Defending Australia: a history of Australia’s defence white papers

20 August 2015

PDF version [1.15MB]

Nicole Brangwin, Nathan Church, Steve Dyer and David Watt
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section 

Executive summary

  • Australia published defence white papers in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2009 and 2013 and a new white paper is expected in 2015.
  • A community consultation process was undertaken as part of the 2000 and 2009 defence white papers and a similar process is being carried out for the upcoming 2015 defence white paper.
  • The need to defend Australia against a major aggressor remains the primary driver in Australian defence policy.
  • Regional security and contributing to the global order have been secondary, but still important priorities in Australian defence planning.
  • Each of the defence white papers has been created on the basis that Australia should be able to defend itself against a potential aggressor without outside assistance (the principle of self-reliance), while at the same time stressing the importance of the alliance with the United States.
  • Threat perceptions have changed from the Cold War influences reflected in the 1976 and 1987 white papers to a contemporary focus on terrorism while also incorporating emerging threats such as cyber attacks and the rise of China.
  • Defence white papers are not produced in a vacuum but are informed by key reviews of Australia’s strategic situation, industry policy and force posture.
  • Defence policy is subject to the broader economic conditions of the time and the Department of Defence must contend with many other priorities for government funding.
  • The financial plans set out in the various defence white papers are often ambitious and rarely brought to fruition.
  • On the whole, capability choices have displayed continuity between the different white papers regardless of changes in government. This is understandable given the length of time required for major capital equipment acquisitions.
  • Recent white papers have placed a greater emphasis on regional engagement.
  • The contribution of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, as well as to border protection activities, has also been included in the most recent white papers.

The purpose of Australia’s defence white papers
Historical context: 1870–1976


Australian Defence (1976 Defence White Paper)

The Defence of Australia (1987 Defence White Paper)

Defending Australia (1994 Defence White Paper)

Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force (2000 Defence White Paper)

Australia’s National Security: a Defence Update 2003, 2005 and 2007

Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 (2009 Defence White Paper)

Defence White Paper 2013 (2013 Defence White Paper)



The authors would like to thank Marty Harris, Peter Jennings, Paula Pyburne and Laura and Graham Rayner for their valuable assistance in the preparation of this Research Paper.


This paper provides a summary of each of Australia’s defence white papers issued between 1976 and 2013 and seeks to draw out common themes that emerge in some or all of them. The background provided to each white paper is necessarily selective—in particular, it generally excludes discussion of reviews pertaining to the organisation of the military and civilian components of Australia’s Defence organisation.

Given the scope of this topic, this paper does not attempt to provide a comprehensive history of Australian strategic policy. Instead, this paper considers some of the key strategic issues and influencing factors that directly relate to the production of the various defence white papers. It provides a comparison of different government policies relating to defence and considers whether the stated objectives and outcomes of each white paper were fully, or even partially, realised.


Australia’s defence white papers originate from the Westminster model whereby government strategic policies are enunciated publicly through white papers. According to the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament’s website, white papers contain ‘government policy initiatives and proposals for legislation’.[1]

Prior to the release of a white paper, the British Government traditionally produces a ‘green paper’ to promote discussion on key topics as part of a consultation process, after which a white paper is produced.[2] The government of the day then presents the white paper to Parliament as a way of announcing key government decisions in key policy areas. At this point, the white paper is referred to as a ‘command paper’ because it is presented to the Parliament ‘by Command of Her Majesty’.[3] There is no formal definition of what constitutes a white paper but it is commonly accepted as a statement of government policy.[4]

In the Australian context, white papers are similarly described as:

... papers or reports which embody a statement of the government’s policy or proposals on some topic of significance, e.g. defence, health insurance. These papers tend to be more common in the federal Parliament than in state parliaments. The term ‘white paper’ derives from the Imperial Parliament where different types of papers are distinguished by the colour of their covers. ‘White papers’ are usually smaller documents which do not warrant binding in the stiff blue covers used for more extensive documents.[5]

The distinctive white cover is no longer used. The Cabinet Handbook states, as a general rule, that white papers are used to announce government policy and green papers are considered public policy discussion papers. Both papers usually announce significant policy developments when they are tabled in Parliament.[6] But as this paper shows, not all defence white papers have been tabled in Parliament.

