RAN; and Dr John Blaxland for their thoughts and guidance on the development of this paper. 2 This paper acknowledges that Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs’s vision for an Australian maritime school of strategic thought consists of much broader elements than a discussion of maritime strategy that this paper will concentrate on. 3 Andrew Forbes, ‘Australia’s Maritime Past, Present and Future’, in Geoffrey Till and Patrick C Bratton (eds), Sea Power and the Asia-Pacific, Routledge, Milton Park, 2012, p. 167. 4 Ray Griggs, Chief of Navy Address to Submarine Institute of Australia Conference, (10 September 2013). 5 It is accepted that over the last decade or more that this proposition has started to change significantly. Both of the current Army and Air Force chiefs have demonstrated a belief in a maritime strategy for the Australian Defence Force. The question remains as to how far both an acceptance and depth of knowledge about what such a strategy entails has permeated down through the ranks and cultures of these services. See David Morrison, ‘The Army as an Instrument of National Power’ and Geoff Brown, ‘The Role of the RAAF in Australia’s Security’, in Australian Defence Force Journal, no. 190. March/ April 2013. 6 John Blaxland, ‘All Aboard: ADF and Regional Defence Diplomacy’, in A New Flank: Fresh Perspectives for the Next Defence White Paper, (10 September 2013). There should, of course, be a robust and healthy debate about its shape, form and dimensions and there should always be constant reappraisal of such an approach as the strategic environment or circumstances change. 7 Hew Strachan, ‘The Lost meaning of Strategy’, Survival, vol. 47, no. 3, Autumn 2005, pp. 33, 54 8 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, Department of Defence, Canberra, 2013, p. 29

Australia, maritime strategy and regional military diplomacy

9 The release of these three Commonwealth white papers is the closest Australia has come to a publically declared grand strategy. They provide a more comprehensive policy approach to security and strategy that at any other era in Australia’s peacetime history. 10 Julian S Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1988, p. 4. 11 Peter Layton, ‘Australia’s Many “Maritime Strategies”’, The Strategist, (10 September 2013). 12 Colin S Gray, ‘Sea Power in Modern Strategy’, in David Stevens and John Reeve (ed), Southern Trident: Strategy, History and the Rise of Australian Naval Power, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2001, p. 35. 13 Julian Corbett, England in the Seven Years War, Vol. 1, 2nd edn, Longmans Green, London, 1907, p. 218-219 14 Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, p. 16 15 US Department of Defense, Joint Operational Access Concept, Vers 1.0, (10 September 2013). 16 US Army, Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army-Marine Corps Concept, (10 September 2013) 17 Peter J Dean, ‘Air-Sea Battle and the Utility of Land Power in the Asia Pacific’, East Asia Forum, (10 September 2013). 18 There is no space in this paper to define these in detail. 19 This paper does not subscribe to the concept of an air-sea gap to our north but rather an air-sea-land operating environment in our immediate approaches and beyond. 20 Gerd Hamann, ‘Maritime Strategy’, in J Schwarz, WA Herrmann and H Frank Seeler (eds), Maritime Strategies in Asia, White Loftus, Bangkok, 2002, p. 19 21 Peter Dean, ‘Ah the Serenity: DWP13 and the view from Canberra and DC’, The Strategist, ASPI, (10 September 2013) 22 Paul Dibb, ‘The importance of the Inner Arc to Australian Defence Policy and Planning’, Security Challenges, vol. 8, no. 4, 2012, p. 14. 23 It is also a clear reflection, as Section 3.58 of Defence White Paper 2013 outlines, the ’limits of our capacity, given the priority of our other tasks.’ See also Section 6.17 of Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, the 2000 Defence White Paper and Section 3 of Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, the 2009 Defence White Paper. 24 See Peter J Dean, ‘The ADF and expeditionary warfare’, The Strategist, ASPI, (10 September 2013). This is as opposed to deployments as part of an expeditionary strategy, eg Afghanistan. ‘Expeditionary’ is often confused in the Australian debate between its use as an operational or strategic concept. The term ‘expeditionary operations’ has often being used by defence policy makers such as Hugh White and Paul Dibb, to describe distant deployments in support of our major allies, however, this term is generally understood by military practitioners to be a joint, operational-level, focused concept. 25 James Goldrick, ‘The Role of the Medium Power Navy in the Twenty First Century’, in Schwarz, Herrmann and Seeler (eds), Maritime Strategies in Asia, pp. 57-58.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

26 It is acknowledged here that from a maritime viewpoint this is much more than just staring down a major power adversary but includes border protection and surveillance. Space restricts the ability to discuss these elements in this paper. 27 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, p. 28. 28 Peter J Dean, ‘Think North: force posture and the next Defence White Paper’, in A New Flank. See also Peter J Dean, ‘Good defence starts closer to home’, Pacific Beat, transcript, (10 September 2013). 29 For a brief discussion on the RAN’s concentration on Southeast Asia for naval cooperation see Forbes, ‘Australia’s Maritime Past, Present and Future’ pp. 180-181 30 John Blaxland, ‘Time to Harden Australia’s Middle Power Muscle’, (10 September 2013); and John Blaxland, ‘All aboard: ADF and Regional Defence Diplomacy’, in A New Flank. 31 The importance of this soft power approach in the Asia-Pacific has been highlighted by (amongst others) Joshua Ho, ‘Cooperation and Competition in Maritime Asia-Pacific’, in Lawrence W Prabhakar, Joshua Ho and Sam Batemen (eds), The Evolving Maritime Balance of Power in the Asia-Pacific: Maritime Doctrines and Nuclear Weapons at Sea, World Scientific Publications, Singapore, 2006, pp. 13-14. 32 Ken Booth, Navies and Foreign Policy, Helm, London, 1977, p. 16. 33 As evidenced by Operation ASUTE in Timor Leste, which saw the first operational deployment of the Australian Defence Forces’s Amphibious Ready Group. Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) involvement is also critical. The embarked land force has an RAAF contingent, air operations can be provided by RAN and army rotary wing aircraft and depending on location and the depth of engagement RAAF fixed-wing assets can also be utilised. 34 Layton, ‘Australia’s Many “Maritime Strategies”’. 35 See Peter Dean, ‘All Ashore: The Utility of Amphibious Operations’, The Strategist, (10 September 2013) and ‘A Capability of First Resort: Australia and amphibious warfare’, (10 September 2013). 36 Gray, ‘Sea Power in Modern Strategy’, p. 31. 37 Royal Australian Navy, Australian Maritime Doctrine: RAN Doctrine 1, Sea Power Centre – Australia, Canberra, 2010, p. 100; and Maren Leed and Benjamin W Moody, Tough Choices: Sustaining Amphibious Capabilities Contributions to Strategic Shaping, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC, 2011, p. 4. 38 This last point is really only significant for the Australian Defence Force within the South Pacific, but for the former, collaboration can be undertaken around the region across the IndoPacific and in concert with our US ally, while we can play our own limited role in coercion. This can take the form of preventative deployments or reactive deployments. An emphasis on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, search and rescue, and joint exercises does not mean warfighting should be overlooked. This should not be a peacekeeping maritime strategy. 39 US Navy, Naval Amphibious Capability in the 21st Century: Strategic Opportunities and a Vision for Change, A Report of the Amphibious Capabilities Working Group, 27 April 2012, p. 1. 40 US Navy, Naval Amphibious Capability in the 21st Century.

Australia, maritime strategy and regional military diplomacy

41 US Ships Bonhomme Richard, Tortuga and Germantown embarked every element of the 31st MEU’s Marine Air Ground Task Force during their regularly scheduled deployment. The three ships housed the command element; ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment; the logistics combat element, CLB-31; and the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced). 42 Donna Miles, ‘Exercise Cobra Gold 2013 Kicks Off in Thailand’, American Forces Press Service, (10 September 2013) 43 Miles, ‘Exercise Cobra Gold 2013 Kicks Off in Thailand’. 44 United States Naval Institute, ‘Amphibious Operations 2000 – 2009’, blog, (10 September 2013). 45 Brett Friedman, ‘Blood and Water: The Present and Future of Amphibious Operations’, Military Operations, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2012, pp. 12-15. 46 See Sam Bateman and Dick Sherwood (eds), Strategic Change and Naval Roles: Issues for a Medium Naval Powers, Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence, no. 102, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 1993. 47 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, pp. 55-56. 48 The 2013 Defence White Paper notes: The ADF’s joint amphibious capability will be a central plank in our ability to conduct security and stabilisation missions in the region. Defence’s capacity to deploy and sustain humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and stabilisation missions will be substantially enhanced when two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock ships enter service. Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, pp. 63, 31, 39 and 77. 49 Ben Schreer, ‘Business as Usual? The 2013 Defence White Paper and the US Alliance’, Security Challenges, vol. 9, no. 2, 2013. 50 Schreer, ‘Business as Usual?; and Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, pp. 25 and 30-31. 51 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, p 30. 52 Stephan Fruehling, ‘Hints of a New Era in Strategic Guidance without a Strategy’, Security Challenges, vol. 9, no. 2, 2013. 53 Leed and Moody, Tough Choices, pp. 7 and 13-14.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Land Forces and a Maritime Strategy for Australia Ian Langford Our culture needs to be expeditionary in nature, taking account of the new and significant force projection capability [of the Canberra class amphibious ships], with a permanently embarked land combat force. The future generations of Army officers will be trained and exposed to amphibious operations from the outset of their careers, as a central pillar to how we fight. This will require an agile and joint mindset. Lieutenant General David Morrison, Chief of Army1 Australia’s strategic circumstances regarding geography, economy and ideology requires free access to the global maritime domain, which, in many respects, is our national centre of gravity. National interests do not simply stop at our coastline or offshore facilities or end at the limits of our exclusive economic zone. Our interests reach out into the world’s great global commons well beyond our immediate vicinity. The Australian Army, as part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), is an element of national power responsible for the safeguarding of our interests and the protection of our sovereignty throughout these global commons. Often our ‘endpoints’, accessed from the ‘highway of the sea’ are places of vital interest and require sea-based land force response options. Whether regionally, or globally, the foundation to Australia’s national security is a maritime strategy. Our history and experience has shown that there is no singular interpretation of an Australian maritime strategy. Strategy changes over time with context, structure, national purpose, technology and equipment. Tactical terminologies such as blockading, AirSea Battle, expeditionary warfare and carrier warfare all speak to the same desire to control and influence the maritime domain in order to achieve a political end using the military instrument. Whilst the use of the sea as a means to conduct warfare is as old as warfare itself, it has only been in the past century that theorists such as Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett first developed the theoretical connections between the sea and national wartime strategy.2 As a result, our understanding of the theoretical application of Australian maritime strategy has been left open to varying interpretations throughout our history since Federation.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Evolving Nature of the Strategic Operating Environment The evolving strategic environment that Australia is likely to confront over the next two decades is one that can be described as ‘crowded, connected, collective, constrained and lethal’. This environment will be deeply affected by the intersection of global and regional forces in unpredictable ways that demand, rather than reduce, the need for a capable and flexible Australian Army as a component of the ADF. This environment can be characterised by the following factors: • Warfare will remain a human endeavour, conducted among the people. This reinforces the enduring requirement for highly skilled and resilient soldiers (possibly augmented) that can operate in austere environments and adapt their foundation warfighting skills to a broad range of challenges. • Humanity is moving en masse into urban areas, most of which are located close to oceans. As such, the physical environment for future operations is likely to be the urban littoral. Operations in the urban littoral are likely to take place regardless of what type of operation land forces contribute to, across the spectrum from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to higher end conflict. • Digital connectivity has had a profound impact on society over the past three decades. Connectivity is likely to have even more significant impacts on Army over the next decade – especially in its capacity to network within the joint, interagency and coalition environment to gain access to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; fire; and logistic support. This also brings challenges, especially from adversaries that will exploit cyber weakness. • Lethality will continue to increase. The proliferation of increasingly advanced materials technology will provide adversaries with the capacity to achieve technological overmatch against our forces. This has important implications for force design and equipment procurement. It also reinforces the need to focus on the human elements of modernisation. • Adversaries may pose a significant threat to our strategic enablers, such as air and sea lift; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, reconnaissance and electric warfare; space-based systems; and logistical supply chains. Signature management and protection of these assets will underpin the capacity to strategically deploy and employ land forces.

Land forces and a maritime strategy for Australia

• Future operations will require jointness, fused planning, decision superiority, and overmatching power-applications that will have significant implications for coalition and alliance interoperability. Success in any future conflict will be largely dictated by our ability to contribute to, and draw from, joint, coalition and interagency effects.3

Land Power within the Maritime Domain Land power is vital to the successful practice of Australian statecraft. Historically it has been predominantly the Army that have deployed in order to protect or enforce our national interest. Soldiers will continue to carry the main responsibility of ADF regional and global deployments for years to come. Additionally, Army also acts as part of a joint force, and is reliant on an ability to generate maritime power projection in order to deliver land forces from the sea onto a land point where the decisive action will be conducted, be it high-intensity conflict or humanitarian support tasks. The fundamental focus of the military within the maritime domain centres on the control of human activity in the littorals and at sea. In many past wars, a decisive battle between opposing fleets or blockading and destroying an enemy navy in port were the two principal means by which a nation asserted maritime control. As a result, there has been an over-emphasis on sea battle as a means to achieve maritime control. Within an Australian context, the ADF has diverged from this paradigm and today considers maritime strategy in a broader context. For the modern ADF, the application of manoeuvre theory and the use of ‘indirect approaches’ have extrapolated our understanding of the tasks resident within a maritime strategy beyond sea battle to include: • protecting sea lanes and facilitating trade • maintaining safe passage • protecting approaches and offshore resources • acquiring advanced bases • joint entry operations • strategic poise • diplomacy • gaining and maintaining sea control • force projecting land forces and special forces for decisive combat • sea-basing land forces • redeploying land forces.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

These functions are not naval; they are maritime and therefore involve all elements of national power. It is through the execution of a maritime strategy that Army is able to be ready and positioned to support the achievement of these tasks. The future force structure of the ADF, including the Army, must be task organised for expeditionary operations and nested within a clearly articulated Australian maritime strategy - as befits our geography, economy and political ideology. At its heart, Army needs to be able to deploy force elements, by air and by sea, with the requisite joint military capabilities to meet the operational challenges it will encounter, as well as sustain itself and successfully terminate or transition the campaign when appropriate. When combined with a maritime strategy, a joint force that is fully enabled possesses the greatest capacity for utility across the spectrum of operations. Projects such as JP 2048, the introduction of an amphibious deployment and sustainment capability, are designed to achieve this and presents as opportunity to shift Australia’s joint operations to a paradigm that is vastly more integrated within the maritime domain than ever before. Army is designed to fight and win wars, as are all elements of the ADF. It must be capable of exerting land power for strategic effect across the modern spectrum of peace, crisis and war. The Army must not allow ‘the decisive battle’ to limit its thinking to merely tactics. Rather, it must see itself as a versatile military instrument of statecraft. To successfully defeat and deter its future enemies, it must be capable of responding rapidly in the event of a sudden escalation or conflict. Within a joint and maritime context, Army must be able to contribute to a credible crisis-response capability that is built upon our ability to project power across the global maritime commons, as well as be able to establish sea control within targeted areas in support of the decisive land action. An Australian naval platform is sovereign territory, whether in a friendly port, in transit, or in conflict. These highly mobile sea bases are free of the political complexities that often limit the scope of land basing and operations whilst forward deployed. This is unique characteristic only exists if the ADF possesses the capability to project from the maritime domain. Using a modular, scalable force design, Army can tailor its contribution into a joint expeditionary force that is able to provide a highly flexible capability available for a broad range of missions. These can include the seizure of entry points and land bases to enable the subsequent flow of land- and air-based forces, whilst providing the necessary command and control for other joint, interagency and allied forces. A maritime power projection capability can blunt or counter an attack, as well as dominate in a littoral battlespace during the earliest phase of hostilities. Army also contributes to maritime security through regional and global engagement, which helps to achieve a deterrence effect as well as maintain security through army-toarmy dialogue and military alliances. In an era of persistent conflict where operational effects need to be implemented throughout the operational continuum, Army, as part of the joint force, need to be ready to support the ADF’s international engagement in

Land forces and a maritime strategy for Australia

a region that is characterised by its collective dependencies on the maritime domain. This kind of maritime manoeuvre contributes to enabling the land force to provide a credible response to crises in the littorals with tailored, scalable forces in permissive, uncertain and hostile environments, enabling successful engagement, humanitarian assistance, crisis response and power projection.4

Other Applications of Maritime Strategy Maritime strategy also provides other functions to the state that include diplomacy; the safety and defence of our merchant fleet; fishing; border protection; the exploitation, protection and enforcement of our economic enforcement zone; search and rescue; counter-piracy; coastal defence; and the protection of offshore islands as well as contributing to the worldwide enforcement of the international laws of the sea, air and undersea environment. In all of these tasks, Army contributes to the whole-ofgovernment and all-of-nation efforts to protect and enhance Australia’s sovereignty and national interests. A maritime focus is also essential for facilitating hydrographical and scientific research, which helps to directly inform the research and development of emergent technologies, all of which have a positive impact on national power in a variety of ways.5

Conclusion Australia’s strategic geography necessitates a maritime strategy that requires the ADF to exert control and influence conflict via the maritime domain. Control and security of our sea lines of communication is a continuing task for the ADF across the operational continuum. Maritime strategy mandates the use of the land force as part of a total force contribution that includes such tasks as anti-access and area denial, seizing points of entry, conducted decisive land operations, and ultimately, shaping our adversary to submit to our will. An expeditionary sea-based capability that exploits an ability to operate on the high seas independent of land offers the best return for government as it provides the broadest range of options in pursuit of protecting and enforcing Australia’s national interests.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Notes 1 David Morrison, Address to the RAN Seapower Conference, speech, (11 September 2013). 2 AT Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, Little Brown, Boston, 1890; and Julian S Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1988. 3 For more information, see the forthcoming Army Future Land Warfare Report. 4 Michael Evans, ‘Defence: The Essential Service’, in Quadrant, vol 56, no 10, October 2012. 5 Michael Evans, The Role of the Australian Army in a Maritime Concept of Strategy, Working Paper no. 101, Land Warfare Studies Centre, Canberra, 1998.

Air Force in a Maritime Strategy: Challenges and Opportunities Sanu Kainikara Early in 2013, Prime Minister Julia Gillard released Australia’s first articulated National Security Strategy. It has a strong regional focus and since oceans, not land masses, define the Asia-Pacific it is a maritime strategy that prevails, even though it is not stated in so many words. It is superfluous here to state that a maritime strategy does not mean a naval strategy. Australia is an island nation, surrounded by large maritime resource zones — it adjoins the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Indian Ocean to the west, the Southeast Asian archipelago to the north and the sometimes forgotten Southern Ocean to the south. It is therefore not surprising that the foundation of Australia’s national security has always been broadly based on a maritime strategy. All national security strategies are directly influenced by the strategic geography of the nation. Strategic geography is concerned with the control of, or access to, areas that impact the security and prosperity of the nation. It fluctuates with the nation’s developmental and changing security needs. It is obvious that Australia’s strategic geography is indelibly tied to its maritime areas of interest.

The Basics of a Maritime Strategy In Australia’s security outlook, even if a conflict has developed on land, its protraction or culmination will be directly affected by the control of the sea lines of communication (SLOC). Therefore, defence needs and preparation are focused on developing maritime capabilities. In such a situation command of the sea can be equated to command of the air, sea control to control of the air and sea denial to air defence.1 While a high degree of denial could perhaps be achieved with minimal sea and air power, the ability to ‘do something’ proactively needs control of the environment. In this context, sea control cannot be achieved without effective control of the air. It therefore becomes obvious that the effectiveness of a maritime strategy, which is dependent on the adequacy of sea control, is directly proportional to the ability of the force to control the air. This in turn is dependent on the ability of Royal Australian Air Force to deliver an appropriate level of control of the air when and where required.