Given this background, it might be argued that the first Australian white paper was produced and tabled in Parliament in the mid-1940s under the Curtin Government; however, it was not explicitly described or presented as a white paper. The then Minister for Post-war Reconstruction, John Dedman, presented the Government’s policy paper on post-war employment to Parliament ‘to draw the attention of honourable members to the importance of the document and the fundamental character of the policy outlined in it’.[7]

The production of defence white papers is not isolated to Commonwealth countries: defence white papers are regularly produced by, for example, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.[8]

The purpose of Australia’s defence white papers

Since the first defence white paper was released in 1976, leading commentators have questioned their purpose and usefulness. According to Hugh White (Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University), the purpose of a white paper should be to provide ‘a detailed statement describing a new policy direction’ that is supported by credible arguments and evidence.[9] While white papers can be produced in any key area of government:

... they are especially important in defence, because it involves such long-term decisions, engaging critical national interests and committing huge sums of money, in circumstances of great uncertainty. Such decisions are inevitably based more on judgement than on hard data, and are often infused with murky, half-articulated hopes and fears. It is all too easy for momentous decisions to be made on flimsy grounds which would not withstand serious scrutiny. It is therefore especially important in defence for the Government to set out explicitly the evidence and arguments underpinning its defence policy.[10]

Peter Jennings (Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)) asserted in 2005 that a defence white paper should:

... do some hard thinking about the impact of strategic change on defence policy. A clear statement of Australia’s strategic outlook would help to order our thinking about how we should set priorities between traditional ‘defence of Australia’, regional and global tasks. A new white paper also provides an opportunity to develop some disciplined language explaining Australia’s policies. This would be helpful in building relations with our closer neighbours.[11]

In the lead-up to the 2009 defence white paper, Rod Lyon (ASPI) described the role of a defence white paper as being central to resolving the ‘puzzle’ of Australian strategy, in the public sphere. Lyon argued that the puzzle ‘requires us to define the relationship between three core variables’:

    • a strategic environment largely beyond our own making
    • our own role in the world
    • and the constraints that bound that role.

Lyon went on to state that a ‘White Paper is not merely a clever academic paper. It requires us to make judgments, including judgments about our own strategic future and about how we manage risks in an uncertain world’.[12]

Similarly, John Hartley (National President of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia (RUSI Australia)) argued that white papers:

... are useful because they force a government to consider its policy priorities in a disciplined and structured way and also provide the electorate, and indeed the international community, with a statement of policy direction.[13]

Essentially, defence white papers should define the government’s broad strategic objectives and the capabilities needed for them to be achieved within fiscally responsible and realistic boundaries. They should also reflect the Government’s position on the composition of Australia’s military forces and other factors that support the defence of Australia. Defence white papers are always vulnerable to question and dissent, in part, because some of the strategic rationale that underpins a white paper is classified and therefore unavailable to the public. White papers also suffer the same problem of prediction that affects many academic and policy areas, and with the benefit of hindsight it is often quite easy to highlight inaccurate forecasts in defence white papers.[14]

So what should one expect to see in a defence white paper? Hugh White argued that it should contain four main elements aligning ‘force plans with strategic objectives [and] funding realities’:

  • first, articulate what our forces are expected to do to achieve the Government’s strategic objectives
  • second, identify all necessary capabilities while considering ‘funding realities’
  • third, ensure that ‘strategic objectives’, ‘force plans’ and ‘realistic funding’ elements are aligned and
  • fourth, test the process of determining objectives by measuring the required capabilities against affordability. In short, is the cost justified to meet certain strategic objectives?[15]

A common theme throughout the defence white papers has been Australia’s alliance with the United States under the ANZUS Treaty (Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty signed in 1951).[16] In most white papers, it has been implicitly acknowledged that Australia should not rely entirely on a major allied power to come to our aid if attacked. Nonetheless, as former Secretary of the Department of Defence Arthur Tange stated:

The Government of the day, while prudently avoiding commitment to some American ideas on new military engagements in the Pacific, subscribed to the view that our main defence lay in America honouring an obligation under the ANZUS Treaty... Questioning whether there was certainty of that support, including military action in every circumstance, was forbidden as, to use the political jargon, ‘downgrading ANZUS’.[17]

As such, defence white papers have tended to argue that Australia must sufficiently develop and maintain its own military power to repel an attack against the mainland. There was a shift in strategic priorities from a concept of ‘forward defence’ to one of ‘self-reliance’, which was officially adopted by successive Australian governments from the early 1970s and reflected in Australia’s defence white papers. However, by the 1990s, strategic priorities shifted again to a more outward-looking regional focus.