Challenges and Opportunities for Air Force For Australia, a maritime strategy to ensure national security is a not a new concept. Its national security has always been underpinned by SLOC protection and safeguarding the ability to exploit maritime resources. This is geographic reality. The change is the perception of national security - from the primary requirement to protect the borders to the current requirement to advance national interests and promote a favourable


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

international environment - also changes the implementation of the maritime strategy. This is strategic evolution. In these circumstances it is necessary for all military forces to look forward to the future. However, looking forward does not mean having the ability to predict the future with accuracy, rather it is about identifying the mega-trends, major shifts and potential game changers - in the political, economic and security strategic spheres - and being able to cater to them. This requires a historical frame of reference. Implementing any strategy will always create challenges to the status quo of the area of interest, bilateral and multilateral relationships, the force structure development of the military forces, and the operation concepts. The Air Force will be faced with a number of challenges when functioning within a national maritime strategy. It is also an axiom that all challenges, if carefully analysed and addressed, will also create opportunities. In this paper, three of the fundamental challenges that loom ahead for the Air Force within Australia’s contemporary maritime strategy will be examined, the manner in which they can be overcome briefly studied and the opportunities that come with overcoming them efficiently listed. The challenges are not in any order of priority.

Challenge I The first challenge that the Air Force faces will be to have the capacity to assume the lead in an air campaign being conducted by a regional coalition, if and when necessary. Such an air campaign could span the entire spectrum of conflict from delivering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to conducting a lethal high-end war. The ability to gather and assume a lead role in a coalition entails a certain level of political stature and diplomatic persuasion inherent in the nation. In addition, the military forces would have demonstrated competence at all levels of combat — strategic, operational and tactical. This challenge can be overcome by the strategic professionalism of the Air Force. The tactical competence of the Air Force has been repeatedly demonstrated and has never been in question. However, strategic professionalism is more nuanced and is a combination of a number of factors. The more important factors are: • a clear understanding of the political, economic and cultural environment in which the coalition will operate • the ability to plan and execute and independent air campaign and a well-defined knowledge of the quantum of air power required to achieve the desired objectives • a strong and focused strategic leadership based on established operational competence.

Air force in a maritime Strategy

Ameliorating the challenge will almost immediately lead to enhanced stability in the region. Moreover, the Air Force’s ability to create and lead a coalition will be a powerful message of the exercising of national power.

Challenge II The second challenge for the Air Force is to ensure that it remains a balanced force with the spread of capabilities required to function effectively across the entire spectrum of conflict. This would require the Air Force to be able to carry out air superiority, strike, airlift, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions to create the necessary effects brought together through a cohesive command and control process. There are four factors that influence the efficacy of the Air Force in being a balanced force with adequate depth of capability. First, the Air Force must have the in-built ability to accept state-of-the-art technology and operationalise it with minimum delay. Second, the Air Force normally functions at critical mass and therefore does not have any leeway to accept failure and remediate the situation. Failure, even of technology, can initiate a downward spiral in capabilities that may be difficult to stop since a minimum amount of ‘fat on the bones’ is necessary as a calculated buffer to cater for such extreme situations. Within the debate regarding critical mass, it must be mentioned that the separate air arms being by the Army and the Navy is counterintuitive to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) maintaining an air power capability above the critical mass. Considering the small mass of the ADF itself, this is an unviable and wasteful expenditure of scarce resources. Third, a key factor in its credibility is that the Air Force had so far maintained a capability edge in the region. However, in the past decade or so this has been eroded to an extent where it cannot be considered an edge any more. The Air Force therefore must establish a concept edge to cater for the loss of a clear capability edge. Finally, since the Air Force functions at a certain operational tempo even during times of relative peace, any campaign will add to this tempo almost as a concurrent operation. In order to be balanced the Air Force must retain concurrency as an essential capacity. The challenge of being balanced can be overcome by achieving two competencies: developing full spectrum capabilities that are scalable and flexible, and fostering innovative operation concepts that support the implementation of robust strategy. These two will have to become the foundation for Air Force credibility. Flexibility is a core characteristic of air power and is inherent in the Air Force. Scalability is a much broader concept and can only be built on a foundation of assured strategic depth of capability and the ability to rejuvenate dissipated capabilities. A balanced air force needs to demonstrate both these intangible qualities. The opportunity that comes with facing this challenge is that the Air Force will create and maintain a concept edge and thereby remain strategically influential in the region.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Challenge III The third challenge for the Air Force is to have the capacity to deliver the constant quantum of air power of the quality necessary to create deterrence and when needed to obtain and maintain adequate control of the air while being able to deliver the critical air power contribution to the successful implementation of the national maritime strategy. This is a challenge that must be considered at both the strategic and operational levels. At the strategic level it will be necessary to provide the clearest advice to the highest level of the planning process regarding extant Air Force capabilities and what can be, and cannot be, achieved within it. At the operational level the Air Force will have to cover a large geographic area and also cater for the peculiarities of maritime operations. More importantly, the extensive maritime area of interest for Australia could make it necessary for the Air Force to operate in two geographically separated independent theatres simultaneously. This could stretch the Air Force capabilities to the extreme. The ability to overcome this challenge is intimately connected to maintaining a balanced Air Force. It will be necessary for the Air Force to have a well-defined understanding of its responsibilities, as well as a grasp of the quantum of air power required to achieve the desired objectives. In order to achieve this state, the Air Force must balance the total capability and its capacity within the ambit of pursuing a maritime strategy. This balancing of capability should also be done after astutely identifying the ‘must have’ and ‘good to have’ capabilities and tailoring the need to budgetary constraints, as far as possible. This process is particularly applicable to the higher end of the capability spectrum. A credible Air Force with an in built deterrent capability is an essential component of the national security equation and contributes directly to the broader stability of the region. By controlling the northern approaches to the nation, the Air Force ensures access to the maritime commons by all states of the region, thereby enhancing stability and directly contributing to Australia’s prosperity.

Conclusion Ideally the national security strategy and desired objectives of a nation should drive the development of an air force - it should be a strategy-driven process rather than resourcedriven. A well-constructed strategic outlook matched to an adequate capability assures the delivery of a sound national security strategy. This developmental process should not be held ransom to resource availability, which is a sure way to gradually diminish military capability in the long-term. The fundamental truth is that military forces can only be expected to perform to the level of the capacity that has been built-up over a period of time. The fact that there is a large lead time required to operationally field a new capability further underlines this point. History demonstrates that a just-in-time philosophy to prepare an air force when a threat is imminent is a flawed concept.

Air force in a maritime Strategy

Australia’s national security can only be ensured through having a credible Air Force of the necessary calibre and proven excellence. This can only be achieved through making the correct strategic choices and following up on their implementation. The Air Force should retain the flexibility to counter emerging risks, threats and challenges. Weighing it in dollar terms will be retrograde step vis-à-vis national security. The correct balance in the Air Force can be achieved through perfecting the art of making educated decisions, especially since it is impossible to make any definitive and confident decisions regarding future challenges. In this context, it has to be borne in mind that every system acquired will be at an opportunity cost of not acquiring some other form of capability. The fundamental role of the Air Force, the primary reason for its existence, is to achieve national security objectives by its ability to project power across a broad spectrum of activities ranging from delivering humanitarian assistance to the application of lethal force with precision, proportionality and discrimination. This is evolved wisdom. A pragmatic analysis of the history of the RAAF clearly demonstrates that there have been number of critically defining moments in its illustrious past. These moments were invariably influenced, at times decisively, by the then prevailing national politicoeconomic and security imperatives. Today, the RAAF is once again poised at a defining juncture and the influences critical to its wellbeing are once again the same: politicoeconomic constraints and national security imperatives. Balancing the two optimally has never been more important.

Notes 1 For brevity of the paper these terms are not defined here. Definitions of these terms are available in Australian Maritime Doctrine: RAN Doctrine 1 and published The Air Power Manual: AAP 1000-D 2007 published by the Sea Power Centre-Australia and Air Power Development Centre-RAAF respectively.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The End of Maritime Strategy Albert Palazzo Australia is a maritime nation, a fact rightly highlighted in the 2013 Defence White Paper, which requires the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to develop and maintain a maritime strategy.1 This is an obvious direction for an island nation whose wealth is largely dependent upon overseas trade. Recent equipment acquisitions, now in the pipe-line, will help make such a strategy a reality. The RAN’s coming Canberra class amphibious ships (LHDs) and Hobart class guided missile destroyers (DDGs), and the Army’s development of 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment into the expeditionary battalion, will theoretically provide Australia with maritime capabilities it has not previously possessed, or at least not since World War II (WWII). Future success, however, may prove illusive. It is becoming increasingly evident that the character of war is in the midst of what can be termed a precision revolution in military affairs (RMA), which will put at risk the ADF’s ability to meet the government’s maritime strategy mandate. The improving lethality, accuracy and range of precision weapon systems, and the increased capability of their associated sensors, all threaten to make it impossible for navies to close upon a hostile coast, or even sail in its vicinity without the risk of unacceptable losses. Precision capabilities have been available for some time, but recent developments in precision strike will likely render warships, particularly large ones, obsolete as land power gains the ability to project decisive naval power over the sea. One effect of these technological advances is that maritime power is in fact becoming increasingly land-based, and navies may soon face what can be termed a ‘maritime no-man’s land’ as defensive firepower comes to dominate the approaches to an adversary’s shores.2 The result will be a curtailing of the ability of navies to project power onto land, and, as a result, the end of maritime strategy as we know it.

A Definition The term ‘maritime strategy’ means different things to different people. Thus, it may be helpful to provide an explanation of its usage here. This paper will use maritime strategy in its Corbettian sense, that is, the part the fleet plays in relation to the actions of the land force.3 Thus, while maritime strategy is a joint affair that requires the integration of the three Services, its rationale is to secure a policy objective ashore. This is because, to use the words of a contemporary US naval officer: A maritime campaign by a maritime nation aims at sea control as the means but not the end, because strategy prescribes wartime goals and missions governed by purposes on the land.4


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

This paper will also limit its discussion to the use of maritime strategy in war. It is accepted that maritime strategy has great utility for attaining national policy objectives through the employment of soft power and via naval diplomacy. However, the emphasis here will be on the true reason why states bear the expense of maintaining military organisations, that is, to paraphrase, Carl von Clausewitz, to bend adversaries to our will by the use of force.5

A Brief Outline of the Origins of the Precision RMA Precision RMA is not new. Like most changes in the character of war it has had a lengthy gestation, in this instance of nearly a century. The necessity for and achievement of precision initially appeared during World War I as the combatants struggled to end the stalemate on the Western Front. The key advance was the increased precision achieved by indirect artillery fire, which the combatants used to restore a degree of manoeuvre to the conflict.6 WWII saw Germany’s introduction of radio-guided aerial bombs which enabled the precise targeting of ships underway at sea. The United States responded with its own guided missiles, including a stand-off anti-shipping weapon. The next leap forward was the deployment of laser-guided aerial bombs by the United States during the Vietnam War.7 Still, it was not until the two US-led wars with Iraq and the war with Afghanistan that the accelerating advances in precision weaponry entered public consciousness. The grainy images of US cruise and tomahawk missiles securing direct hits on distant targets resonated well on television.8 Today, precision weapons are seemingly ubiquitous, and politicians, military leaders and the public have little appetite for oldstyle ‘dumb bomb’ attacks. Precision weapons are also rapidly becoming no longer just the preserve of the United States as they enter the arsenals of a host of other states and even non-state actors.

The Intensification of the Precision RMA Despite all the attention precision weapons have received, the effect so far on the character of war has been muted. Their accomplishments have been less than revolutionary, and the successes they have enjoyed have been mainly at the operational and tactical levels of war. Rather than spurring an RMA, the main achievement of enhanced precision has been an improvement in what the United States and its allies already accomplish reasonably well: the application of fire. According to Andy Marshall, the sage of the US Office of Net Assessment, ‘the use of guided munitions by US forces has been more about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of traditional methods and organizations.’9 In Afghanistan, for example, precision guided munitions were used as more accurate substitutes for traditional means of bringing fire to bear,

The end of maritime strategy

namely artillery, while pilots became little more than guided bomb transporters.10 Therefore, there has been far less of a transformation in the art of war than some precision advocates have claimed, and what has been achieved has had little effect on the all-important strategic level of war.11 What has been missing from the precision RMA is a discontinuous change from what existed before, that is a change of such magnitude that it renders ‘obsolete or subordinate existing means for conducting war.’12 Such a development is the hallmark of a true RMA. This transition is now occurring. Discontinuity is beginning to be felt in the western Pacific Ocean as a result of the development and fielding of more lethal, accurate and longer ranged missiles and sensors. Termed anti-access and area denial (A2AD) systems their primary application has been in the maritime space where they promise to exert a profound affect on the character of war. A2AD technology promises to deny navies the ability to close with a protected coast. These weapons take the form of long-range missiles; surface, sub-surface and air launched cruise missiles; and an array of sensors. These developments are more than just an iterative enhancement of precision weapon capabilities. They are a revolutionary change that is linked to the achievement of a strategic goal. The deployment of over-the-horizon radars that can locate warships well out to sea, along with ballistic missile to strike, put at risk the main maritime power projection element of the United States: carrier battle groups.13 The objective behind such systems is to create a missile-guarded, sensor-watched barrier that extends out from a coast to a great depth, which hostile ships will be able to penetrate only at great peril.14 Such developments put at risk the heart of the present US maritime power projection organisation, an eventuality that carries with it implications for Australian security. A2AD technologies place the carrier in danger of ‘becoming like the battleships it was originally designed to support: big, expensive, vulnerable – and surprisingly irrelevant to the conflicts of the time.’15 Some commentators believe that the biggest challenge facing carriers in the future is their survivability, and they conclude that those who have faith in the ongoing age of the carrier are guilty of hubris.16 As David C Gompert observed in his recent RAND study, ‘It is hard to think of a persuasive reason why aircraft carriers can defy technological progress when battleships could not.’17 Making the situation even more difficult for maritime power projection is that these advances are only at the start of the development cycle. The power and reach of such sensors and weapons will only increase, as will their number. The operational result will be a maritime ‘no-ship’s land’ of enormous depth in which naval power projection will be virtually impossible.18 The strategic consequence for maritime strategy, at least as it is currently known, will be profound. This is because, as Geoffrey Till has observed, ‘The ability to use the sea as manoeuvre space depends on the expeditionary powers’ capability to command the open ocean and the narrow seas in an adequate manner.’19 Till is saying that without this ability, maritime strategy will cease to be possible.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

It may be some comfort to Australia that the RAN does not possess ships of the size and cost of the US Navy’s carrier battle group. Australia’s largest ships, the forthcoming LHDs, are mere minnows by comparison to the US giants. However, they are still large ships whose signature will be hard to hide, especially if they sail as part of a US-led task force. The ADF needs to consider the ability of Australian warships to avoid discovery and destruction if they are to operate off a coast guarded by such an A2AD capability. Even so, A2AD weapons are only going to get better as they evolve faster than ships can respond, leaving fleets with poor options. These weapons are also likely to follow the pattern of other recent emerging technologies: rapid proliferation. Already, potent A2AD systems are appearing in the Middle East and similar proliferation closer to Australia’s shores should be expected.

Responding to the A2AD Challenge When the character of war changes it is often advisable to exploit new opportunities rather than continuing to wage war by the old paradigm. This is what the ADF needs to think about as it seeks to implement a maritime strategy. Of course, this is not the first time military organisations have had to respond to what has been termed an ‘inflection point’ in design.20 For example, during the interwar period, US Navy, Royal Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy leaders debated the challenges and opportunities aviation posed for naval warfare. The transition from battleships to aircraft carriers as the key fleet element was by no means an obvious development and aviation advocates had to overcome numerous technological issues to make their arm into an effective force. Still, as early as 1921, a future US Chief of Naval Operations predicted that the carrier was the possible capital ship of the future.21 What Australia’s military leaders and defence thinkers of today need to consider is how to manage the inflection point that maritime precision strikes represent in order to avoid another Pearl Harbor driven transition. This paper is not so much about the end of maritime strategy as it is about the need to reconsider its current conception in order to counter the challenge of A2AD weaponry. In its brevity it cannot hope to outline the solution, but it can raise the problem and offer a number of suggestions that may illuminate a way forward: • Go Small. Fleets must change their organisational preferences if they are to remain capable of projecting power. One solution is to go small. Large numbers of small (less than 1000 tonne) vessels may have more survivability and greater risk acceptance. Such a response has been considered before, and the ADF may do well to consider France’s Jeune École school of thought of the late 19th century. Its advocates believed small ships and commerce raiding was the only way for the French Navy to counter the superiority of the Royal Navy, an idea that may offer the ADF a similar asymmetric response to the strengths

The end of maritime strategy

of potential adversaries.22 Perhaps the RAN’s future frigate program can be reconfigured into a class of more numerous but smaller future corvettes. In addition, as HMA Ships Success and Sirius near the end of their use the RAN should consider employing their replacements as tender ships to extend the range of the corvette squadrons. It must be recognised, however, that while the age of large ships may be nearing an end, this does not mean that such ships no longer have a place on the seas. The LHDs and DDGs will still have utility because well-suited, non-warfighting tasks remain, and transition in maritime matters is relatively slow. Yet such vessels are unlikely to represent the future. • Go Hidden. Submarines should become the principle strike platform of the future fleet. Only sub-surface ships can evade detection, at least for now. • Go Fast. Current policy proposes that 2RAR will serve as the Army’s primary asset afloat. The present battalion organisation does not meet this requirement, and the unit should be reorganised into one optimised as a raiding force whose main focus is to deploy and fight at the company and platoon level. Since the LHDs are unsuitable for tasks undertaken by land forces of such small size, the RAN should acquire several high-speed, small amphibious ships that are capable of rapid insertion, followed by an equally fast extraction. These vessels could be acquired in lieu of a landing ship heavy replacement. The US Marine Corps Raider Battalion organisation of the early part of WWII in the Pacific could serve as an intellectual model.23 • Go Unmanned. Unmanned air, ground and sub-surface vehicles are rapidly gaining in capability. All three Services should consider the unmanned platform as an essential future core capability. • Go A2AD. Acquisition of A2AD systems will enable Australia to establish a maritime protection zone off its own shores and thereby deny potential adversaries the ability to operate in these waters. In an earlier age, Australia’s coast was defended by an extensive gun-based defence system. Perhaps a back to the future application, in the form of a missile-based coastal defence network, warrants consideration.

Conclusion The potential of A2AD represents something quite revolutionary: a weapon system that offers a discontinuous shift from that which has preceded it. As RMAs emerge and the character of war changes, military organisations must reflect on and respond to new challenges. As long as humanity lives in proximity to the sea and possesses



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

something that floats, Australia will need a maritime strategy as a component of an effective national security policy. What it presently has must be fundamentally reconceptualised, however, if it is to respond to the coming challenge. There is little doubt that the required sifting of ideas will be painful and difficult, and will require each Service to surrender traditional and comfortable concepts of how to fight. But it is essential that this intellectual battle be fought if the ADF is to fulfil its core mission: the protection of Australia.

Notes 1 Department of Defence, Defence White Paper 2013, Department of Defence, Canberra, 2013, pp. 29-30. 2 Wayne P Hughes, Jr, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Command, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2000, p. 8. 3 Julian S Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Naval institute Press, Annapolis, 1988, p. 15. 4 Wayne P Hughes, Jr, ‘Naval Maneuver Warfare’, in Naval War College Review, vol. 41, no. 3, Summer 1997, pp. 36-37. 5 Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989, p. 75. 6 For an outline of the critical adaptations required see, Albert Palazzo, ‘The British Army’s Counter-Battery Staff Office and Control of the Enemy in World War I’, in Journal of Military History, vol. 63, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 55-74. 7 On the development of precision-guided munitions see, Carlo Kopp, ‘The Dawn of the Smart Bomb’, Air Power Australia – Technical Report, (28 May 2013); and Paul G Gillespie, Weapons of Choice: The Development of Precision Guided Munitions, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2006. 8 Michael Russell Rip and James M Hasik, The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2002, pp. 3-11. 9 Barry D Watts, The Maturing Revolution in Military Affairs, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Washington DC, 2011, p. 7. 10 Thomas G Mahnken, Technology and the American War of War, Columbia University Press, New York, 2010, p. 200. 11 Frederick W Kagan, Finding the Target: The Transformation of American Military Policy, Encounter Books, New York, 2006. 12 Watts, The Maturing Revolution in Military Affairs, p. 3. 13 Watts, The Maturing Revolution in Military Affairs, p. 9.

The end of maritime strategy

14 Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Command, p. 8; and ‘Advanced missile poses substantial new threat for US Navy’, US Naval Insitute, (9 April 2013). For an assessment of Chinese precision capabilities see, Randy Huiss, Proliferation of Precision Strike: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, Washington , DC, 2012. 15 Henry J Hendrix, At What Cost a Carrier, Center for a New American Security, Washington, 2013, p. 3. 16 Hendrix, At What Cost a Carrier, pp. 8-9. 17 David C Gompert, Sea Power and American Interests in the Western Pacific, Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, 2013, p. 150. 18 Tony Capaccio, ‘China’s New Missile may Create a “No-Go Zone” for US Fleet’, Bloomberg News, (9 April 2013). 19 Geoffrey Till, Naval Transformation, Ground Forces, and the Expeditionary Impulse: The SeaBasing Debate, Strategic Studies Institute, Carlisle, 2006, p. 10. 20 Henry J Hendrix and J Noel Williams, ‘Twilight of the $uperfluous Carrier’, in US Naval Institute Proceedings, (14 May 2013). 21 Thomas C Hone, Norman Friedman and Mark D Mandeles, American & British Aircraft Carrier Development, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1999, p. 51. 22 On the Jeune École see, Arne Røksund, The Jeune École: The Strategy of the Weak, Brill, Leiden, 2007; and Theodore Ropp, The Development of a Modern Navy: French Naval Policy, 1871-1904, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1987. On the utility of small ships see, Jeffrey E Kline and Wayne P Hughes, Jr, ‘Between Peace and the Air-Sea Battle: A War at Sea Strategy’, in Naval War College Review, vol. 65, no. 4, Autumn 2012, pp. 37-38. 23 On the US Marine Corps Raider Battalion concept see, Charles L Updegraph, Jr, US Marine Corps Special Units of World War II, History and Museums Division, Washington DC, 1972; and Joseph H Alexander, Edson’s Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2010.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

part Iv Economic perspectives


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Importance of Maritime Trade: Perspectives on Australia’s Energy Security Martin Hoffman Australia is a unique nation in an energy and trade sense. It is a major importer of oil and refined product, but at the same time a major exporter of other energy products, particularly gas, in addition to coal and uranium. Thus, Australia is a net energy exporter, which belies the fact that it is an oil and refined product importer. While there is no doubt that Australia has a growing dependence on oil and liquid fuel imports, its energy exports are growing as a specific regional demand for energy increases, with significant increases in the number of shipping movements. The aim of this paper is to outline Australia’s energy trade, in particular energy security, and its obvious links to issues of maritime strategy and security. A key point to raise initially is that the term energy security does not necessarily refer to energy independence or energy self-sufficiency. Those terms are not synonyms in the Government’s view for energy security. The Australian Government publishes the National Energy Security Assessment (NESA) every two or three years. The last one was promulgated in mid-2011 and it is expected to be revised again as a whole-of-government document in 2014.1 The NESA views security as being based around well-functioning markets with mature and robust supply chains supported by effective critical incidents and national security frameworks. Self-sufficiency does not always equate to better security or economic sense, particularly if the nation must rely in terms of self-sufficiency on old or subscale infrastructure and equipment. Another key issue to highlight pertains to the maritime situation in our region, which is a source of tension amongst some of our near neighbours. The South China Sea is primarily in dispute between China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia not due to trade routes but because of the perceived oil and gas reserves underneath it. Similarly, the Senkaku/Daiyou Islands are not worth much in themselves, being barren pieces of rock. It is another example of a dispute, between Japan and China, based on the perceptions of energy resources underlying them. So access to maritime areas is not just about the trade travelling on top of it, it is also very much about what lies underneath. This situation is certainly true for oil and gas, but is also increasingly true for the production of other resources as well. Underground mining is something that is attracting increasing interest and investment.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Australian Situation In Australia, oil production is declining. The new hope lies in the Great Australian Bight, where BP is currently in the middle of a $600 million exploration program in the South Australian Bight. Statoil of Norway has bought into that exploration program as well. It is an exploration project that may not be just a gas and condensates field, but an oil find as well. In the absence of new discoveries, the ongoing trend translates into increasing liquid fuel imports. A point to note is that the import of crude oil has been relatively steady. The growth is in refined product, particularly diesel fuel, which has not been going through our major ports but primarily through upwards of 20 regional and remote ports associated almost entirely with resources activity. Thus, growth in this commodity represents the direct import of diesel fuel by trading companies and the large mining groups spread around the northern half of Australia. That represents a change in our imports and ports pattern. In terms of maritime strategy, it is a changing facet of our trade that import ports are shifting further north than they traditionally have been. Australia has always had export ports there, however, import ports are emerging increasingly as production factors evolve. Australian has few refineries. Clyde Shell 1 refinery in Sydney has closed and been converted into an import terminal. Kurnell in Sydney is closing as a refinery, again converting to imports from July 2014. Shell’s Geelong refinery is also for sale and, if not sold, may become another potential import terminal conversion in 2015. While there are some legitimate concerns about this situation, it does not make a considerable difference if one is importing crude and refining it or importing refined product. Ultimately, there is still reliance upon imports and a well-functioning, diverse supply chain. The closing or adaptation of refineries does not necessarily result in a loss of energy security. Australia has, for some time, been importing the crude that supplied them in the first place. Australia tends to export the oil and condensates that originate from the Northwest Shelf and export those directly to refineries in India and Asia. The import of refined product occurs direct into the main markets on the east coast. The simple fact is that Australian refineries were built in the 1950s, meaning they are very old, subscale in terms of size and not cost-effective. The new mega-refineries throughout Asia, particularly India and Singapore, are more reliable and cheaper – even after shipping costs. It is not readily apparent that retaining an old, 1950s technology refinery, notwithstanding reinvestment and upgrades, necessarily adds to energy security. In terms of exports, there has been significant growth in all of them, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG), where amounts are moving towards 80 mega tonnes per annum of exports. By 2017-18, Australia has potential to be the largest exporter of LNG in the world, certainly our most valuable export at that point.

The importance of maritime trade

To give some sense of what that means in ship movements, Queensland coal exports are currently approximately 2800 ship movements a year. By 2017, the projection is over 4500. New South Wales coal is approximately 2500 now; in 2017 it is projected to be over 4500. Western Australian iron ore is approximately 4500 now and forecast to be over 8000 by 2017. Finally, LNG shipping will be approximately 1000-1500 additional ship movements per annum. These figures represent enormous increases. A consequence of these increases is likely to be that social licence issues, particularly with the numbers of ship movements proceeding through the Queensland ports, both coal and LNG, and the Great Barrier Reef shipping channels, will be immense. That represents a tremendous public policy challenge for state and federal governments in dealing with the environmental issue.

Destination Asia It is axiomatic to state that Australian energy exports are destined primarily for Asia. In Japan, there are uncertainties about the level of demand that is likely to materialise over the next 10 to 15 years. Japan depends primarily on how much nuclear power is returned online. In the wake of Fukushima, most nuclear power plants were shut down. A small number have been brought back online, with the power deficit accounted for through increased coal and gas imports. It is costing the Japanese economy heavily. The most significant swing factor in terms of total LNG demand is, therefore, the extent to which Japan resumes nuclear production. In China the uncertainty centres on the extent to which they can develop their own domestic unconventional gas production from shale. Similar to the United States, China appears to have immense shale gas reserves. Unusually for China, in terms of national priorities, they have not been making progress in this area of energy production as fast as anticipated or preferred. There are difficulties with the pipeline network, topography, availability of water and a range of other factors. Obviously, China would rather produce it themselves than import it. In India a similar situation is evident; the extent to which they can get domestic production invigorated. However, in India’s case it is not so much a technical question, rather a bureaucratic one – the sclerotic nature of Indian bureaucracy. An example of India’s problem can be grasped by understanding their investment in Australia. The biggest investments in Australian coal production are in the Galilee Basin, in Queensland. The two major projects there are both being invested in by Indian companies GBK and Adani, who are developing them in a fully integrated manner. They own the mine, built the railway to the port and expanded the port. They have their own ships to take it to their own ports in India. They export into their own power stations to produce electricity because it is much easier to do that than it is to mine coal at home. Therefore, India is likely to have the same problems potentially in developing domestic gas production, creating market opportunity.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Australia’s Major Energy Projects Australia’s major energy projects exist primarily in the north. Off the Northwest shelf there is the Carnarvon, Browse and Bonaparte basins, all with projects currently in various stages of existence. Off Darwin, there is the very significant ICHTHYS LNG project. It is Japan’s single biggest ever overseas foreign directive investment project. This $30-billion LNG project is wholly owned by Japanese companies. Japanese companies have usually taken smaller, non-operating stakes in these sorts of projects. Keeping in mind maritime strategy and linkages, the extent of Japanese investment in Australia, and the ongoing extent of our trade with them provides a sound rationale for continued or increased naval cooperation and engagement with Japan. A considerable amount of time is spent in the Department of Resources, Energy and Trade working with our counterparts in Japan. It is a relationship which is important, and long-standing. It has developed a lot of maturity; the models of co-investments of joint venturing are well established and maintaining that is important for Australia to counterbalance its economic relationship with China.

Floating Production The next exciting development in LNG is floating LNG platforms (FLNG). The first one that has been commissioned, the Prelude Project, is by Shell, with the platform currently being built in a shipyard in South Korea. FLNGs will be the biggest floating structures ever made. At approximately 500m long, 75m wide, and fully laden, they will a displacement six times that of an aircraft carrier. Towed into place and moored, FLNGs contain 200,000 tonnes of steel and are designed to withstand category 5 cyclones. The concept is that the platform remains on station operating for 20 to 25 years, producing the LNG onboard. More conventional LNG carriers will embark cargo alongside and proceed direct to their export destination. This is an incredibly important development, as the Prelude Project is some 402km from the coast. There is obviously a saving in the pipeline cost. It also enables companies to exploit gas fields farther offshore where costs have prohibited the construction of a pipeline. Australia is at the forefront of the development and use of this technology.

The importance of maritime trade

The Future Looking ahead, what are we seeing in terms of major changes in global and regional energy markets? First and foremost, China is now the world’s largest energy consumer, the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter and will very soon be the world’s largest oil consumer. Within the next two years, China will import more oil from the Middle East than the United States does. America’s reliance on the Middle East for energy, and its influence on global geopolitics over the last 50 years, is changing. That is a function of China’s growth and increases in US domestic production through the shale oil and gas revolution there. The United States itself will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia before 2020 to become, at least into the mid-2020s, the world’s largest oil producer. That, along with its cheap gas, is driving a manufacturing renaissance in the United States. As is the fact that their manufacturing wage rates are the lowest in the Organisation for Economic and Development, meaning that they are repatriating on the basis of cheap gas manufacturing that did move offshore to China in the last decade. North America is moving towards energy independence. Global primary energy demand will rise by over a third in the period to 2035. Oil, coal and gas demand will rise by 11, 21 and 50 per cent respectively. Oil is the slowest growing resource because there is big shift towards gas for both electricity and increasingly transport as well. Gas as a transport fuel is becoming increasingly important for both buses and long-haul-trucking trains and potentially even as bunker fuel as well. In terms of Australian energy security – a move towards greater domestic reliance – the policy response to be encouraged is greater emphasis on allowing gas to be a transport fuel in Australia, in particular, for our trucking and bus fleets. The last point to make concerns China. As their oil imports increase significantly China’s concern regarding the Malacca Strait – the ‘Malacca Dilemma’ – and access through them becomes ever more pressing. The Chinese response to this issue has increasingly been to build extensive pipelines across Myanmar. In two years China has built a 770km oil pipeline from China across Myanmar to the Bay of Bengal. In mid2012, the Myanmar Government announced the intent to privatise their oil refineries in the Irrawaddy Delta. Subsequently, they were privatised and bought by Chinese state-owned enterprises. These are China’s responses to concerns about chokepoints, or capacity points. A part of the 2011 NESA was a scenario analysis of a closure of the Strait of Hormuz in terms of oil and the impact on the oil markets. It actually found that the impact depends on how long the strait is closed. If the assumption is made that the United States simply will not allow it to be closed for anything more than a month, doing whatever it takes to reopen it within that timeframe, international oil markets coped reasonably well.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

There was certainly a price spike, both reflecting actual restraints of supply and the uncertainty effect, but the increased capacity from other production sources, found oil markets working reasonably well. There was obviously a big price impact in Australia, however, our country continued to receive adequate supply. In concluding, Australia is becoming ever more integrated in regional energy markets. It offers us rewards in export sense, although there are challenges in continuing to manage our supply chains. In that sense, there is fertile ground for the consideration of energy security within maritime strategy, particularly where a maritime school of strategic thought is concerned.

Notes 1 Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, National Energy Security Assessment 2011, , (20 September 2013).

The Sea as a Source of National Power Guy Blackburn Australians all let us rejoice For we are … girt by sea1 Australia’s national anthem recognises Australia’s dependency on the sea as a source of national power. Ironically however, since Federation, there has been a recognised yet unrealised need for Australia to look to the sea as a means of national power. On 7 April 1902, Major General Sir Edward Hutton, Commandant of the Military Forces of the Commonwealth, recorded that the defence of Australia ultimately rested with the prosperity of the nation being interminably linked to its ability to access trade and commerce.2 Move forward to 2013 and Australia now sits at the nexus of a dynamic and transitioning Indo-Pacific region.3 This is a predominantly maritime region with Southeast Asia at its centre creating opportunity for deeper engagement and progressing Australia’s national interests through middle power diplomacy. The Asian Century White Paper addresses this in declaring its aim to be ‘to secure Australia as a more prosperous and resilient nation that is fully part of our region and open to the world’ and that ‘as a nation we must do even more to develop the capabilities that will help Australia succeed’.4 While the paper highlights the need to take stock of the opportunities provided to Australia during the next century, it treats the sea more as risk than opportunity.5 Unfortunately, this appears to be the historical norm for Australia. Australians do not see the sea as a means of national power or a means of progressing Australia’s national interests. In short, we lack a national maritime consciousness. Ironically, the opposite need be true and at least since Federation we have known that the sea needs to be a source of national power to realise our future prosperity. With our economic preferences now firmly wedded to being a society of consumers, reflected through an economy with a low domestic manufacturing base relative to our national consumption, a reliance on global supply, and the deeper and more complex system of interconnectivity of the global supply chains, one ponders why Australians do not view the sea as a source of national power to progress our national interests.6 Much like the historian Paul Kennedy, this paper will assert that there is a deep interaction between national economics and strategy as Australia, a nation state, competes within the international system for relative gains in wealth and power.7 For Australia, both the opportunities through collaboration in the maritime global commons and risks from international competition as a middle power, centre on the sea and our assured access to the maritime commons. This paper will review the necessity for the sea becoming closer to the centre of Australian national consciousness because


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

of our preferences as a nation. This paper will not focus on sea-blindness or debating strategic schools of thought only to suggest that the maritime school should be at the centre of any national strategy.8 This paper will not précis government policy save to highlight where there may be opportunities for greater focus to progress the national interest. Ultimately, this paper seeks to provide a focus on why Australia needs to view the maritime and the sea as a source of national power, driven by the preferences we have made as a society to satisfy our economic needs, which, in a globalised economy, affect our national security agenda. Australia is a western style democracy; a middle power applying middle power diplomacy to respond to a changing geostrategic world.9 This is built on a high dependence on international trade and funded via a capitalist financial system open to international financial markets. As a Western democracy, Australia’s citizens exercise their rights and free will through the council of their elected representatives who produce a legislated policy framework to articulate and legalise the preferences of the population. To provide balance, a legal system regulates these laws, embracing international law as part of that system. This construct supports an active social contract within Australian society.10 Australia proclaims itself as a middle power.11 Middle (or medium) powers are those that lie between self-sufficient superpowers and insufficient small powers.12 Australia’s middle power diplomacy is exercised through support for global institutions and international norms, with a characteristic of coalition building through motivation as a good global actor. National power is exercised through Australia being capable of taking action and the ‘ability to influence events’ through diplomacy. This ability to act as a middle power is generated by goods and money, knowledge and ideas, and lastly by arms: the first being the enabler to the others; the second being slow acting but powerful; and the third dangerous, menacing or violent but able to be applied in quick fashion.13 Notwithstanding, this is how Australia seeks to protect its vulnerabilities and promote its interests.14 Whilst the construct may seem obvious, the effect is less so when reviewing Australia’s national interests and the impact of the deep interdependencies of the global supply and trading system all resident in the maritime environment. Why has Australia followed this construct? As a nation, Australia has chosen to follow this construct, which, by design, now forms the basis of our national interests.15 The impact of our economic, and therefore security interest, must be assessed to determine how to make the most of the opportunities this construct creates in progressing the national interest. Australia trades internationally and more recently has enjoyed a small but favourable balance of trade surplus.16 Australian imports provide access to a wide range of competitively-priced products. They are used to sate the domestic consumerist appetite whilst also being used as inputs for production of new goods and services. 17 Australia’s balance of trade surplus has been funded primarily through energy sector exports

The sea as a source of national power

garnering good international prices and an increased demand, with energy resources accounting for 50.6 per cent of all exports.18 Australia’s preference has been to ride the wave of the energy and resources boom. This security and balance of trade surplus however, relies heavily on access to the global commons, in particular the high seas, which by extension becomes a conduit of national power through the exchange and transportation of consumer goods.19 Many of our key trading partners, China, South Korea, Japan, India and Singapore, also rely on access to the maritime global commons for their energy security and trade. This common interest provides the partnership opportunities that assist Australia to progress our national interests. There is little doubt that Australia has transitioned to be a consumerist society with the national appetite satisfied through imported manufactured goods.20 This was reflected recently through the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s statement that he ’didn’t want to be Prime Minister of a country that doesn’t make things anymore’.21 Australia’s domestic manufacturing sector has diminished, replaced with cheaper goods produced overseas and delivered through maritime trade and commerce. In the 1960s imported goods were on average around 11 per cent of nominal domestic demand; after increasing steadily they now account for around 17 per cent of demand. However, and more concerning, from 2001-11, domestic manufacturing contracted by 2 per cent overall to represent 8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).22 While prices of imported goods have risen more slowly than domestic prices, the increase in the volume of imports has been even greater: an average annual growth rate of 9 per cent over the past decade. Import volumes have consequently grown very strongly over recent years. While this partly reflects a recovery in demand following the Global Financial Crisis, an unusually large proportion of recent demand has been met through higher imports, rather than domestically produced goods due to our reduced domestic manufacturing sector and cheaper prices of consumer goods from the global market. Part of the rapid growth in import demand for over the past decade reflects strong growth in incomes but also a domestic move away from manufacturing, with resources transitioning towards the resource sector following the international resource exports.23 This trend is particularly pronounced for investment goods. Accordingly, the average import intensity of demand has risen sharply in real terms. At the same time, the value of imports as a proportion of nominal GDP has actually declined, because import prices have fallen sharply over recent years. The bottom line is that the volume of imports is up, but value down due to a strong dollar. This creates a strong consumer demand for goods that is not able to be satisfied domestically in times of the high dollar due to start-up costs and cost of investment production when the dollar is high. Accordingly, the consumer demand, regardless of the exchange rate, will need to be satisfied with imported goods. This trend will continue noting that overall import prices in Australian dollar terms are now lower than they were over 20 years ago.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