Historically, Australia’s defence white papers have not been released within any specified timeframe. Politics plays a key role in the decision to develop a defence white paper. While white papers seek to articulate particular policy issues, the political objectives sought by successive governments have a big influence on the outcome of any white paper.

The first official Australian defence white paper was released by the Fraser Government in 1976. Subsequent defence white papers were released in 1987 (Hawke), 1994 (Keating), 2000 (Howard) (with biennial updates in 2003, 2005 and 2007), 2009 (Rudd) and 2013 (Gillard).[18] The next defence white paper is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2015 and the Government has said that it will be costed, affordable and ‘align defence policy with military strategy’.[19]

Historical context: 1870–1976

According to David Horner (historian):

The legacy of the past exerts a powerful influence on force structure, defence concepts and doctrine. At the beginning of the twentieth century there had been tension between the Australianists, who wanted a militia that could not be deployed outside Australia, and the Imperialists, who preferred a field force that could be deployed on imperial operations overseas. By the 1950s, Australia’s adherence to the Western alliance and its commitment to forward defence had superseded its reliance on imperial defence. In the 1970s, after the Vietnam War, the pendulum swung away from overseas commitments. But during the 1990s, there was an increasing readiness once again to send forces overseas—expressed more overtly in [Australia’s Strategic Policy 1997]. This approach was described initially as ‘regional engagement’ and was later expanded to ‘defending Australia’s regional interests’.[20]

From the time the British Army withdrew from Australia in 1870, a conundrum emerged about whether local forces should be raised to defend the country or to provide forces in support of Imperial objectives abroad.[21] Consequently, aspects of both concepts were employed by the Australian colonies prior to Federation in 1901. Individual colonies deployed volunteer forces to assist the British in Sudan (1885), South Africa (1899–1901) and China (1900).[22] Since Federation, the government has maintained discretionary powers to deploy military forces overseas.[23]

The Defence Act 1909 amendment provided for universal compulsory military training and service during peace time for Australian males aged between 18 and 60.[24] In his 1910 report on Australia’s military preparedness, Field Marshall Herbert Kitchener (British Army) strongly recommended Australia boost its Citizen Forces through a universal compulsory military training program, which commenced in January 1911 and ran until 1929.[25] The scheme had ‘a chequered rate of success’ before it was suspended in November 1929.[26] Within the first four years of the scheme, one in twenty men were prosecuted for non-compliance: around 636,000 enlisted, 34,000 were prosecuted and 7,000 detained.[27] In 1911, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was officially established and the Army’s Royal Military College (RMC) was formed.[28] At the outbreak of World War I, Australia’s responsibilities as part of the British Empire were recognised by the Government. The RAN was placed under British Admiralty command and a volunteer expeditionary force (the First Australian Imperial Force) deployed overseas in support of British-led operations.[29]

During the inter-war period, Australia’s military preparedness waned as the ‘Singapore strategy’ dominated domestic strategic thinking and military expenditure was reduced.[30] The Singapore strategy was driven by British and United States interests in the Asia-Pacific region in response to Japanese expansionism. At the Washington Naval Conference 1921–1922, three treaties were signed among major naval powers aimed at relieving tensions in the East through naval disarmament.[31] In turn, the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1902 was abandoned.[32] In the meantime, the British Government promised to build a large naval base in Singapore and vowed that, in a time of war, British naval forces would be deployed to Singapore within six weeks to protect the sea lanes around Australia, India and New Zealand.[33] By 1937, the British Chiefs of Staff Committee assessed that should a war break out in Europe, Japan would not hesitate in furthering its expansion schemes. The Committee noted that while the Singapore defences were nearing completion, ‘they alone do not secure our strategic position in the East. The dispatch of a fleet to the Far East remains the operation upon which the security of the eastern half of the Empire depends’.[34]