To further highlight the declining domestic consumer good producing sector, since 2006-07 the number of exporters has decreased from 45,195 to 44,751 (or a 0.002 per cent decrease), whereas there has been a 6 per cent increase in the value of Australian exports.24 So whilst the value of Australian exports has risen, the number of those firms in Australia exporting has fallen.25 Equally whilst the value of goods exported by each industry increased, the number of exporters decreased. 26 Australian preferences have shaped the economy to a point where assured access to the global commons has no longer become a discretionary principle. We have shown that we enjoy a positive balance of payments; content nationally to rely on our minerals and resources exporters to provide this prosperity. Internally, this is where the labour and investment capital have been shifted resulting in an increasing consumerist demand with no domestic supply. So where do these goods come from? Aldi, Mercedes, Costco, Toyota and Samsung, among others. The list is long and generally all overseas consumer good producers. Equally, we have outsourced our petroleum producing capacity overseas with a reliance now on imported liquid energy to fuel our economy.27 Resources are now deeply invested in the booming resources sector. We may be a net food producer but we are a net food importer, all of which comes through the maritime commons. We need to therefore stop seeing the sea as a barrier to be overcome, and more as a highway of exchange and transportation if we are to capture the national interest and promote it as a source of national power.28 In security terms, as Australia appears to have adopted a national preference for a ‘no threat’ strategy in its security frameworks, both risk and reward come from access to the maritime commons or a strategy focused on the sea.29 It has evoked the questions: ‘How can we be prosperous without China? How can we be secure without America?’30 As a middle power, Australia must balance both to progress our national interests. It is through the sea and assured access to the maritime commons that we will satisfy both our domestic preferences and progress our external national interests. The interdependent nature of global maritime trade routes and energy supply chains means that trade and commerce through the Malacca and Hormuz straits, and the northern Indian Ocean are therefore now enduring sources of national viability and power. To assure Australian access to these markets, a necessity that has arisen through our preferences as a nation, a proactive maritime strategy needs to be adopted.31 This will also assist in creating opportunities in the maritime commons in partnership with other trading nations to secure Australia’s national interests because, as Colin Gray notes in assuring security, ‘there are no mechanical panaceas.’32 If we accept that Australia has made the preference to rely on market mechanisms and the global market, it becomes logical that we have created a deep reliance on access to the maritime global commons, both to earn export dollars and satisfy our internal consumerist demand

The sea as a source of national power

for our prosperity. Australia should be looking more to the sea as a source of national power to progress the national interest and take up the opportunities this access creates in the international system. In 2012, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN, challenged Australia on the need for a maritime school of thought.33 This paper responds to that challenge and acknowledges the need for a closer maritime consciousness based on Australia’s preferences, which now form the national interest. Australia’s future has been indelibly written through the political economic phenomenon known as globalisation, within which escalating economic interdependence fosters increasing global prosperity.34 Australia’s preference to be traditionally supported for security through a major power alliance system whilst simultaneously looking to trade and commerce as its means of assuring national prosperity is not a new construct, yet it is now that must be assured through gaining a greater maritime focus. Perhaps the reason we struggle to identify the link between our national security interest, and commerce and trade is that Australia does not have a strong history of mercantile culture, a fact evidenced by the continentalist school of thought that dominated the strategic security agenda throughout the 20th century. As a middle power, enduring peace and stability is in Australia’s national interest, which is to be managed through an active diplomatic dialogue, funded by international trade and underwritten by an alliance system. Australia’s preference has been to garner national income through the resources sector, funded through a reduction in the production of domestic consumer goods. Australia, therefore, needs to start to view the maritime as the key enabler to national prosperity; to do otherwise, as we traditionally have, does not recognise the preferences made as a nation. A lack of a maritime consciousness will not assure the national consumer demand is met, it risks wasting the opportunities presented by collaborating through the maritime global commons, and by extension of not meeting our economic needs both in accessing export resource markets and import consumer goods. To do otherwise threatens the national interest. Australia is girt by sea. This reality must be acknowledged through any strategic school of thought as Australia has chosen to now rely on the sea as the source of national power.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Notes 1 Peter Dodds McCormick, Advance Australia Fair, 1901. 2 Edward Hutton, Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute, The Royal Institute, London, 1902, p. 306. Hutton noted: The Defence of Australia cannot … be considered apart from the Defence of Australian interests. Australia depends for its commercial success and its future development firstly upon its seaborne trade and secondly upon the existence, maintenance, and extension of fixed and certain markets for its produce outside Australian waters. It therefore follows that Australian interests cannot be assured by the Defence alone of Australian soil. 3 Defined as per the Adelaide University Indo-Pacific Research Institute as ’the region spanning the Western Pacific Ocean to the Western Indian Ocean along the eastern coast of Africa.’ See Dennis Rumley (ed), The Indian Ocean Region: Security, Stability and Sustainability in the 21st Century, (13 September). 4 Australia in the Asian Century Task Force, Australia in the Asian Century: White Paper, Australia in the Asian Century Task Force, Canberra, 2012, p. 1. 5 Australia in the Asian Century Task Force, Australia in the Asian Century, p. 273. This is a historical reference to the Chinese trading system in 1500. The maritime or sea is only referred to in seven notations, of which only one is a non-traditional security reference. This indicates an ongoing lack of embracing the maritime as a source of national power at the grand strategic level. 6 James F Mikel, ‘National Interests: Grand Purposes or catchphrases’, in Naval War College Review, vol, 55, no. 4, Autumn 2002, (13 September 2013). In this Mikel posits two schools of national interest: the first being realist, and based on the military weight and power to apply the national interest; the second is broader, and includes issues relating to human security and holistic societal intangibles. This paper subscribes to the second school 7 Paul Kennedy, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, Random House, New York, 1993; and Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, Random House, New York, 1987. 8 Richard Menhinick, ‘Australia Sea-Blindness: An inconvenient Truth’, in Rhett Mitchell (ed), Australian Maritime Issues 2010: SPC-A Annual, Papers in Maritime Affairs no. 35, Sea Power Centre - Australia, 2010. 9 Gareth Evans, No Power? No Influence? Australia’s Middle Power Diplomacy in the Asian Century, speech, (13 September). 10 Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathin, Crooke, London, 1651, p. 120. 11 Australia in the Asian Century Task Force, Australia in the Asian Century, p. 227. 12 Richard Hill, Maritime Strategy for Medium Powers, Routledge, New York, 1986, p. 7. 13 Beatrice Heuser, The Evolution of Strategy, Cambridge University Press, London, 2010, p. 287. 14 Hill, Maritime Strategies for Medium Powers, p. 7. 15 Australia in the Asian Century Task Force, Australia in the Asian Century, p. 3 16 In trend terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $721 million in May 2013, an increase of $249 million (53 per cent) on the surplus in April 2013.

The sea as a source of national power

17 See Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Trade Matters, website, (13 September 2013). 18 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 5302.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, March 2013, website, (13 September 2013). 19 United Nations Task Team on Post-2015 UN development agenda, Global Governance and Governance of the Global Commons in the Global Partnership for Development beyond 2015, report, (13 September 2013). The four global commons are identified in international law as the high seas, atmosphere, Antarctica and outer space. These resource domains are guided by the principle of the common heritage of mankind. Geoffrey Till, Seapower, Routledge, New York, 2013. Till notes the four attributes of the sea a resource, a medium of transportation, a medium of information and a medium for dominion. 20 In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits rose $414 million (2 per cent) to $25,774 million. Consumption goods rose $357 million (7 per cent) and intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $351 million (4 per cent). Capital goods fell $290 million (5 per cent) and non–monetary gold fell $15 million (3 per cent). Services debits rose $10 million. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Jul 2013 (13 September 2013). 21 7.30, Kevin Rudd takes Leadership ‘with Humility and Energy, ABC News, report, (13 September 2013). 22 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Value of Goods and Services Produced by Australian Industry - Table 15.3, website, (13 September 2013). 23 In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits rose $414 million (2 per cent) to $25,774 million. Consumption goods rose $357 million (7 per cent) and intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $351 million (4 per cent). Capital goods fell $290 million (5 per cent) and non–monetary gold fell $15 million (3 per cent). Services debits rose $10 million. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Jul 2013. 24 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 5368.0.55.006 - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 201112, website, (13 September 2013). 25 For example, in 2011-12 there was a decrease in the number of Australian service exporters (down 327 or 10 per cent to 2937), this was primarily attributed to a fall in the number exporting services exports valued at ‘Less than $1M’ (being down 298 or 13 per cent to 2076). 26 The most notable decreases were in ’Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ by 87 (9 per cent), ‘Manufacturing’ by 241 (3 per cent) and ‘Wholesale trade’ by 64 (1 per cent). The number of ‘Medium’ goods exporters decreased by 177 (1 per cent) and there was a number of services falls in almost all categories, with the largest decreases being in ‘Manufacturing and Repair’, down 217 (39 per cent) and ‘Construction services’ down 102 (21 per cent). 27 John Blackburn, Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security: A Report for NRMA Motoring and Services, report, (13 September 2013).



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

28 Norman Friedman, Seapower as Strategy: Navies and National Interests, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2001, p. 4. 29 Hill, Maritime Strategy for Medium Powers, p 24. 30 Hugh White, ‘America or China: One Day We Will Have to Choose’, The Age, 28 May 13. 31 Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Australia’s Maritime Strategy, The Committee, Canberra, 2004, p. 2. 32 Colin S Gray, ‘Why Strategy is difficult’, in Joint Force Quarterly Journal, Summer 1999, p 6-12. 33 Ray Griggs, Chief of Navy address to the Submarine Institute of Australia, speech, (13 September 2013). 34 John Pruitt, The Influence of Seapower on the 21st Century, p. 3, (13 September 2013).

A Maritime School of Strategic Thought for Australia: Legal Considerations David Letts Consideration of the components that would contribute to a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia would not be complete if the legal framework within which such thought must necessarily be situated were not examined. As a maritime nation Australia has a variety of sovereign interests that can only be easily protected, asserted or enforced from the sea through peaceful or coercive means and regardless of whether such action takes place in a time of peace or when tensions have escalated.1 The issue is not one that just involves the RAN. There is clearly an impact on the operations of the Royal Australian Air Force as well as other commonwealth and state or territory agencies, and any output from a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must be situated within a whole of government context. Ultimately, Australia must be prepared to defend its sovereign interests through the use of military force, if needed, and the role played by the maritime environment in such defence should be self-evident for those that live in an island continent. However, in doing so, Australia must ensure its activities are at all times conducted lawfully. This paper will provide an initial overview of some of the key legal issues that will inform a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia. In keeping with the concept outlined during the seminar series conducted by the Sea Power Centre – Australia in introducing this topic, this paper intends to start a conversation rather than provide definitive answers to what are a series of complex legal issues, including: • the impact of increased regulation in the maritime domain • legal challenges of enforcing Australian sovereign rights in maritime zones that are subject to Australian domestic jurisdiction2 • protection of Australian sovereign interests in the region • the use of force by Australian forces at, and from, sea • the impact of emerging technology on naval operations and other activities in the maritime domain.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Increased Regulation There is an impact from increased regulation in the maritime domain. One key area in which this issue can impact on a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (LOSC), which regulate passage rights and these are of profound importance in the maritime zones that surround Australia.3 There are significant differences that arise in each zone and when constructing a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia it is relevant to consider these differences – in particular in so far as they might affect the operations of RAN vessels. Areas that have regularly been subject to differing points of view among regional states include the exercise of warship passage rights in the territorial sea, contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This has been exemplified by requests for prior permission/notification/authorisation for warships to conduct passage through these zones, despite the seemingly very clear language of LOSC in relation to the rights, immunities and privileges of warships in each of these areas. In a wider sense, the ability of states to conduct military activities in the EEZ, where high seas passage rights/freedoms exist, has also been subject to varying levels of disagreement and interpretation by states including those situated in Australia’s near region. Another aspect to consider is whether recent challenges to the ancient right of warship sovereign immunity are past of a trend whereby long-held and fundamental assumptions among so-called Western nations might impact on naval operations in the region. Simply put, is there going to be reluctance among emerging nations to permit warships the rights they have traditionally exercised? Indeed, noting that many of these rights are now enshrined, to a large extent, in both LOSC and more widely recognised as rights that exist under customary international law, what inferences can be drawn from recent events where such rights have been challenged? Although the concept of warship sovereign immunity is widely accepted in the international community, it can nevertheless be anticipated that as pressures mount in areas subject to regional dispute legal boundaries will be pushed as states seek to protect or assert their national interests in a manner that is, arguably, consistent with international law.4

Australian Domestic Jurisdiction A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must not only be concerned with international legal issues as the Australian domestic legal framework is equally important for a number of reasons, some of which are outlined below: • Recognition that the Commonwealth’s powers are limited by the Constitution provides a necessary constraint upon the types of outcomes

A Maritime School of thought for Australia

that a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia can legitimately pursue at the federal level. • There should be acknowledgement of the role played by Australian states and territories in developing, and being legally responsible for, elements of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia in areas such as port security and the immediate offshore environs of each state and territory under the Offshore Constitutional Settlement.5 • Contemplating the potential effect on a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia of the requirement that all legislation placed before the Commonwealth parliament is accompanied by a statement of compatibility and compliance with those international human rights obligations Australia is obliged to observe.6 Potentially, this requirement could impact maritime force acquisition decisions as there may be a need to factor into these the potential use of a platform in, for example, border protection operations so as to ensure the full suite of human rights obligations are met.

Protection of Australian Regional Interests A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia should recognise those aspects of legitimate Australian sovereign rights and outline, in broad terms, the occasions upon which those rights may lawfully be exercised. The impact of legal considerations regarding regional maritime disputes can, perhaps, best be identified by reference to the issues surrounding the intersecting claims that have been made to various areas of the South China Sea. China claims almost all of the South China Sea, which may be rich in oil and natural gas, pursuant to what can be considered an ambitious claim based on the so-called 9 dash line.7 China asserts an historical claim to almost the entire South China Sea, supported, according to China, by a number of international legal principles including LOSC Article 15.8 However, China’s claim is not alone, parts of the South China Sea are also claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam, all using a variety of legal measures on which to base their claims. Additionally, territorial disputes in the waters of the South China Sea have resulted in the use of force on a number of occasions in the past 30 years as regional states seek to assert their influence and maintain their claim. There have been calls from regional leaders for Southeast Asian nations ‘to find unity on the issue of the energy-rich South China Sea’ and make use of regional capabilities, such as ASEAN, to find a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea issues. However, China has publicly stated that it does not consider resorting to international arbitration is needed to resolve these issues, instead stating that the present maritime dispute with the Philippines could be resolved through ‘open minded channels.’



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The key legal issue that arises from the ongoing nature of the South China Sea disputes, and which confronts Australia in constructing a maritime school of strategic thought, is that the potential effect on the freedom of navigation of Australian-flagged vessels, or vessels that are engaged in trade to/from Australia, must be guaranteed to protect Australia’s economic interests. This means that a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must contemplate legitimate responses that might be required to ensure the safety of any vessels navigating the region in times of heightened tension. Responses may range from what could be considered the traditional role of escorting merchant vessels by naval forces through to the deployment of vessels (and, potentially, air assets) with capabilities able to assert rights through the use of various levels of force. It is not only boundary disputes that warrant attention. The use of international legal bodies to pursue Australian sovereign interests has occurred on a number of occasions, and at the time of writing a case involving Australia, Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening), is underway in the International Court of Justice.9 Australia has also appeared in two cases that have been heard by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, a forum where the Philippines have also sought to take its dispute with China over certain areas of the South China Sea.10 This demonstrates that while challenges to the international legal framework may exist, states in the region primarily tend to seek resolution of their differences within existing international legal regimes – albeit with differing views regarding the application of the legal principles involved. A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia might also need to be multifaceted in so far as the legal issues that affect Australia’s interests will differ due to the geographical characteristics of the continent. For example, there are completely different legal rights and obligations in place in the Antarctic to those that are found in the areas to Australia’s immediate north and north-east.11 Similarly, the vast expanse of ocean stretching between Australia and the African continent will invoke its own set of unique legal issues, such as those that arose during the apprehension of illegal fishing vessels in the late 1990s and early 2000s.12

Use of Force at Sea These pressures all point to a genuine need for a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia to clearly articulate which fundamental legal rights, freedoms and obligations are critical to the national interest and therefore must be protected in all circumstances. This analysis should also include an indication of the legal measures Australia would be willing to take in order to provide such protection. It should also consider what aspects of common legal understanding can be reached in terms of interoperability with coalition and/or regional partners.

A Maritime School of thought for Australia

As a responsible international citizen (and a current member of the United Nations Security Council) Australia is obliged to, refrain in [its] international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.13 The only circumstances where Australia can legitimately resort to the threat or use of force are those that comply with the requirements of international law. The most obvious examples are where the United Nations Security Council has expressly authorised the use of force, for example pursuant to a resolution under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, or where Australia is exercising its inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the same document.

Emerging Technology A further issue to consider is the impact of new technologies, including weapons systems and new platforms, in the maritime domain. It is quite conceivable that selfsustained and/or remotely operated vehicles will become commonplace in the region as technological advances are made and the cost of bringing new technology into service begins to reduce. The legal issues accompanying the use of such devices in the maritime domain, either by Australian or foreign entities, have the potential for complexity in a way not previously encountered. In relation to new weapons systems and platforms, there is a further legal issue to consider in determining whether they comply with Australia’s weapons review obligations under Additional Protocol 1 Article 36 and what steps, if any, are needed to ensure that legal compliance is achieved prior to such items entering service.14 At the strategic level, the legal impact of achieving domain control in a networked maritime environment is yet to be fully understood. However, the one issue that is clear is that sufficient thought regarding how these legal issues apply, and what responses might need to be contemplated in order to address them, will be paramount in constructing a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia.

Conclusion Legal themes affecting a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must cover whatever strategic defence concept is adopted by the government for the employment of Australian military forces in furthering Australian strategic interests. Notwithstanding the emergence of a more insular ‘Defence of Australia doctrine’ from time to time, Australian forces have been expeditionary in outlook. Regardless of which approach



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

is adopted, the need for a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia with a coherent legal basis that will support Australia’s legitimate sovereign interests will always be required.

Notes 1. For example, maintenance of Australian border security from threats of illegal activity, protection of Australian marine resources (both living and non-living), contributing to regional cooperation and undertaking activities that ensure that maritime trade to/from Australia can flow freely. 2 For example: dealing with unauthorised movement of people; protection of resources; prevention and suppression of crime; preventing or responding to terrorist threats. 3 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, 1833 UNTS 397. For example United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea 1982 articles 17,18 and 19 deal with innocent passage; articles 38 and 39 deal with transit passage; and articles 52, 53 and 54 deal with archipelagic passage. 4 The concept of warship sovereign immunity was recently considered by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the 2012 ARA Libertad Case (Argentina v Ghana) where the Tribunal stated, inter alia, that ‘a warship is an expression of the sovereignty of the State whose flag it flies’ and ‘in accordance with general international law a warship enjoys immunity.’ 5 Attorney General’s Department, Offshore Constitutional Settlement, (2 September 2013). 6 This requirement arises under the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, which states that a Bill for an Act, or certain legislative instruments, must have a statement of compatibility and compliance prepared in respect of that bill or instrument which addresses any human rights issues that result from the proposed legislation or instrument. Attorney General’s Department, Human Rights and Anti-discrimination, (2 September 2013). 7 This line was originally drawn as a ‘11 dash line’ in 1947 and revised to a ‘9 dash line’ in 1949 and it forms the basis of maritime claims made by both China and Taiwan in the South China Sea. 8 China has referred to the principles of discovery and pre-emption as supporting its sovereignty claims as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea 1982 Article 15, which provides a mechanism for delimitation of the territorial sea between States with opposite or adjacent coasts but stipulates, inter alia, that Article 15 does not apply ‘where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial sea of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith.’

A Maritime School of thought for Australia

9 See International Court of Justice, Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening), (2 September 2013). 10 Southern Bluefin Tuna Cases (Provisional Measures) and MV Volga (Prompt Release). See International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea List of Cases, (2 September 2013). 11 The Antarctic Treaty, ATS 1961, no. 12. 12 For example, Operation TEEBONE (hot pursuit of MV South Tomi in 2001) and the pursuit of MV Volga in 2002. 13 United Nations Charter Article 2(4). 14 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949; and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) of 8 June 1977, 1125 UNTS 3.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Creation of a Maritime School of Strategic Thought: A Long Overdue Concept Llew Russell The Chief of Navy (CN), Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, RAN, has suggested that consideration be given to a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia. This way of thinking strategically ‘must recognise the increased pervasiveness of maritime trade and our national dependence on it for our on-going prosperity’, which will give ‘the [Australian Defence Force (ADF)] a central role in a crucial national mission – the protection of our ability to trade – the very thing that underpins our national prosperity and security.’ The central focus of shipping policy is to facilitate trade. Efficient and productive supply chains should be the end objective. It is important to acknowledge that very little consideration is given to freight from a community perspective (other than the problems with heavy trucks and noisy trains); a challenge for the industry is how to gain public acknowledgement of the massive contribution freight transport makes to our economic development, especially sea transport. Only then can we expect governments to pursue the policy imperatives needed to improve our productivity and efficiency. Some data follows to underline that significance.

Facts and Stats In economic terms, total international trade in goods and services, is around $600 billion (or roughly half of Australia’s gross domestic product). Taking out air freight and trade in services leaves around $400 billion worth of trade carried by sea each year to and from our 79 ports (with 80 per cent of trade involving 20 of our main ports) around our 60,000km coastline. There are approximately 27,000 port calls by vessels per annum and it is interesting to note that the Australian search and rescue (SAR) region is around 10 per cent of the earth’s surface, or 16 million km2: both impressive and challenging. Our close neighbour New Zealand also has a massive SAR area. Australia has the fourth largest sea transport task in the world in terms of volume; by weight sea transport carries 99 per cent of Australia’s international trade. The mining boom may be easing, but it has some way to go. Even with a very modest growth of 5 per cent per annum, iron ore exports are expected to grow from 350 million tonnes in 2008-09 to 800 million tonnes in 2030. Coal will grow from 260 million tonnes to 700 million tonnes over the same period. In port terms, loading out of Newcastle will grow from 140 million tonnes of coal to 200 million tonnes within the decade and


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Gladstone is expecting ultimately to handle between 250 and 300 million tonnes by around 2040. But, it is liquid natural gas that will become our leading export by value with exports expected to hit 80 million tonnes by 2016-17. Container throughput is expected to grow strongly from around 6.7 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) to double that volume by the middle of the next decade (around 25 per cent are empty containers). Additionally, there are high growth rates expected for pure car carriers and cruise ships. CN has, in his speeches, listed a number of areas that must be recognised by a maritime school of thought, all of which make sense to me, one in particular is worth highlighting: it must also recognise the importance of collaboration and co-operation in keeping our global trading system free and open. No single maritime focused force can achieve this mission, there must be co-operative arrangements across the whole system. That will be a challenge for a whole-of-government school of maritime strategic thought, but a necessary one as only a holistic approach will achieve the right result. The joint approach between Defence and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for Border Protection Command is an important step in that direction. So is the Australian Maritime Defence Council, which is a council that has representatives from all major stakeholders and is chaired by the Deputy Chief of the Navy.

Hopes and Expectations A number of major policy issues impact on the maritime domain. A maritime school of strategic thought not only needs to consider these issues, but can also can make an important contribution to the debate if there is the right mix of ADF, industry, government and academic personnel represented at a level that can influence the debate. Environmental issues are very important for ports and shipping alike with noise, air quality, more environmentally friendly fuels, ballast water strategy and bio hull fouling all being part of the mix. For ports, dredging and material disposal are important issues in environmentally sensitive areas but ones that are also of vital interest to shipping. Shipping is the most environmentally friendly form of transport on a tonne/kilometre basis. However, international shipping continues to make every effort to reduce its carbon footprint and is aiming for a 20 per cent reduction in existing levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050. Slow steaming initiatives (where possible) have already contributed to a significant reduction in fuel consumption. An issue of considerable importance is the size of vessels arriving at Australian ports. Container vessels are increasing in size, in part, due to the cascading effect from the major East-West trades where monster 18,000TEU vessels are being introduced. The first fully cellular container vessel to visit Australia in 1969, Encounter Bay, was a

The creation of a maritime school of strategic thought

1200TEU vessel. Now, vessels up to 5000TEU are visiting Australian ports on a regular basis. Over the next five years, we can expect this size of vessel to grow to 6000TEU and even up to 7000TEU. Larger vessels will require deeper channels than presently available in our major capital city ports. An increasing number of Capesize dry bulk carriers will visit Australia to meet the increasing demand for iron ore and coal, with the ability to load 200,000 tonnes at a time. Increasingly we will see very large crude carriers transferring oil 200-300nm off our coast onto smaller vessels that can discharge in Australian ports. By 2015-16, over 50 per cent of visiting cruise vessels visiting will be unable to fit under Sydney Harbour Bridge. While the largest cruise ship to visit Sydney so far is the 152,000-gross tonnes (gt) Queen Mary II, it is only a matter of time before other behemoths such as the 225,000gt Oasis of the Seas, with an 8000-person capacity, venture to Australia. Even bigger cruise vessels are currently being built. Another important policy issue is port planning, infrastructure, port operations and the increasing privatisation of ports. The agreement between governments regarding the national ports strategy in 2012 was a major step forward but as is often remarked, ‘the proof will be in the pudding’. Chief executive officer of Ports Australia David Anderson has outlined the industry’s vision for an effective strategy: • Identified, reserved land/sea access and corridors (transparent and long-term fixed buffers). • 30-year planned national ports system (fully integrated with urban and jurisdictional plans). • Shortened approval times for expansions and new infrastructure (port, sea-channels and inland access). • Ease of infrastructure funding (process and availability). • Simplified and reduced port planning bureaucracy. • Improved productivity. Improved sea traffic systems are presently available and being progressed. Under keel clearance systems are available in many ports and in the Torres Strait to assist with navigation, as is vessel tracking in the Great Barrier Reef by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime Services Queensland Vessel Tracking Services in Townsville. Good work is being carried out by AMSA to forecast future traffic and give consideration to introducing new systems (such as sea highways) in the North West Management Plan and the evolving North East Management Plan. This will complement the new Electronic Charts Navigation Systems currently being introduced on all vessels in accordance with international agreement at the International Maritime Organization.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Initiatives and reform at all levels of government that affect the maritime domain should be a focus of attention. In particular, the new revitalisation of Australian shipping legislation that came into effect in 2012. The legislation sought to introduce equitable regulatory and fiscal arrangements applying to foreign-flagged vessels. There were significant changes to the current taxation regime that applies to Australian-flagged vessels, a new regulatory regime applying to coastal shipping and the introduction of a separate Australian international shipping register. Whether the reforms go far enough have yet to be determined. A task force was established to recommend ways of upgrading the training of seafarers and the merchant marine skills generally. This work is ongoing but it is worth noting there is a focus on assisting ex-naval personnel to be more easily integrated into the merchant marine and perhaps the reverse will also occur. AMSA has been closely involved in this work in terms of the standards required to be met. The rewrite of the 100-year-old Navigation Act 1912, which included making AMSA the sole regulator of all commercial vessels in Australia, was another very important reform. The ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 by Australia will do much to improve the welfare of seafarers visiting our shores and formed an important part of the Navigation Act 2012. The new freight strategies that have been introduced in New South Wales, and will shortly be introduced in Victoria, are worthy of detailed examination if Australia is to avoid port congestion in the future, simply because of our inability to cope with increasing cargo volumes on the landside. The new vessel arrival system introduced in Newcastle some years ago is also worthy of investigation. Whilst it has reduced the number of vessels waiting to load off Newcastle there are vessels drifting elsewhere waiting for their turn to be allowed to enter the anchorage. This ‘tour de horizon’ of current shipping policies and issues is designed to emphasise the possible scope of issues a maritime school of strategic thought might embrace. The objective is not to be all encompassing in terms of coverage of issues but rather to be aware of what is being addressed elsewhere, how effectively it is being addressed and what are the implications for the ADF in protecting our international trading interests.

Conclusion This brief paper has not touched on maritime security issues in Australia; piracy to our north, off Somalia and elsewhere; nor the vexing issue of refugees coming to Australia by boat as they are subjects that require further explanation in their own right. What is important is that the terms of reference and scope for a maritime school of strategic thought are clearly identified and agreed. Nevertheless, the 2013 seminar series was a first step on a road towards making the vision a reality. Those involved, particularly the Sea Power Centre – Australia, should be congratulated.

The creation of a maritime school of strategic thought

Finally, we also need to be aware of what is available elsewhere in the world in this dimension of thinking and to make use of other expertise. Collaboration will be the key to success.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Economic Benefits of Naval Shipbuilding Andrew Forbes The need for a local naval shipbuilding industry is a vexed policy issue for governments, one that involves national security and industry/economic considerations. As a gross simplification, from a national security perspective, governments will consider the strategic circumstances they face, what military forces are needed, and how and from where military equipment is purchased and maintained. If focusing on maritime issues, considerations might be on whether a brown, green or blue water fleet is required. From an industry and economic perspective, governments will consider the cost to create a naval shipbuilding industry, whether it is cost effective and sustainable, and its linkages to other industrial and educational/training sectors. Put simply, are naval ships needed? If so, where are they built and how are they maintained? And if this is done in-country, is the maritime/defence industry efficient and effective? These are important questions to add to the mix when considering a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia. In Australia, naval shipbuilding has always been problematic and historically has been a hybrid of vessels built overseas and at home, with local shipbuilding also being a hybrid of builds in both naval and civil dockyards.1 Beginning in earnest in 1912 and reaching a peak during World War II, local naval construction was marred after 1945 by lengthy delays and cost overruns. Causes were many, including foreign exchange difficulties; funding rescheduling; an inability to source technology, tools and equipment; inadequate investment in infrastructure; skills shortages; labour disputes; poor management; and the splitting of build orders between Cockatoo Island and Garden Island dockyards. During the 1960s and 1970s these seemingly intractable problems led to decisions to build some RAN vessels in foreign yards. The three Perth class guided missile destroyers were ordered from the United States, as were the first four Adelaide class guided missile frigates, while the six Oberon class submarines were built in the United Kingdom. To partially ameliorate this foreign expenditure, in late 1969 the government introduced an offsets program whereby foreign companies had to subcontract 20 per cent of work to Australian industry either within the specified project or any other defence project where local industry could supply the relevant items.2 The election of the Hawke Government in 1983 led to revitalised industry policies and a specific policy for defence industry through a new Australian Industry Involvement program. Thereafter, elements of an item being procured had to be manufactured, assembled, tested or set to work in Australia, or at least 30 per cent of the work had to be undertaken by local companies to encourage technology transfer.3 Equally important


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

were productivity improvements following the privatisation of the naval dockyards and the introduction of new management arrangements.4 Williamstown Naval Dockyard, for example, saw the end of demarcation disputes as the number of unions dropped from 23 to 3, union awards from 30 to 1, pay classifications from 390 to 2, and on-site allowances from 180 to 0.5 The final plank of this revitalised shipbuilding policy was a significant RAN re-equipment program, beginning in the late 1980s. For the next 20 years local content was set at approximately 70 per cent, and all ships were built in Australia. Beginning in 1987, the Australian Government signed a $3.9 billion contract with the Australian Submarine Corporation (now ASC) to build six Collins class submarines in Adelaide. This project involved a ‘section’ build of the submarine, introduced advanced welding techniques to Australia and has been compared in complexity to the building of the space shuttle. A $3.6 billion contract with Tenix followed in 1989, which saw ten Anzac class frigates built at Williamstown and introduced local industry to modular warship construction. Five years later, a $917 million contract with Australian Defence Industries resulted in the building of six Huon class coastal minehunters at Newcastle. This project introduced advanced fibreglass construction to Australia, and although the first hull was produced in Italy, the remaining five, plus systems integration occurred locally. Following on from construction of 14 Fremantle class patrol boats in the 1980s, a $175 million contract with the Cairns-based NQEA in 1996 produced two Leeuwin class hydrographic ships. This project involved the integration of multiand single-beam echo sounders, towed and forward-looking sonars, and satellite and terrestrial position fixing equipment into a complex survey system suite. And in 2003, a $553 million contract was signed with Defence Maritime Services for 12 (later 14) Armidale class patrol boats. Subcontracted to Austal at the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson, Western Australia, these vessels were built using civilian rather than military specifications, and introduced the notion of contractor provided, long-term logistic support to the RAN. It is difficult to accurately determine the specific economic impact of each of these shipbuilding endeavours, but an independent analysis has been undertaken of both the Anzac and Huon projects. Using both short- and long-run general equilibrium analysis models, the Anzac project was estimated to have increased Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by at least $3 billion over its 15-year construction phase, increased consumption by at least $2.2 billion over the same period, and created 7850 full-time jobs.6 For the Huon project the figures were respectively: $887 million over nine years, $491 million and 1860 jobs.7 Importantly, much of this economic benefit flowed directly to the regions where the shipyards were located or components were sourced. The Huon project, for example, awarded $160 million worth of contracts to companies in the Newcastle region, while the Anzac project involved over 1300 companies in Australia and New Zealand, with over 90 per cent being small to medium enterprises.8 Given the 70 per cent local content

The economic benefits of naval shipbuilding

requirement, the Collins, Leeuwin, Armidale projects would have delivered similar benefits proportional to their cost. Furthermore, the Collins and Huon projects were predicated on creation of greenfield sites, with purpose built infrastructure. This was not only used for the construction phases of each build, but may be used for maintenance and support of the ships during their service life. This investment in infrastructure, technology transfer, the skilling of personnel, and continued work for subcontractors and dockyard staff all provides a residual capacity in defence industry that assist bids for further shipbuilding contracts. The impact of all these shipbuilding projects on Australian defence industry has been significant. First (and where applicable), military specifications for parts are more robust than civilian specifications. In order to deliver a higher quality product, companies have been required to improve their business practices, strategic planning, research and development, staff training, manufacturing equipment, and quality assurance. Second, there has also been significant technology transfer, which may occur in a number of ways. At the high-end, foreign firms have either set up business in Australia to fill a local capability gap or formed strategic partnerships with local industry. On occasion local firms have also obtained a licence to produce foreign equipment. For less complex items, local companies might conduct original research and development to gain access to, or generate, new technology. Finally, improved business and management techniques have provided opportunities for local companies to improve the quality of their processes and products. By promoting a culture of continuous improvement, they have increased both defence-related and nondefence sales, opening up new domestic and export markets, while increasing productivity and lowering production costs. Export opportunities for ships built to RAN specifications have generally been limited, and although successful modernisation and upgrade designs have been developed within Australia, critically we still lack the complete design capacity needed to be a true naval shipbuilding nation. Progress has been made, nevertheless, with local industry now designing or building warships for the Philippines, New Zealand and the United States. As a result, the product lines of the companies involved have expanded and they have improved their export potential. Often forgotten in considerations of naval shipbuilding are the logistic support, maintenance and modernisation of these ships. A local build, combined with the retention of industrial capacity, normally allows for through life support at a lower cost than if the vessels had been built overseas, primarily because the parts and expertise are located in Australia and can be provided much faster than from an overseas supplier. As noted earlier, Defence Maritime Services has a contract to provide logistic support to the Armidale patrol boats throughout their service life. In December 2003, ASC signed a $3.5 billion contract for 25 years for through life support for the Collins submarines.9 Meanwhile,



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

the logistic support arrangements for the Anzac frigates are based on a 70 per cent local content requirement. With a ship’s lifespan likely to exceed 30 years, there will obviously be ongoing work for Australian industry. There are clear inter-relationships between the commercial and naval shipbuilding sectors. Thus, while the Australian Marine Complex focuses largely on commercial shipbuilding, it still undertakes repair and maintenance for RAN vessels worth about $100 million annually. This includes such complex undertakings as the refits of Anzac frigates and intermediate dockings for the Collins class. Important links with Australia’s research and development sector are encouraged particularly in Adelaide, which is now a defence industry hub in close proximity to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Salisbury. In late 2007, the Government signed two major contracts to begin the next phase of Australian naval shipbuilding. First, an $8 billion contract was signed with ASC and Raytheon to build three Hobart class destroyers in Adelaide. Although the ship’s AEGIScombat system has been purchased from the United States, there will be at least 55 per cent Australian industry involvement in the project.10 Second, a $3 billion contract was signed with Tenix for two Canberra class amphibious ships. Although the hulls will be built in Spain, about $500 million will be spent in Williamstown on superstructure construction and fitout, while up to $100 million will be spent in Adelaide on combat system design and integration work, employing more than 2500 people directly and indirectly.11 The South Australian Government invested $300 million at Techport Australia to develop a maritime industrial precinct that supports ASC while also providing common-user shipbuilding facilities, including a wharf, runway, dry berth, transfer system and the largest shiplift in the southern hemisphere.12 Naval shipbuilding brings economic benefits to the nation. The policy of building locally where possible results in increased GDP from capital investment, new infrastructure and employment, enhancement of the labour market, extensive technology transfer, export potential of parts and services, contributions to through life logistic support, and increased self-reliance for repair and maintenance.13 While the costs of local shipbuilding projects may seem expensive, we must remember that a large percentage of the expenditure remains in Australia, generating and maintaining jobs, skills and expertise that improves our defence independence and provides benefits to all Australians. If a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia is a whole of government and whole of nation concept, then consideration of the necessity for a viable naval shipbuilding industry forms a key contribution to the debate.

The economic benefits of naval shipbuilding

Notes 1 Australia had three major naval dockyards in the 20th century: •

Cockatoo Island Dockyard was purchased from the NSW Government in 1912 and was the principal naval dockyard for many decades. It was leased to the private sector (Vickers) from 1933 and built a variety of warships under contract and undertook the repair, refit and modernisation of the Oberon class submarines. In April 1987 the Australian Government announced it would not renew the lease, which terminated on 31 December 1992.

Garden Island Dockyard was transferred from the British Admiralty in 1913; it was predominantly involved in converting merchant ships to warships; and repair, refits and modernisation of Australian and allied naval ships. During the 1980s its prime purpose was to repair, refit, check, modernise and convert Navy surface ships and support craft, including design work and covering hull, propulsion, electrical, electronic, mechanical, weapons and command and control systems. In early 1986, it was recommended that it be formed into a public company (initially wholly government owned as Australian Defence Industries); it is now owned by Thales.

Williamstown Naval Dockyard was requisitioned from the Victorian Government in 1942 to provide the capacity to undertake both construction and repair activities. During the 1980s, its prime purpose was to construct naval ships, craft and small craft; while also being able to repair, refit, dock, modernise and convert RAN destroyers, and other ships and craft. In 1987 the Australian Government announced its sale and it is now owned by Tenix.

2 M Thomson, ‘Competition in Australian Defence Procurement’, in Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Growth 57: The Business of Defence - Sustaining Capability, Melbourne, 2006, p. 35. 3 Department of Defence, The Defence of Australia 1987, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1987, p. 80. 4 An incentive for the purchaser of Williamstown Naval Dockyard was a contract signed in 1984 to build two Adelaide class guided missile frigates. 5 Defence Industry Committee, The Australian and New Zealand Ship Construction and Repair Industry, Defence Centre, Canberra, 1995, p. 159. 6 Denise Ironfield, Tasman Asia Pacific Pty Ltd and Australian Industry Group Defence Council 2000, Impact of Major Defence Projects: A Case Study of the Anzac Ship Project - Final Report, Tasman Asia Pacific, Canberra, 2000, p. 47. 7 Tasman Economics and Australian Industry Group Defence Council (2002), Impact of Major Defence Projects: A Case Study of the Minehunter Coastal Project - Final Report, Tasman Economics, Canberra, 2002, p. 75. 8 Tasman Economics and Australian Industry Group Defence Council (2002), A Case Study of the Minehunter Coastal Project, p. 89; and Ironfeild, Tasman Asia Pacific Pty Ltd and Australian Industry Group Defence Council 2000, A Case Study of the Anzac Ship Project, p. v. 9 B Wylie, ‘Supplying and Supporting Australia’s Military Capability’, in Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Growth 57, p. 57. 10 Minister for Defence, Air Warfare Destroyers - The Foundation Laid [Media release], (11 September 2013).



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

11 Minister for Defence, $3 Billion Amphibious Ships Will Strengthen ADF, Boost Australian Industry [Media release], (11 September 2013. 12 See 13 Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Blue Water Ships: Consolidating Past Achievements, Canberra, 2006, p. 209.

A Maritime Strategy with Considerations for the Tourism Industry Peter Morris One of the tourism sectors that could be impacted significantly by any disruption to sea lines of communication is the cruise ship industry. Although this sector still accounts for only a small percentage annually of total visitors to Australia, it is growing fast, with ship visits doubling in the past eight years. Since 2008, when cruise tourism first returned more than $1 billion to the Australian economy, it has continued to grow (with only a small drop in 2010) increasing to 265 ship visits in 2012, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year. The increase in direct revenue to Australia is mostly due to the number of days passengers now stay in Australia during visits, an indication of the attraction offered by Australia to overseas visitors. Another significant factor is the recognition by cruise operators of the potential offered by Australia as a destination, based on the increasing number of cruise ship visits. Operators might also be attracted by the growing number of Australians who have chosen to take holidays on cruise vessels: 750,000 in 2012, an increase of 30-40 per cent over the previous year. Although cruise tourism remains somewhat of a niche industry within a broader tourism environment, the uniqueness a cruise offers could also protect it from the downturns and slow recovery rates experienced by other parts of the Australian tourism industry in recent years. Australia therefore is a lucrative market for the cruise industry, which contributes significantly to the local economy and offers a holiday option that is increasingly attractive to Australian people. Any disruption to the integrity and safety of this market, resulting in reduced confidence, could have a marked impact on the Australian economy.