Nonetheless, military leaders and senior political figures questioned Australia’s reliance on the Royal Navy to defend Australia should war break out in Asia. In 1936, Opposition Leader, John Curtin, warned Parliament that ‘the dependence of Australia upon the competence, let alone the readiness, of British statesmen to send forces to our aid is too dangerous a hazard upon which to found Australian defence policy’.[35] However, the government continued to rely on the Imperial defence plan—the Singapore strategy—for the defence of Australia.[36]

Following World War II, Australia’s defence policy predominantly aligned with British strategic defence priorities. ‘Forward defence’ remained the primary focus of the Government’s strategic policy at the time due to concerns about Australia’s geographical isolation and the need for a larger ally to come to Australia’s aid should foreign forces threaten to invade.[37] From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, defence planning encountered competing priorities, as David Lowe and Joan Beaumont describe: 

... on the one hand, Malaya and the local region, in the context of local decolonisation and communism in South-East Asia; and, on the other hand, the familiar Dominion role of providing an expeditionary force, wool, and food in a global war—the force being required to help defend British air bases in the Middle East...[38]

In June 1947, the Chifley Government tabled its Defence: Post-war Policy in Parliament, which acknowledged, first, the role of the newly formed United Nations in maintaining international peace and security and second, expectations that Australia would maintain forces for regional support, defence of the British Commonwealth and the defence of Australia within the new world order.[39] While not officially presented to Parliament as a white paper, the Post-war Defence Policy fits the criteria. At that time, Defence Minister John Dedman described the Government’s priorities to place Australian forces:

... at the disposal of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, including regional arrangements in the Pacific; the Forces to be maintained under arrangements for co-operation in British Commonwealth defence; and the Forces to be maintained to provide for the inherent right of individual self-defence. The security of Australia will therefore rest on the blending of these three safeguards, which are complementary to each other, and none of which is exclusive to the others.[40]

The 1947 defence policy also outlined the measures the Government would take to strengthen Australian military forces. Particular emphasis was placed on expanding the RAN as Australia’s experience during World War II exposed the need for enhanced sea power.[41]

Australia’s experience in the Pacific during World War II provided the impetus for building a stronger relationship with the United States and highlighted the importance of the alliance to regional security. The Korean War (1950–53) strengthened this alliance, with the ANZUS treaty being a major outcome of this period. However, there were reservations about the agreement. One key Defence official, the former Secretary of the Department of Defence Arthur Tange, recalled the concern of the time that the United States might not place the same level of importance on the agreement as Australia or New Zealand:

... the new alliance ... was not only a landmark, but a source of uncertainty, because there remained doubts about how Washington would interpret its obligations. Despite another treaty with similar provisions, SEATO, in 1954, Australians’ unease about the Americans attitude seemed well founded when, in 1955, Washington made it clear that Australian forces in Malaya would not necessarily trigger an American response of military help under ANZUS. Even with ANZUS and SEATO, the Australians spent much time during the 1950s and early 1960s trying to firm up an American preparedness to intervene in South-East Asia.[42]

From the mid-1950s until the end of the Vietnam War, Australian defence policy was based on the concept of forward defence, predominantly fighting to prevent the spread of communism in the region. Yet, even before the end of Australia’s involvement in Vietnam, defence policy was already shifting towards the concept of self-reliance, sometimes known as ‘continental defence’.[43]

Tange revealed in his memoirs that in the early 1960s, Australia’s defence priorities began to shift towards self-reliance, despite the importance placed on Australia’s alliance with the United States. Tange remarked that by:

...the early 1960s, Defence programming was putting more emphasis on a capacity to act independently. In 1963 Townley [Minister for Defence] spoke of the desirability of being able to ‘react ... by ourselves’.