Challenges Australia is subject to some challenges that could pose problems in eliciting commercial and other support for the development and pursuit of an active maritime strategy to protect commercial maritime activities. Australia’s defence industry is relatively small and cannot easily justify approaching broader industry to subsidise or support the enactment of a maritime strategy which protects commercial maritime interests, as it provides no commercial benefit for that industry. In the United States, where a significant defence industry and a significant


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

military force exist, garnering support from the defence industry for the funding of a protective approach and force would be more acceptable, as this kind of approach would be subsidising an entity that would consume its own services. Moreover, for Australia, all cruise ships are foreign built and owned, so there is less likelihood for Australian industry to own the problem. Australia has had little experience of the political and social turmoil, such as terrorist or insurgent activities, encountered by other nations in the region. This could result in a level of apathy toward addressing maritime security issues. As evidenced by Qantas, the aviation tourist market still predominates in Australia. This is for many reasons: air travel is cheaper and more readily accessible than cruise ships; space is limited in cruise ships; and the majority of the population prefers to travel by air, some to foreign ports where they then embark on cruises. The latter is usually a less costly approach. It is important to note that protecting the cruise industry is just protecting one form of import to Australia. Australia relies heavily on maritime imports, including many of the specialist goods and souvenirs offered to tourists. It may not necessarily require a specific protection strategy be put into place to address cruise tourism, but instead to address the broader question of maritime imports with a specific component related to protecting cruise tourism and passengers.

Other Dimensions The biggest hurdle with the development of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia, which acknowledges in part these challenges, is convincing people and industry that a problem actually exists. The only recorded terrorist incident against a cruise ship was in 1985 in the eastern Mediterranean, onboard MV Achille Lauro. Since then, reports have inferred that attacks ‘could take place’ and speculated on possible (post-11 September 2001) attacks, but nothing has transpired. The only other incident involving a cruise ship and insurgent activity was in 1961 when the Portuguese Santa Maria was seized by Portuguese rebels, a state matter. The fact that all cruise ships visiting Australia are overseas owned and built, and could be targets of disparate foreign policies should concern Australians, however, this does not make the challenge any easier. Another hurdle is the public perception that the RAN is a fighting force, part of the armed services and the defence effort. This is a traditional belief and the realisation that the Navy is there to protect Australian citizens is not as overtly evident. This needs to be corrected. In the United States, it is well known and advertised that US citizens worldwide will be protected by whatever means is available at the time. This is rarely questioned as to whether it is correct, possible or otherwise, or to what extent, but it is openly promoted and believed.

A maritime strategy with tourism industry considerations

The last significant hurdle is that of neglecting costs, which is another part of the international makeup that is a hallmark of the cruise industry. The ships are owned by other nations. As such, any relationships established by the RAN (such as intelligence gathering and sharing, and the establishment of protective involvement) would likely need to be synchronised with the government or entity who ‘owns’ the vessel. Sharing of information of this sort with third parties could divulge insight into Australia’s response methods and consequently weaken Australia’s efforts. Cruise ships also visit foreign ports and as such travel for part of their voyages within foreign waters. Who has responsibility in these areas? If Australia had to act to protect in these areas diplomatic intervention and negotiation would be needed, as currently they are the only recognised approaches. History has shown that mutual arrangements with other nations involving protective and possibly armed activities are not easily achieved and, even when struck, the definitions and understandings are usually under constant scrutiny and revision. The notion of establishing a common understanding amongst the many nations visited, or transited through, by cruise vessels sailing to and from Australia is complex and laden with risk. The variability in the way in which piracy alone can be dealt with between nations is indicative of the difficulties that would be encountered. Any possible protective involvement would also need to be low key (available, but not obvious) or it could be claimed that the protective effort was unnerving and upsetting for passengers. The ability therefore to disguise, but be able to deploy in a timely manner, would be difficult, not to mention any costs in the preparation and execution of this type of activity.

Possible Solutions Before looking at solutions, it is important to note that the cruise industry is just one part of the overall picture that needs to be addressed. Any new maritime strategic approach must address the protection of all maritime activities in the region and not just that part associated with the tourism industry. The first major initiative will have to be political/diplomatic. It will be essential to demonstrate to all nations likely to become involved that the value of cruise ships to nations is significant. Part of this discussion could reflect on the fact that any serious attack on a cruise ship will involve potentially large loss of life. As all cruise ships visit many of Australia’s near neighbours, an opportunity exists to develop a common understanding and agreement that it is in the mutual interest of all regional nations to protect this industry. It will be essential to develop this common understanding and salient commitment before anything will be achievable. As Australia already has significant rapport with our neighbours, this will provide a sound platform upon which to commence these discussions. This, as a result of so many parties with



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

political and social differences, will not be a trivial exercise and needs to be driven from top down. The use of trade agreements and existing co-operative funding and support arrangements would be a useful starting point in this area. Another significant challenge will be the redefinition of the Navy and supporting aspects of the Royal Australian Air Force into a multi-disciplinary role to offer protective services during peacetime. This will be a paradigm change, but after nearly a century of the traditional navy-armyair force structure, given the massive change in tactics, weaponry and technology, other structures must emerge that reflect this new need for other protective services, but without losing the predominant focus on national defence. This is necessary to match the changing threat matrix now presented by aspects such as insurgency, terrorism, social and cultural unrest, and economic disparity. Highly notable in this environment, is piracy. This could result in maintaining a strategic naval force focused on submarines, high technology and new methods of threat mitigation aimed at national defence, with a second tier comprising a coalition of forces addressing economic security (trade and tourism) and border protection. With this conscious degree of separation, it could present more solid justification for seeking industrial support for trade protection, and the better and broader protection of Australia’s economic assets. The Australian Federal Police (AFP), as a national organisation, with their experience in investigative activities and many activities around the region (Bali bombing, Timor Leste and their invaluable work in the prevention of illicit drug trafficking and people smuggling) should be a key part of this new structure that sits outside (but is still closely linked with and cooperates with) the armed forces. The final hurdle in this process will be the removal, or amendment of, jurisdictional boundaries between agencies. Although it is recognised and accepted that agencies must still retain core information relevant to their activities – their core functions – the pooling of key skills and knowledge from all involved agencies will be very important in managing any issues that might arise. International organised crime is typical of this jurisdictional issue. Currently, the AFP takes leadership for the investigation and mitigation of organised crime, but in any combined role, this responsibility could be shared between the AFP, Navy and Air Force, with seamless support. Industry might well be more interested in the funding of such a group, given its broadened scope, greater breadth of jurisdiction and imperatives to protect business interests, instead of pursuing different parts of the problem under separate agendas.

A maritime strategy with tourism industry considerations

Finally, this is not a suggestion to establish an Australian or Asian Department of Homeland Security. Ultimately the structure delivered will address regional security and economic trade protection within that zone. Unlike Homeland Security, any Australian-led structure could be expanded to include other parts of the regional nations as core stakeholders representing their own nations, in a common interest.

Conclusion It may be that restructuring to develop a new whole-of-government response group will need to predate the occurrence of the problem it is designed to prevent. This is without doubt speculative and could be met dismissively as without demonstrated basis or justified need by the broader business community. It is however, identical to the pre-planning carried out, the procurement and other costs incurred by the ADF in maintaining their equipment and skills for a future war or for that matter, an oil company rehearsing rig evacuations for an explosion that might never happen. It is essentially precautionary. The advantage of building this type of structure is that it is designed for a tangible purpose. It is not preparing for the possibility of some future war (intangible and of little interest to the business community), but to provide protection to a critical business and trade environment where the activities it addresses have been occurring in other parts of the world for years.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Filling in the Gaps: A Maritime School of Strategic Thought? Jenny Daetz Every human activity conducted in, on or under the sea depends on knowing the depth and the nature of the seafloor, the identification of any hazards that might exist and an understanding of the tides and the currents International Hydrographic Organization1 The RAN’s Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS) fulfils Australia’s obligation under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 and requirements under the Navigation Act 2012, by publishing official nautical charts and other hydrographic information required for safe navigation in Australian waters. This work is the ‘most fundamental of all the enablers required to develop and sustain the Blue Economy’.2 The blue economy is defined by the Maritime Alliance as the sum of all economic activity associated with the oceans, seas, harbours, ports and coastal zones.3 The Oceans Policy Science Advisory Group (OPSAG) report Marine Nation 2025 – Marine Science for Australia’s Blue Economy outlined the potential of Australia’s marine territory to contribute to the economy and to commence national discussion on how this could be achieved. At the launch of this report in March 2013, the major challenges facing Australia’s marine environment were stated. It was also highlighted that whilst marine science can be ‘a great strength’ it can also ‘be a vulnerability as there’s no single champion for marine issues in our national system’.4 ‘Economic studies show that the cost benefit ratio for national investment in hydrography and nautical charting is always positive and can be better than 1:10’.5 Nautical products are essential to support maritime transport; they provide essential information to the mariner regarding the ‘sea highway’ infrastructure. Seaborne trade and the cruise ship industry continue to expand, for example, an extra depth of as little as 30cm can allow a further 2000 tonnes more cargo per ship. A typical cruise ship delivers around $250,000 per day in revenue to host destinations as passengers spend on average at least $100 each day ashore.6 Hence, the aspiration for larger ships and expanding cruise opportunities. But larger, faster and deeper draught ships means new and safer routes need to be surveyed and charted to both facilitate the ships and safeguard lives and the environment. A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must take into account the importance and contribution of international hydrography to the global blue economy.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Australia’s Situation There were 30,500 commercial vessel calls in Australian ports in 2011-12, equating to more than $300 billion in trade and more than 99 per cent of total trade by weight.7 In addition, the sudden increase in tour ship operations seeking to visit picturesque, but inadequately surveyed water ways, is a contemporary challenge for Australia and countries in the region.8 The maritime environment is relatively unpredictable and the challenge is to remove as many uncertainties as possible. However as the ocean’s ‘infrastructure’ is largely out of sight, the majority of the population do not consider sea congestion or sea hazards with the same importance as land-based equivalents. To improve safety the International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandated the phased adoption of compulsory carriage of Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (ECDIS) from July 2012. Starting with all new passenger ships above 500 gross tonnes (gt) and new tankers above 3000gt, the remaining SOLAS class vessels will be required to implement ECDIS by 2018.9 In preparation for the IMO mandate’s introduction, the AHS produced 900 electronic navigational charts (ENC) in addition to the existing portfolio of 460 paper charts. Concurrently, the AHS is experiencing continuous growth in demand for hydrographic products and services whilst managing a larger chart portfolio with increased maintenance overheads. Some of this maintenance comes from the 25,000 pieces of information received annually to be assessed for navigation impact and charting action. Australia’s charting area comprises one eighth of the world’s surface, a total of more than 13 million nm2. With a coastline of 32,255nm, significant areas remain unsurveyed or poorly surveyed. Some of these areas are adjacent to future planned ports and offshore facilities.10 In short, the enormity of the task far outweighs the resources available to satisfy all requirements. Thus the AHS relies on involvement in Australian maritime advisory groups and on relationships with key maritime agencies in order to establish the surveying and charting priorities for Australia.

Engagements Australia lacks a dedicated body to develop an all-encompassing maritime strategy, especially as ‘Australia’s strategic centre of gravity has a significantly larger maritime component than most have envisaged in the past’.11 There is no one organisation to set overall priorities. Instead the AHS participates in a number of groups and meetings to determine the nation’s surveying and charting priorities. Of course the resultant program must also be balanced with the resources available from within Navy. Commonwealth and state agencies also contribute, but it is only as much as their jurisdiction, authority and resources allow and is largely influenced by interested groups both nationally and globally. Could the assembly of these disparate groups and agencies become part of a maritime school of strategic thought?

Filling in the gaps

By taking a brief look at a few of the groups and agencies with whom the AHS engages, it is clear that while each has a different strategic focus, all share the maritime domain as their common ‘centre of gravity’: • The Navigational Safety Advisory Group, convened by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has a focus on maritime safety. • The Joint Agencies Maritime Advisory Group, chaired by the Commander Border Protection Command, has a focus on security. • Ports Australia represents the interest of ports and marine authorities in Australia with a focus on trade. • OPSAG, convened by the Australian Institute of Marine Science has a focus on marine science. • Other agencies which include: Australian Antarctic Division, with a focus on research and sovereignty; International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, with a focus on tour ship access; Geoscience Australia, with a focus on mapping and boundaries; and Shipping Australia, with focus on the Australian maritime industry. This is by no means a complete list but demonstrates the AHS’s reliance on a number of working and interest groups to assist in determining the surveying and charting strategic priorities of each body. It is often at these forums where the requirements are first learned for new charts to support new or expanding ports, new products such as detailed berthing ENCs, or updates to existing products such as new boundaries or shipping fairways. It is at these forums that AHS learns of changes to threat assessments, trends in vessel tracking systems, changing rates of supply and demand, new technologies, scientific discoveries, political whims, environmental sensitivities, and economic opportunities. All of these influence the development of new products or services, and the surveying and charting priorities. Armed with this information and Defence priorities, an annual surveying and charting programme, Hydroscheme, is developed and endorsed by the Chief of Navy, and is reviewed annually in order to remain current. But the programme is only as good as the information available.12

Achievements Examples of action taken by the RAN in consultation with maritime agencies to meet strategic goals have included surveying and charting of Hydrographer’s, Flinders and LADS passages in the Great Barrier Reef, as follows: • Hydrographer’s Passage, east of the Whitsunday Islands, saves 500nm for a round trip between Australia’s coastal coal ports and Asian trading partners as well as reducing the amount of time spent inside the reef.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

• Flinders Passage, near Townsville, provides direct ocean access for ships using that port. • LADS Passage reduces the amount of traffic required to use the relatively narrower and longer inner route through part of the reef by providing a shorter, deeper and straighter route between Cape Melville and Cape Grenville. The benefits are threefold: for some vessels it removes the tidal window restrictions; allows faster transit; and assists fatigue management by allowing the master and pilot to rest, a key factor for avoiding maritime incidents.13 The AHS continues to consult the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to determine new priority areas. Another priority area is the Torres Strait. Considerable effort is being afforded by the Navy’s Hydrographic Fleet, in particular the recently upgraded survey motor launches, to completing special order surveys to support AMSA’s Under Keel Clearance Management system. This system has been implemented by AMSA in this particularly hostile and environmentally sensitive area as a navigation aid for large ships transiting the Torres Strait and relies on extremely accurate hydrographic data.14

Challenges and Opportunities In addition to informing relevant agencies of priorities and changing priorities, the concept of a maritime school of strategic thought may potentially open up opportunities for aligning processes and, in the case of the AHS, could provide alternate means for gathering reliable hydrographic data for charting purposes. For instance, a relatively small yet significant opportunity is the sharing of data. Most data collected for hydrographic purposes is often of value to another agency, and the data collected by other agencies and organisations, could with little extra effort, value add to safety of navigation. When it comes to ports, harbours and commercial installations, the AHS already relies on the responsible authority or commercial company to submit the relevant hydrographic information and bathymetric data for inclusion on the chart. From a commercial perspective there is often a concern about sharing commercially sensitive information, but the AHS just want to update the navigation chart with bathymetric data and hazards for the benefit of all mariners. Thus, the reliance on relationships and agreements with industry for mutual benefit.15 In addition to Commonwealth and state government agencies, research and scientific bodies, and key maritime industry organisations, any maritime school of strategic thought would also need to take into account international organisations and considerations. Shipping is inherently global, yet significant challenges remain in achieving an open data exchange to support safer navigation. In addition to areas within Australia’s charting responsibility there also exists bodies of water that are

Filling in the gaps

adjacent Australia’s area of responsibility which require attention for the purpose of safety of navigation. However, without the responsible state’s approval, they are not able to be progressed. Nautical products also need to be produced to internationally recognised standards so they provide seamless coverage to the mariner. Many neighbouring states do not have the means to provide charting coverage for their ports, harbours and approaches yet their livelihoods depend on the growing cruise ship industry and increased trade opportunities.16

Conclusion Obtaining and disseminating hydrographic knowledge is the role of the world’s hydrographic surveyors and nautical cartographers. But this work cannot be done in isolation from the rest of the maritime community; hydrography is an enabler to economic success, especially the blue economy. Nor can it be done in isolation from neighbouring hydrographic authorities; relationships built through consultation and participation in relevant advisory groups is, from an AHS perspective, the key to understanding Australia’s strategic priorities. Assuming the purpose of a maritime school of strategic thought is to capture the ‘intellectual basis for a maritime strategy’ then it could be argued that this institution does not already exist as an all-inclusive one, but the foundation elements are in place and bringing them together is the challenge.17

Notes 1 International Hydrographic Organization, ‘The Need for National Hydrographic Services’, IHO Publication M-2, ver 3.0.1, October 2011, p. 9. 2 International Hydrographic Organization, ‘World Hydrography Day – 21 Jun 2013’, (1 May 2013). 3 The Maritime Alliance, San Diego Maritime Industry Report 2012, (1 June 2013). 4 T Motmann, ‘Marine Nation 2025: Marine Science for Australia’s Blue Economy’, in Integrated Marine Observing System, (1 Jun 2013). 5 International Hydrographic Organization, ‘World Hydrography Day’. 6 International Hydrographic Organization, ‘World Hydrography Day’. 7 Ports Australia, ‘Commercial Vessel Calls: Total for 2011-12’, (5 July 2013); and Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Regional Economics, Statistical Report; Australian Sea Freight 2009-10, < publications/13/Files/Australian_sea_freight_2009_10.pdf> (15 January 2012). 8 Jenny Daetz, ‘The Importance of the AHS to Seaborne Trade’, Paper delivered to the RAN Seapower Conference, Sydney, 2012. 9 International Maritime Organization, ‘Maritime Safety Committee, 86th Session: 27 May - 5 June 2009’, (5 March 2012). 10 Jenny Daetz, ‘The Importance of the AHS to Seaborne Trade’. 11 Ray Griggs, ‘Australia’s Maritime Strategy’, in Australian Defence Force Journal, no. 190, 2013, p. 8. 12 Australian Hydrographic Service, ‘Hydroscheme 2011-13’, (30 June 2013). 13 Jenny Daetz, ‘The Importance of the AHS to Seaborne Trade’. 14 Australian Maritime Safety Authority, ‘Under Keel Clearance Management System’, (1 May 2013). 15 Jenny Daetz, ‘The Importance of the AHS to Seaborne Trade’. 16 International Hydrographic Organization, ‘World Hydrography Day (WHD) 2011 &Theme for WHD 2012’ Circular Letter 43/2011, (30 November 2011). 17 Ray Griggs, ‘Australia’s Maritime Strategy’, p 7.

Maritime Thinking in Foreign Affairs and Trade Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Our region is traversed by some of the most significant and busy maritime trade routes in the world; for many countries in our neighbourhood, the sea is central to their prosperity. Consequently, many regional security issues can be traced back to issues of maritime sovereignty. Throughout history, nations have vied for access to resources, sea lines of communication, and the protection of ports and coastlines. These security questions remain, underpinned by competition over resources, a sense of increasing nationalism in some countries, and an adjustment in the power relativities that have supported regional prosperity since the end of the Cold War. The efficient flow of trade free from interdiction or harassment has been key a key contributor to the economic development of our region. For more than 50 years, this freedom of navigation has been underpinned by the comprehensive power of the United States and its navy. However, the rise of China, India and other countries raises new questions about how different nations will contribute to the security of the global maritime commons. Evidence can already be seen of greater competition for access to fisheries and seabed energy resources with potentially significant consequences for the fragile ecological health of the world’s oceans. Australia has a longstanding commitment to active middle power diplomacy, with a focus on practical problem-solving, effective implementation and collaboration with like-minded states. Yet, as the Asian Century White Paper identifies, Australia will have a more difficult time achieving its regional goals without strong framework of regional multilateralism. This includes the evolution of resilient and responsive frameworks mandated to manage the region’s maritime interests. Should a lack of regional confidence be found in multilateral mechanisms countries may seek stronger and more rigid alliance structures to protect their sovereignty and interests. The combination of regional insecurity and increasing affluence has already prompted several regional nations to acquire asymmetric military capabilities, including advanced anti-ship missiles, which underlines the importance of effective regional dialogue and confidence-building initiatives to minimise the risk of miscalculation leading to conflict. In the centuries before European colonisation, states in our region conducted trade from China to the Middle East by land and sea. The colonial period redrew the map of trade routes and shifted the centre of global commerce for two or more centuries to the


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Atlantic. However, the re-emergence of Asia has restored those old flows, redrawing historic trade links between the Indian and Pacific oceans and drawing the globe’s economic centre of gravity eastward once more. As a nation dependent on maritime trade, Australia’s foreign policy framework has become more mindful of the relevance of the Indo-Pacific, rather than East Asia or even the Asia-Pacific, as the crucible of Australian security. This strategic construct reinforces India in our regional strategic approach, underlining the crucial role that the Indian and Pacific maritime environments are likely to play in our future strategic and defence planning. The Indo-Pacific includes our top nine trading partners. It embraces our key strategic ally, the United States, as well as our largest trading partner, China. It reinforces India’s role as a potential strategic partner for Australia and it brings in the big Asian economies of Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as the diplomatic and trade weight of ASEAN. Australia and other regional powers also need to work to reaffirm the importance of the role that rules and institutions can play: to find common ground, prevent escalation and manage disputes, and build a sense of common interests. Institutions such as the East Asia Summit (EAS) have the capability to underpin regional multilateral resilience and effectiveness. EAS members account for 55 per cent of global gross domestic product and half the global population. Further, eight EAS members are in the G20 and there are three permanent members of the UN Security Council, who, along with India, possess four of the five largest armed forces in the world. As it grows and evolves, the EAS could serve three functions that support Australian and regional interests. First, it can help ensure that regional financial and economic integration continue to progress. Second, it can build confidence and help nurture a culture of dialogue and collaboration on security issues that have the potential to derail regional prosperity. Third, it can provide a vehicle to address transnational issues like climate change, resource and food security, non-proliferation and terrorism. Many of these issues have elements that fall under the umbrella of maritime security. Other regional groupings such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus provide a platform to discuss and progress the management of maritime contingencies. Ensuring the integrity and resilience of these forums remains our best defence in the protection of the prosperity and security we enjoy today. At an operational and strategic level, Australia supports mechanisms to help manage disagreements and handle incidents at sea before they become a crisis. In regional terms, this includes support for developing a code of conduct for relations in the South and East China seas.

Maritime thinking in foreign affairs and trade

Non-traditional security issues also require multilateral cooperation and collaboration, many of which cannot be solved unilaterally: terrorism; natural disasters, such as the Asian tsunami and the impact of extreme weather events; illegal fishing; piracy; the smuggling of drugs, people and goods; and the looming and for some, existential, security challenge of global climate change, the full maritime repercussions of which we have yet to understand fully. Piracy is an issue that calls for, and has recently received, global multilateral attention. While there is some way to go, regional efforts have been effective in reducing the impact of piracy and armed robbery at sea in Southeast Asia, including through the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). On 3 August 2013, Australia acceded to ReCAAP and through it will continue to strengthen information-sharing and capacity-building efforts that are crucial to the management of the region’s shared maritime domains. Current events on the Korean peninsula also highlight the importance of regional and global cooperation on another key maritime security issue: counter-proliferation. The bulk of illicit trade in sensitive components related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is by sea. As such, Australia strongly supports initiatives to control the proliferation of dangerous dual-use technologies to contribute to the peace and security of our region, and further abroad. The Proliferation Security Initiative has expanded to include 102 endorsee states and represents an important contribution to collective global efforts for stopping the proliferation of WMD and related materials. In as much, it also provides a model for many non-endorsee states in conducting counter-proliferation activity, and to recognise the need to promote coordination in this area to overcome concerns about a lack in national capability. Resilient and dynamic regional architecture and respect for international law must form the cornerstones of our collective response to the protection of our oceans’ health. The world’s oceans and marine environments are under considerable stress from habitat destruction, ocean acidification, overfishing, marine pollution and impacts of climate change. Australia recognises that healthy oceans and marine resources are vital to sustained global growth, including key concerns such as the food security and livelihoods of millions of people in our region. As such, Australia is committed to taking action to improve the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans and marine resources through global and regional action. Australia also supports developing an international instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 to address biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

At the Rio+20 conference in June 2012, UN members, non-governmental organisations and representatives of the global business community met in Rio de Janeiro to develop plans to increase the sustainability of global development, including the management of the world’s oceans. At the conference, members including Australia committed to protect and restore the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations in accordance with international law. Taking forward the Rio+20 outcomes on oceans will require increased cooperation globally as well as regionally. Australia supports enhanced regional collaboration on oceans governance, food security and poverty alleviation through concrete activities such as the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security which includes Indonesia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Malaysia. International defence engagement is another important strategic pathway for all maritime countries in the region to build cooperation and collaboration. The formalisation of security agreements, joint operations, port visits, training, familiarisation visits and technology transfer arrangements help to build mutual respect, trust and cooperation between defence organisations, militaries and nations, as well as adherence to international norms. As well as promoting technical proficiency, the range of international exercises in which Australia participates help in shaping our strategic environment, and in building trust and confidence between participants. In conclusion, maritime security matters to Australia. It is a cornerstone of prosperity for our nation and the region. Multilateralism built on pillars of dynamic and responsive regional architecture and the primacy of international law will strongly contribute to the security of our regional maritime commons and ensure our prosperity now and into the future.

Maritime Transport Security 2025 Christopher Swain This paper contributes to the conception of a maritime school of strategic thought for Australia by focusing on the nation’s strategic outlook for preventive security regulation of the maritime transport industry against the risk of maritime terrorism and unlawful interference.1 It examines the potential impact of strategic drivers of change on the Australian and international maritime transport sector out to the year 2025 and identifies potential maritime transport security implications that may warrant further consideration by the Australian Government and the maritime transport industry. The paper considers a range of trends and their potential implications, but does not make specific predictions of the future nor make specific recommendations to industry or government. It provides hypotheses not conclusions.

Sea Power and Maritime Transport Security Naval theorists have long recognised the strategic and tactical links between sea power and maritime transport security, particularly in relation to the constabulary role of navies. In 1889 Alfred Thayer Mahan noted: the ships that thus sail to and fro must have secure ports to which to return, and must, as far as possible, be followed by the protection of their country throughout the voyage. He also claimed that ‘the necessity of a navy … springs from the existence of peaceful shipping’. Recent international counter-piracy efforts validate this strategic observation, and demonstrate the tactical synergies between ship security measures, approved by regulators and implemented by industry, and naval and coastguard patrols and other operations, not least in relation to the benefits of shared maritime domain awareness. In Australian waters, the constabulary role of Border Protection Command, comprising the RAN and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, underpins the security of the sea lines of communication (SLOC) against a range of civil maritime security threats, and complements the preventive security regulatory framework, administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, within which government agencies and the maritime industry safeguard against unlawful interference.


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Maritime Transport Security Regulatory Framework As an island nation, the maritime industry is an essential element of the Australian way of life. Safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally sustainable maritime transport operations are critical to maintaining Australian economic prosperity, and our enviable reputation for maritime safety, security and environmental management. The Australian maritime transport industry directly employs over 7000 people, and with over 130,000 maritime security identification cards (MSICs) in circulation supports the livelihoods of many more. The sea accounts for 99 per cent of Australia’s international freight movement by volume, and 76 per cent by value. Over 4000 vessels visit Australian ports each year, carrying the world’s fifth largest shipping task. Around one quarter of the domestic freight task is carried by ships, and movement of cargo on the ‘blue highway’ provides an environmentally sustainable transport choice and an alternative to other surface transport systems such as road and rail. Ports are central to most Australian coastal cities, function as infrastructure hubs, and play a vital role in Australian economic and social life, handling almost 27,000 domestic and international port calls and over 800 million tonnes of international sea freight every year. The oil and gas industry, including offshore oil and gas facilities, and supporting maritime infrastructure and transport, accounts for around 20 per cent of Australia’s total energy production, 2.5 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product and $28 billion in revenue. The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 and associated regulations establish a regulatory framework to safeguard against unlawful interference with maritime transport, centred on the development of security plans for ships, other maritime transport operations such as ports and port facilities, and offshore oil and gas facilities. Maritime industry participants must conduct security assessments to identify risks and vulnerabilities; once identified security plans are developed to address them. These plans are subject to regulatory approval and ongoing enforcement, and are supported by legislative measures such as control of maritime security zones, MSICs, screening and clearing, powers of officials and private security personnel, reporting obligations, and enforcement through criminal offence provisions. This framework was established following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and against MV Limburg on 6 October 2002, and give effect to Australia’s international commitments under the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) Chapter XI-2 and the annexed International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. These instruments build on the existing international legal framework for maritime security, found for example in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, and the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and related 1988 and 2005 protocols. The maritime

Maritime transport security 2025

transport security regulatory framework is an important component of the Australian Government’s approach to enhancing critical infrastructure resilience to all hazards through preparedness, prevention, response and recovery. It is also a key supporting element in managing some of the civil maritime security threats outlined in the Guide to Australian Maritime Security Arrangements. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport, takes an intelligence-led, risk-based, and outcomes-focused approach to administering this regulatory framework in close cooperation with other government agencies and maritime industry participants, encouraging voluntary compliance to achieve shared maritime security outcomes. In the decade since the introduction of the ISPS Code, government agencies and maritime industry have worked together to make a significant contribution to the achievement of maritime security outcomes. The next 15 years will see further significant changes in a number of areas.

The Strategic Outlook for Maritime Transport Security People and population People and population growth will present great opportunities for the Australian maritime industry. A larger Australian population will result in increased demand for imports and coastal trade. A larger global population will result in increased demand for exports. Yet increased inequalities between global populations may drive conflict. Australia will face an ageing workforce even as our overall population grows, leading to long-term demand for skilled workers, large-scale migration of skilled young people and an increasing need for human capital investment. In the maritime sector, this may require the alignment of maritime security skills, training, qualifications and certification across national and international jurisdictions. Increasing trusted insider vulnerabilities will need to be managed. Growth in recreational maritime activities such as pleasure cruising and yachting, urban encroachment of port facilities, and larger mass gatherings at iconic locations at destination ports and on board ships will present security challenges. This may lead to international cooperation to standardise passenger screening requirements between port states, a greater focus on front-of-house security measures and more inclusive port security planning.

Resource management Effective resource management will continue to drive Australian economic prosperity. Australia’s import and export freight task will increase and change in composition due to higher population and increased demand. There will be more and larger ships, new



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

ports and new ways of using them, and more maritime and offshore oil and gas critical infrastructure. This may present opportunities to apply security-by-design principles to achieve cost effective security outcomes. The effects of energy scarcity may become more pronounced, with energy resources increasing in value and vulnerability, prompting the development of alternative energy sources. There will be more reliance on natural resources in more remote regions and access to scarce natural resources will become more contested. The stable and secure supply of natural resources will increasingly rely on the continued stability and security of Australia’s SLOC, which will extend the maritime transport security frontline beyond the ship-port interface. Extreme weather events may increase in frequency and intensity, sea levels may rise, and there may be new policy and political responses to concerns over climate change.

Technology Technology will generate new maritime security opportunities: ubiquitous computing, intelligent video analysis, container security technology, screening technology improvements, identity security, remotely-operated vessels, remote security operations, robotics and autonomous systems, better maritime domain awareness, and e-navigation. There may be technological solutions to many current and future problems, depending on the uptake of new and existing technology and ethical considerations. Technology will create new maritime security challenges: through overcoming existing security measures; identity theft and impersonation; cyber security and cybercrime; data exfiltration and manipulation; and network, system and process vulnerability. Over-reliance on technology may continue to create human factor vulnerabilities.

Information and knowledge The ability to manage information and knowledge will continue to drive competitiveness. The internet and computer technology has given the world better and faster access to information than at any other time in history. This may lead to exponentially increasing advantages to those organisations that can network capabilities and share information, rapidly exploit that information to generate situational awareness and knowledge, and have the organisational agility to use this knowledge to achieve faster and better outcomes than competitors. Security management systems may provide a dynamic and agile approach to achieving maritime security outcomes. There is an increasing need to generate better shared maritime domain awareness across government, industry and the community, based not only on technical solutions but also on better business processes. There will be significant advantages in identifying and networking maritime security capability elements within and

Maritime transport security 2025

between government, industry, and the community. The development of social media as a communication tool may provide enhanced opportunities to share information and involve the community in preventive security, but it may be misused by people or organisations that are ill-informed or ill-intentioned, for example to amplify the effect of a maritime security incident.

Economic integration Australia’s national security is indivisible from its economic security; prosperity provides the means to ensure national security, which in turn underwrites economic security. Economic integration enables greater resilience but may bring greater exposure to risk. The short-term global economic outlook is highly uncertain, with elevated catastrophic risks, but there are positive long-term growth prospects for Australia. Australia is geographically well positioned to take advantage of strategic shifts in the global economic centre of gravity, and will benefit from economic prosperity and growth in China, India, Indonesia, and elsewhere in our region. The diffusion of ownership will continue, with further privatisation and investment in Australian natural resources and maritime infrastructure by a broad range of multinational companies. Global owners may increasingly assert their stake in local issues and solutions, which will have implications for maritime security planning and incident management. Governments and communities are likely to continue to expect owners and operators to play a leading role in ensuring the security and resilience of critical infrastructure, and commercial considerations are likely to play an increasing role in determining security outcomes.

Conflict Competition over scarce resources will continue to drive conflict and challenges to Australian sovereignty by nation states and non-state actors. Groups and individuals willing to use terrorist methods to achieve political outcomes are likely to continue to target Australians, our interests and our allies. Terrorism is a methodology and not an ideology. New groups and individuals may emerge with the capability and intent to engage in politically-motivated violence or conduct terrorist attacks, potentially including state-sponsored, issues-motivated, home-grown and lone-wolf attackers. These attacks are likely to involve new tactics and targets. Non-terrorist threats to maritime transport security will also grow, including piracy, transnational serious and organised crime, and issue motivated groups. There may be an increasing risk of complacency and security fatigue. However, the potential impact of a significant security failure will remain high. This underlines the importance of a layered approach to preventive security with



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

standards developed from a sophisticated evidence-based understanding of the proper employment and effectiveness of security measures to reduce critical infrastructure vulnerabilities.

Governance and leadership Effective governance and leadership will continue to be required. Public policy development will be increasingly democratised, and countries may become increasingly interventionist in response to transnational problems and perceptions of failed governance. Jurisdictional vulnerabilities may drive greater domestic and international standardisation, and harmonisation in maritime transport security arrangements. Transnational problems will continue to require transnational solutions. Australia will need to continually re-examine the extent to which it has effective frameworks for harnessing various capability elements to develop truly collaborative government, industry and community approaches to maritime security. This may include information sharing, national coordination mechanisms, strategic policy settings, operational policy development, plans and measures, compliance and enforcement, and incident management. As a prominent maritime nation and an influential diplomatic middle power, Australia may have numerous opportunities to exercise leadership to positively influence the global maritime security environment through: the UN system, including the Security Council and the International Maritime Organization; multilateral treaty mechanisms; practical multilateral engagement; informal multilateral groupings; regional groupings and partnerships; coalition and alliance mechanisms; bilateral treaty mechanisms; and practical bilateral engagement and capacity building.

Conclusion The continued security of commercial maritime transport underpins Australian economic and social prosperity, and thus sea power and maritime transport security each provide the means to enable the other. A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia must therefore recognise that the constabulary role of sea power complements the preventive security regulatory framework within which government agencies and the maritime industry safeguard against unlawful interference. In the future, global population growth will lead to increased competition for scarce resources, and this may lead to conflicts that challenge Australian maritime transport security. Increasing global economic integration, changes in technology and information, and knowledge management may increase our exposure to these conflicts but may also enhance our ability to manage any challenge encountered. Our ability to rise to those challenges may ultimately depend on the quality of our governance and leadership.

Maritime transport security 2025

One thing is certain: continued collaborative leadership within and between government and industry is necessary for Australia to respond confidently to maritime security challenges and benefit from whatever opportunities the future may hold.

Notes 1 This paper is based on an edited extract of an issues paper prepared for the Maritime Security Strategic Forum (MSSF). The membership of the MSSF includes government and industry participants, representative bodies, and unions in the port and shipping sectors. The secretariat is provided by the Office of Transport Security within the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Maritime Strategy for the Australian Defence Force Australia’s Strategic Environment Australia is part of a dynamic, transitioning Indo-Pacific region that is a primarily maritime environment characterised by extensive archipelagos, porous yet contested borders and territories, valuable offshore energy resources and marine infrastructure, extensive exclusive economic zones, and internationalised sea lines of communication. Australia is connected to the global economy through the maritime environment, and the viability of seaborne trade and commerce is fundamental to our ability to sustain and advance our national wealth. Continued access to the global maritime commons through maritime and cyber access is a further key requirement for sustaining Australia’s economy. These considerations also offer a set of strategic opportunities for the Australian Defence Force to deepen our regional partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific region during a period of accelerated economic and military development. Of particular importance to the Maritime Strategy are energy imports and exports from key production and refining nodes that support Australia’s terms of trade. Many of our important trading partners in the region - China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore - also rely on access to the maritime global commons for their energy security. The interdependent nature of global trade routes and energy supply chains ensures that sea trade and commerce through the Malacca Strait, Strait of Hormuz and northern Indian Ocean are of enduring strategic interest to Australia and its regional partners. As outlined in the 2013 Defence White Paper, the Indian Ocean is now surpassing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as the world’s busiest trade corridor. Australia shares an increased economic, military and political interest in free and open access to these interconnected global trade routes and corridors. The archipelagic nature of our near region also highlights the importance of the littoral environment for future operations by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This complex operating environment requires a versatile and adaptable force that integrates assets in the land, sea, air, space, and cyber domains to concentrate military effects through highly networked and interoperable systems. The ability to manoeuvre, deploy and sustain force elements in the littoral environment to our north also has significant implications for the future structure and posture of the ADF. In the current international environment there are a number of strategic trends that must be considered inimical to a purely continental focus that has often defined Australian military strategy. In particular, the emergence of regional missile and cyber capabilities and Australia’s reliance on access to the global commons for economic prosperity may allow an adversary to indirectly threaten significant portions of our


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

national power without committing to major conventional military attacks against continental Australia or its territories. Therefore, actively promoting cooperative regional security architectures, which protect international laws and unfettered access to the global commons is a critical investment in shaping a positive strategic environment for Australia. This requires a shift away from 20th-century concepts of continental defence behind an air-sea gap, or containing large-scale enemy amphibious lodgements on Australian soil. A maritime strategic view of the Indo Pacific Region regards the seas and oceans that surround the continent as corridors and connectors to a wider, internationalised space rather than barriers. This maritime space provides significant opportunities to deepen and expand the range of ADF peacetime military and security activities in support of Australia’s strategic interests.

The sea Lines of communication within the Indo-Pacific region. Whilst there is an obvious focus on the international security and trade systems to our north, the Southern Ocean, including Heard and McDonald Islands and the Antarctic territories stretch Australia’s national interests to the south. Despite their remoteness from the Australian mainland, they are of significant national interest and require consideration in the Maritime Strategy. The ADF has an ongoing role in support of Government efforts aimed at sustaining Australia’s Antarctic presence and claims. This is consistent with contributions made by the ADF to a wide range of national peacetime tasks.