The Americans had longstanding reservations, rooted in their history, about defending British colonial interests in South-East Asia. The consultations [in February 1964] with the Americans brought home to the Australian Government that any US support to Australia with combat troops was neither guaranteed in advance nor unconditional. But this was the last thing for the Government to admit publicly.[44]

By 1968, many new factors had begun to influence Australia’s defence policy, namely the British Government’s decision in January of that year to completely withdraw its military forces from Malaysia and Singapore by December 1971. The Defence organisation noted at the time that this ‘presented a new defence and security situation in the region’.[45] Five Power Talks on defence arrangements had commenced the year before between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK that would eventually shape long-term defence cooperation between all five nations.[46] The Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) was signed in 1971 to support the stability of the newly independent South-East Asian nations.[47]

Also in 1968, Australia’s military commitment to the Vietnam War expanded with the Government increasing Australia’s military contribution to 8,000 personnel.[48] However, by mid-1971, Prime Minister William McMahon had announced that Australia would be withdrawing from the conflict.[49]

Another factor affecting Australia’s defence policy around this time was the scaling down of US military forces in South East Asia following the Vietnam War.[50] A key turning point was the announcement of the Guam Doctrine (also known as the Nixon Doctrine) in 1969 that stated allied states were expected to do more for their own security but could rely on help from the United States if they showed genuine efforts to maintain their own security.[51] This shift in US policy led to Australia developing a more self-reliant approach to defence policy.[52]

In 1972, the McMahon Government initiated the Australian Defence Review to assess the new strategic environment following Australia’s withdrawal from Vietnam. The review formed the basis of the Government’s revised strategic outlook and defence program, with an outlook through to the 1980s.[53] Originally, the review team was tasked to prepare a defence white paper and while Defence Minister David Fairbairn tabled the outcome in Parliament, the Minister insisted it was not a policy document. Rather, it was a document containing ‘information and analysis’ of interest to Parliament.[54]

The Australian Defence Review considered Australia’s broader strategic outlook and identified issues that might have affected the development of Australia’s military forces. It ‘represented the first major review of Australian defence policy since enunciation of the Nixon Doctrine and the end of Australia’s commitment in Vietnam’.[55] The Australian Defence Review assessed that:

[t]he first requirement is to make a reasoned definition of the Australian interests needing to be pursued by our defence policy, and of the strategic situations against which we should build our defence capabilities. It is clear that the objective must be a policy for the 1970s and 1980s. It is clear that great changes are occurring in Australia’s external environment which justify a careful and progressive re-evaluation of the situation. It is also clear, I suggest, that we should not found our defence policy, or our willingness to engage ourselves to assist others, on a simple faith in the success of diplomatic efforts of mighty powers or on the benign intentions of rivals for ideological supremacy among communist powers.[56]

Consequently, the Australian Defence Review recognised the need for a defence policy that balanced elements of ‘self-reliance’ with developing and maintaining important strategic alliances. As Minister Fairbairn acknowledged:

There is a duality in the requirements of a national Australian defence policy: on the one hand, we need defence equipment and manning giving Australian services an increasing measure of self-reliance and ability to act alone in certain situations. On the other, we seek an intensification of our defence understandings with the United States and with our northern neighbours in the expectation that the United States will, as pledged to the Prime Minister, Mr McMahon since the Nixon Doctrine was promulgated, provide the foundation of Australian security against threats or actual attack going beyond Australian capacity to deal with alone.... the first objective – greater Australian self-reliance – will of itself contribute to the second objective – getting the support we need from greater allies in emergencies going beyond our capabilities.[57]

The Whitlam Government’s election in December 1972 meant that the McMahon Government’s embryonic defence policy discussion went nowhere. However, on 30 May 1973, the Whitlam Government tabled its own defence policy statement in Parliament. Two key policy announcements by Defence Minister Lance Barnard included Australia’s complete withdrawal of military forces from Vietnam and the abolition of compulsory National Service. Other policy announcements included the development of a volunteer Army of up to 34,000 personnel, which was expected to be reached by 1976, with a view to assessing the need for a further 2,000 personnel that same year.[58] However, by 1976, the Army’s strength had reached just 31,430.[59] Throughout the Whitlam Government years, a number of strategic and internal defence reviews were commissioned that would feed into Australia’s first official defence white paper released by the Fraser Government in 1976.[60]


[1].          United Kingdom Parliament, ‘Government publications (command papers)‘, UK Parliament website, accessed 13 January 2015.

[2].          The Stationery Office (TSO) Information and Publishing, ‘Official and regulatory information and links: official documents‘, TSO website, accessed 13 January 2015.