The maritime strategy for the australian defence force

The United States Alliance as Part of our Maritime Strategy The key benefits of the US alliance are outlined in the 2013 Defence White Paper. In the context of our Maritime Strategy these benefits include: preserving the peace and stability of the maritime global commons, providing Australia with access to intelligence sharing opportunities and key technologies crucial to the force in being, providing opportunities to deepen alliance and regional interoperability, and access to critical military supplies in the event of a crisis. Since the United States announcement of force posture rebalancing to the Pacific region, including the rotational US Marine Corps presence in Darwin, Australia has been presented with an opportunity to further integrate allied command and control, situation awareness, sustainment and force projection capabilities across a number of critical domains in the maritime environment. These opportunities are practically illustrated through the ADF’s bilateral and multilateral exercise and training engagements with the United States, and our demonstrated ability to make concurrent scalable military contributions in support of our alliance commitments and regional relationships.

The Ends in a Maritime Strategy for the Australian Defence Force It is Australia’s strategic preference to adopt a maritime, rather than an overtly aggressive or continental approach to formulating our military strategy. The Maritime Strategy for the ADF seeks to mitigate strategic turmoil or major conflict by contributing substantial efforts to the following ends: • A potent and prepared ADF that is effectively structured and postured to achieve its principal tasks. • Free and unfettered access to the maritime global commons. • Maintenance of existing international norms and a rules-based global order. • Stability in the immediate, regional and global security environments. Duly, the Maritime Strategy is not a continental, naval or an air power strategy. The strategy is consistent with our status as a middle power that prefers to shape its strategic environment through persistent and pervasive international cooperation on issues of mutual interest such as maritime security. The Maritime Strategy requires naval, air and land forces to operate in concert to influence and shape strategic events through the maritime environment by the astute application of military power. Implicit in the Maritime Strategy is the ability of the ADF to combine with US force elements for operations covering all four principal tasks, and deploy effective forces in partnership with other states for regional and global contingencies.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

The Ways in a Maritime Strategy for the Australian Defence Force The ways we choose to achieve our strategic ends in the Maritime Strategy are through integrated military activities within the context of our principal tasks. The Maritime Strategy has unilateral and combined dimensions to how we conduct these integrated military operations or activities in all four Principal Tasks. The ways of our Maritime Strategy can be drawn from a range of strategic response options such as shape, understand, defend, protect, secure, assist, deny, deter and defeat. These response options require the integration of capabilities and command structures across the five domains to optimise the effectiveness of ADF command and control, situational awareness, force projection and strategic lift assets in the maritime environment. There are four key ways the Maritime Strategy seeks to achieve our desired strategic ends: • Understand and Shape. An enhanced Defence posture that promotes understanding and the ability to positively shape key security relationships in our near region and deepen our engagement with our strategic partners. This aims to build confidence in the region and work towards assuring agreed access for promoting strategic military interests in the near region. This is achieved by growing closer military relationships and confidence building measures on maritime security issues, and via continued development of established regional security architecture. • Defend. A defensive strategic intent that optimises the projection of our available maritime power, including for proactive military operations, in both independent and coalition contexts. This defensive intent seeks to deter and defeat coercion or attacks directed at Australia, assure our access to global trade and commerce, and act decisively to maintain stability in our region. Should a military attack develop against Australia, we will seek to deny adversary forces access to forward operating bases and the freedom to operate within our maritime approaches. This includes defeating an opponent’s ability to conduct conventional strikes from the periphery of our immediate region. It is important that our strategy provides sufficient time, space and protection to enact the alliance and provide the option of expanding our military power, through the process of mobilisation, during an in extremis event such as a major conventional military attack on Australia. • Secure and Assist. Making substantial contributions to the security of the immediate and wider region is fundamental to our maritime strategy. The ADF must have the capacity to lead operations aimed at securing or

The maritime strategy for the australian defence force

assisting the immediate neighbourhood and maintaining the stability of states in our northern maritime approaches. The ability to deploy tailored contributions to regional and global security at Government’s discretion is a key facet of this strategy. • Protect. The ongoing requirement to contribute to national protection tasks, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), and countering asymmetric threats is an enduring feature of our Maritime Strategy. Close cooperation with our major ally and strategic partners on protecting free access to the global maritime and cyber commons is also a fundamental way to achieve our ends in this strategy. Achieving these ends must include substantial contributions to protecting our access to critical trade routes and supply chains through the global commons. The ways we apply military power in this maritime strategy emphasise a cooperative approach to shaping our regional security environment. Nonetheless, this approach is underpinned by potent core capabilities that support our deterrence effect, protect our sovereign decision-making against coercion and serve as a basis for mobilisation. The Maritime Strategy emphasises the importance of securing Australia’s territories and national wealth, and making effective contributions to the protection of international maritime trade routes and regional stability. Implementing our strategy through the principal tasks requires the ADF to posture, structure and prepare for military activities in the maritime and littoral environments as the primary means for enabling the attainment of our strategic ends and ways.

Implementing the Ways of the Maritime Strategy through the First and Second Principal Tasks As force structure determinants, the first two principal tasks require the ADF to be structured to deter, deny and defeat direct attacks against Australia in an alliance context, and be capable of leading stability operations in the immediate region. The Maritime Strategy requires the ADF to hold a balanced force structure for the first and second principal tasks to accomplish the defence of Australian strategic interests in an archipelagic context. In particular, through the application of focused sea and air control operations that facilitates a range of scalable land-force manoeuvre options in potentially uncertain environments. Understand the strategic environment. The peacetime focus of activities in the first and second principal tasks is primarily aimed at increasing our understanding of the strategic environment. This includes maintaining effective situational awareness of our maritime approaches and states in the northern littoral, monitoring Australia’s critical



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

trade routes, and contributing effort towards shaping resilient security architectures in our near region that support or enhance international norms and maintain a stable security environment. This requires the ADF to be interoperable within whole-ofgovernment and alliance contexts. Shape the strategic environment. Shaping activities in all four principal tasks are interconnected. They contribute to a favourable security environment that sustains national wealth and may prevent the need to conduct a direct military defence of Australia. Particularly, through supporting military capability partnerships or activities that build capacity, confidence, and add depth to our own strategic security. There are number of priority tasks for Australian Defence Force shaping and influencing engagement activities: • Lessen the likelihood of conventional state-based attack on Australia or its interests, maintain open access to the maritime global commons, or reduce the likelihood of a major power conflict. This includes continued building of extensive and deep regional engagement architectures, based on tailored confidence and capacity building measures. • Lessen the likelihood of direct threats to Australia that are not bounded by geography, particularly terrorism, ballistic missiles, cyber, spacebased threats and threats from weapons of mass destruction (WMD). • Decrease strategic uncertainty or instability in the region, promote transparency, accountability and respect for international norms and laws.

Deepen regional partnerships Military and Defence activities such as international engagement, assisting regional indigenous capacity building, peace and stability operations, and HADR all contribute to the development of positive relationships that lessen the likelihood of an armed attack against Australia or our interests. They can therefore be seen as important ongoing investments in our military contributions to national security. Assistance by the Australian Defence Organisation in developing capacity, capability, and confidence in our region is important in deepening our key strategic partnerships. It is preferable that these approaches build on proven engagement programs that have demonstrated success and provide a solid basis for deepening cooperation.

Defend the nation The first principal task requires the ADF to provide potent, credible and prepared core forces and systems to deny an adversary’s access to, or ability to control, the key routes through the northern maritime environment. This includes being able to unilaterally achieve the localised air, land and sea control necessary to enable littoral

The maritime strategy for the australian defence force

manoeuvre within an uncertain threat environment. The ADF must also be capable of projecting sufficient maritime power independently, or in partnership with others, to defend Australia’s offshore territories and our unique interests.

Secure the immediate region The force structure of the ADF in this Maritime Strategy must facilitate a lead role for Australia in maintaining stability in our immediate region. The ability to lead and mount expeditionary stability operations in the immediate region is an essential contribution to the ways we achieve our strategic ends. Preventing instability in our immediate region remains a key goal of our strategic policy; Defence contributes to this by proactively crafting tailored assistance packages and initiatives that enhance individual state’s abilities to manage crises, police their boundaries and territories, and improve the human security of their citizens. A successful example of this type of tailored assistance is the Pacific Patrol Boat Program. Some examples of operations that the ADF will be required to contribute joint forces to, in the first and second principal tasks, include maritime surveillance and security of our offshore energy resources, expeditionary stability or disaster-relief responses, and the protection of the maritime global commons. Additional activities may also include military exercises; border protection tasks; capacity or confidence-building initiatives; and cooperative efforts aimed at countering transnational crime, cyber attacks or the illegal extraction of resources.

Implementing the Ways of the Maritime Strategy through the Third and Fourth Principal Tasks There is an enduring requirement to understand the regional and global security environments in order to provide discretionary military response options to Government. The 2013 Defence White Paper identifies intrastate conflict in the Middle East as a continuing source of strategic risk in the short to middle term. Equally, supporting allied and multinational operations in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East necessitates maintaining a global security presence. The Maritime Strategy seeks to link our enhanced international engagement priorities in the regional and global environments with our strategic security objectives to ensure efficient prioritisation of Defence resources. Continued investment in information assets or relationships that contribute to understanding, and accessing, the critical operational domains in the wider security environment remain a priority to achieving these objectives.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Protection of the global commons The ADF is required to make contributions to protecting Australia’s access to specific routes through the maritime global commons that are critical to sustaining our economy. Deeper cooperation with the United States and strategic partners on protecting free access to the global maritime and cyber commons is a fundamental element in this strategy. This includes protecting our access to vital ADF supply chains and the movement of military supplies through the maritime environment during periods of instability or crisis. Working in partnership with our ‘Five Eyes’ partners to protect our critical information and cyber networks within this construct remains a key requirement of our strategy.

Contributions to regional stability It is unlikely that Australia will be called on to lead military contingencies in the third or fourth principal tasks. However, the ADF must be prepared to make effective and scalable contributions as part of the third principal task, particularly in the areas of maritime security operations, HADR missions, stability operations and counter terrorism. These tasks may include the security of maritime trade routes, infrastructure, non-combatant evacuations, and humanitarian or recovery operations that may be led by other major international actors. The deployment of ADF assets to support these activities will be considered on a discretionary basis. Nonetheless, the critical core capabilities that enable interoperable command and control, situational awareness, strategic lift and force protection missions will be vital to formulating any future options for Government.

Tailored contributions to global security The ADF and Defence role within the fourth principal task may be part of wholeof-government or multilateral efforts and could include significant contributions to defeating terrorism, maintaining stability, and preventing WMD proliferation. Contemporary examples of these operations include ADF support to counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, and Australian contributions to United Nations and coalition stability operations throughout the Middle East. Situational awareness capabilities are crucial to the effectiveness of these contributions, as are the specialised skills of interoperable land-force elements such as special forces and conventional ground combat units. The Maritime Strategy recognises the requirement for Defence to closely cooperate across Government, and with our international security partners, to defeat global terrorism and support anti-proliferation initiatives.

The maritime strategy for the australian defence force

The Means to Enable the Maritime Strategy: Posture, Preparedness, Presence and Structure Defence’s posture comprises both physical and political dimensions. The physical dimension of ADF posture includes preparedness, presence and structure. Our alignment of the physical elements of ADF posture with Australia’s political posture provides the means for Government to effectively deploy military power and attain our strategic objectives. Our political posture can be defined as the intent and will to use the physical dimension of military power in pursuit of Australia’s national interests. Political posture also includes demonstrated commitment to investing in the physical elements of Defence’s posture and the sources of Australia’s national power.

Australian Defence Force posture Holistically, an effective posture ensures the ADF maintains a sustainable capacity to deliver a prepared force. This is achieved through the management of preparedness which: • provides resources to understand and shape Australia’s strategic environment • provides effective contributions within the limits of allocated resources, to meet Government requirements in response to changes in Australia’s strategic environment • requires the coordination of force generation activities to achieve prescribed baseline training standards for core ADF warfighting functions • maintains the core baseline capabilities as a sound basis for expansion through mobilisation should the strategic security environment deteriorate.

Preparedness and structure Defence requires prioritised preparedness levels and balanced force structures that enhance versatility and agility across the principal tasks. Efficient structures and preparedness levels facilitate Australia’s lead role in responding to emergent strategic risks or opportunities in the first and second principal tasks. An efficient ADF preparedness regime is also important to mitigating the potential effects of a strategic shock. Similarly, a balanced ADF structure allows adaptation for a wide range of missions and allocation of military weight from Principal Tasks one to four. Additionally, implementing an enhanced regional engagement program that utilises our maritime and amphibious capabilities is a significant opportunity within the modernised force



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

structure of the Australian Defence Force. The ability to deploy scalable, prepared and interoperable force elements as part of a flexible Australian Defence Force amphibious capability will also be crucial to forming effective response options for government in the event of short warning conflicts, regional instability or major humanitarian crises.

Presence The geographic disposition of Australia’s military forces and critical infrastructure must reflect the need for deeper regional engagement, and a persistent and pervasive presence in areas of strategic importance to Australia. These areas include the critical maritime trade routes through the global commons, our northern approaches, and certain littoral and oceanic zones in the immediate region. The range and endurance of our sea, land and air capabilities are an important planning factor in calculating presence, as is their dependence on significant infrastructure, information and international supply chains. ADF domestic presence must also support national tasks such as protecting our northern borders, energy supply routes, ports, air bases, and offshore energy infrastructure.

Mobilisation and Industry Mobilisation and industry are important considerations for supporting our capacity to sustain and implement a maritime strategy during times of peace, instability and conflict. Historically, Australia has preferred to hold a relatively small ADF that is capable of expansion through mobilisation processes in response to major or in extremis military threats. Select core capabilities within the force in being need to be maintained at adequate levels of baseline preparedness during periods of peace. These core capabilities are necessary to: resist coercion and maintain credible levels of deterrence, serve as a basis for further force expansion, and provide the broadest range of military response options to Government for discretionary or short-warning conflicts. Industry has important roles in contributing to the capability of the force in being, forging strategic capability relationships, and assisting any military expansion that occurs through the four stages of mobilisation.

Mobilisation Credible, graduated mobilisation plans provide additional substance to our military deterrence effect and provide a firm basis for planning that encompasses both shortwarning contingencies and in extremis, potentially catastrophic, events with longer strategic warning times such as a major military attack on Australia. The ability of the joint force in being to establish the strategic conditions necessary in the maritime environment to protect, generate and sustain an expanded force may be decisive in conducting a successful defensive strategy in the highly unlikely event of a direct major military attack on Australia.

The maritime strategy for the australian defence force

Industry The role of Defence industry in the Maritime Strategy has three important aspects. The first is effective contributions that sustain or enable the posture, presence, preparedness and structure of the ADF across a diverse range of military operations. The second is to seek opportunities to further our strategic capability partnerships in the region. The third aspect is the ability of industry to support the augmentation and enhancement of the force in being through the four stages of Defence mobilisation.

Conclusion The Maritime Strategy conceptualises how we will actively shape our security circumstances and defend Australia and its vital elements of national power in current and future strategic environments. It provides a foundation for refining Australian Defence Organisation planning regarding operational concepts, military expansion through mobilisation, and fostering deeper cooperation with our region. It identifies the centrality of the alliance, and integrated ADF activities in the maritime environment, to protecting our security interests and shaping Australia’s strategic circumstances during the Asian century. Above all, it establishes the linkages between our strategic ends, the ways selected by ADF to pursue these ends, and the means at our disposal to achieve these in a maritime context.



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

ANNEX 2 Maritime School of Thought Seminar Dates, Locations and Attendees Seminar 1 16 April 2013 Sea Power Centre - Australia Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Captain Justin Jones, RAN

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Rear Admiral James Goldrick, RAN (Rtd)

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Dr David Stevens

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Mr Andrew Forbes

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Group Captain Mark Hinchcliffe

Air Power Development Centre

Dr Albert Palazzo Commander Guy Blackburn, RAN

Land Warfare Studies Centre Military Strategy Branch

Mr Tim Neal

Military Strategy Branch

Dr Sanu Kainakara

Air Power Development Centre

Dr Doug Kean

Office of National Assessments

Mr Richard Bitzinger

S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore

Mr Raoul Heinrichs

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University


A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Seminar 2 21 May 2013 Curtin University Perth, West Australia Captain Justin Jones, RAN

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Commodore Peter Lockwood, RAN

Royal Australian Navy

Commander Byron Williamson, RAN

HMAS Farncomb

Professor Sarah Percy

University of Western Australia

Dr Alexey Muraviev

Curtin University, Western Australia

Adjunct Professor Mack McCarthy

University of Notre Dame

Major General John Hartley (Rtd)

Future Directions International

Professor William Hutchinson

Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Mr Jeff Corkill

Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Mr Lloyd Hammond

Defence Science and Technology Organisation

Major Mike Stewart

Department of Defence

Mr Chris Cubbage

Asia Pacific Security Magazine

Mr Peter Morris

Rottnest Island Authority

Mr Roger Clarke

Royal United Services Institute of Australia

Dr Chris Hubbard

Curtin University, Western Australia

Mr Robert Guy

Curtin University, Western Australia

Ms Philippa Van Wanrooij

Curtin University, Western Australia

Marc Yearwood

Curtin University, Western Australia


Seminar 3 27 May 2013 Australian Command and Staff College Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Captain Justin Jones, RAN

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Dr David Stevens

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Mr Andrew Forbes

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Brigadier Michael Ryan

Strategic Planning - Army

Group Captain Mark Hinchcliffe

Director Air Power Development Centre

Dr Albert Palazzo

Land Warfare Studies Centre

Commander Guy Blackburn, RAN

Military Strategy Branch

Mr Tim Neal

Military Strategy Branch

Captain Ivan Ingham, RAN

Australian Command and Staff College

Commander Rick Boulton, RAN

Australian Command and Staff College

Commander David Mann, RAN

Australian Command and Staff College

Dr Norman Friedman

Independent Strategist

Commander David Hobbs (Rtd)

Independent Historian

Dr John Blaxland

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University

Dr Peter Dean

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University

Mr Stephen Prince

Royal Navy History Section

Mr Andrew Shearer

Victorian Department of the Premier & Cabinet

Air Vice Marshal John Blackburn (Rtd)

Independent Consultant

Mr Kerry Smith

Australian Fisheries Management Authority



A Maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

Seminar 4 6 June 2013 Russell Offices Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Captain Justin Jones, RAN

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Dr David Stevens

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Air Commodore Tony Forestier

Military Strategy Branch

Brigadier General Michael Ryan

Strategic Planning - Army

Group Captain Mark Hinchcliffe

Air Power Development Centre

Dr Albert Palazzo

Land Warfare Studies Centre

Mr George Bailey

Military Strategy Branch

Dr Michael Evans

Australian Defence College

Commander Guy Blackburn, RAN

Military Strategy Branch

Mr Tim Neal

Military Strategy Branch

Brigadier Will Taylor

United Kingdom Defence Attaché

Dr John Blaxland

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University

Dr Peter Dean

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University

Mr James Brown

Lowy Institute for International Policy

Mr Bill Elischer

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mr Jim Neely

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Associate Professor David Letts

College of Law, Australian National University

Commodore Jack McCaffrie, RAN (Rtd)

ANCORS, University of Wollongong


Seminar 5 27 June 2013 Fleet Headquarters Sydney, New South Wales Captain Justin Jones, RAN

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Dr David Stevens

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Rear Admiral James Goldrick, RAN (Rtd)

Sea Power Centre - Australia

Commodore Jonathan Mead, RAN

Surface Force, Fleet Headquarters

Commodore Stuart Mayer, RAN

Navy Strategic Command

Group Captain Geoff Shambrook

Headquarters Air Command

Captain Jenny Daetz, RAN

Deputy Hydrographer Australia

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Langford

Strategic Planning - Army

Dr Albert Palazzo

Land Warfare Studies Centre

Professor Robert Ayson

Victoria University, Wellington

Dr C Raja Mohan

Observer Research Foundation, India

Mr Rory Medcalf

Lowy Institute for International Policy

Mr Martin Hoffman

Deparment of Resources, Energy and Tourism

Mr Bill Elischer

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mr Ezekiel Solomon

Allens Linklaters

Mr Owen Hegarty

Tigers Realm Group

Mr Llew Russell

Shipping Australia

Mr Simon Walstrom


Captain Chris Skinner, RAN (Rtd)

Submarine Institute of Australia

Professor Joe Siracusa

RMIT University

Associate Professor David Letts

College of Law, Australian National University

Mr Will Hobart

Lowy Institute for International Policy



Perspectives - Royal Australian Navy

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