[3].          United Kingdom Parliament, ‘Government publications (command papers)’, op. cit.

[4].          TSO Information and Publishing, ‘Official and regulatory information and links: official documents’, op. cit.

[5].          DH Borchardt (ed.), Australian official publications, Longman, Cheshire, 1979, pp. 93–94.

[6].          Commonwealth of Australia, Cabinet handbook, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, 7th edn, March 2012, p. 38, accessed 13 January 2015.

[7].          J Dedman, ‘Employment policy‘, Senate and House of Representatives, Debates, 30 May 1945, accessed 13 January 2015.

[8].          Ministry of National Defense, ‘White papers‘, The People’s Republic of China website, accessed 13 January 2015;  Ministry of Defense, ‘White papers‘, Government of Japan website, accessed 13 January 2015; and Ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea, ‘Defense white papers‘, website, accessed 13 January 2015.

[9].          H White, ‘The new defence white paper: why we need it, and what it needs to do‘, Perspectives, Lowy Institute for International Policy, April 2008, accessed 13 January 2015.

[10].        Ibid.

[11].        P Jennings, ‘Time for a new defence white paper‘, Strategic Insights, 12, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, February 2005, pp. 3–4, accessed 13 January 2015.

[12].        R Lyon, ‘The next defence white paper: the strategic environment‘, Policy Analysis, 15, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 29 January 2008, accessed 13 January 2015.

[13].        J Hartley (National President), The defence white paper–balancing competitive demands, Royal United Services Institute of Australia, speech, August 2008, p. 5.

[14].        Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Australian defence review, Parliamentary Paper, 25, Commonwealth Government Publishing Service, 1972, p. 26, accessed 13 January 2015.

[15].        H White, ‘The new defence white paper’, op. cit., pp. 2–3.

[16].        Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America (ANZUS), opened for signature 1 September 1951, ATS [1952] No. 2 (entered into force for Australia 29 April 1952), accessed 13 January 2015.

[17].        A Tange, Defence policy-making: a close-up view, 1950–1980: a personal memoir, Australian National University, Canberra, 2008, p. 11, accessed 13 January 2015.

[18].        E Andrews, The Department of Defence: the Australian centenary history of defence: volume V, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2001, p. 348; J Gillard (Prime Minister) and S Smith (Minister for Defence), New Defence White Paper 2013, media release, 3 May 2012, accessed 13 January 2015.

[19].        T Abbott (Prime Minister) and D Johnston (Minister for Defence), Delivering a world class defence force, media release, 4 April 2014, accessed 13 January 2015.

[20].        D Horner, Making the Australian Defence Force: the Australian centenary history of defence: volume IV, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2001, p. 75.

[21].        From 1887 to 1911, the Royal Navy maintained a fleet of seven ships in Australia waters, cited in P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2008, 2nd edn, pp. 466–467.

[22].        Ibid., p. 181.

[23].        D McKeown and R Jordan, Parliamentary involvement in declaring war and deploying forces overseas, Background note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 22 March 2010, pp. 5–6, accessed 13 January 2015.

[24].        Defence Act 1909 (Cth), part XII, accessed 13 January 2015.

[25].        Universal military training was introduced by the Australian Government on advice from Field Marshal Kitchener following his visit to Australia in 1909. Kitchener’s Memorandum on the Defence of Australia recommended that an army of 80,000 personnel be raised through compulsory training and serve to defend Australia. Cited in Field Marshal Kitchener of Khartoum, Memorandum on the defence of Australia, 12 February 1910, p. 5, accessed 13 January 2015; Australian Government, ‘Universal military training in Australia, 1911–29‘, National Archives of Australia, fact sheet 160, accessed 13 January 2015; and P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, op.  cit., pp. 155–156.

[26].        Australian Government, ‘Universal military training in Australia, 1911–29‘, ibid.

[27].        P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, op. cit., p. 156.

[28].        Royal Australian Navy (RAN), ‘Commemorating our service to the nation 1911–1915‘, RAN website, accessed 13 January 2015; Australian Army, ‘History of Duntroon‘, Army website, accessed 13 January 2015.

[29].        J Beaumont, Australian defence: sources and statistics: the Australian centenary of history of defence: volume VI, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2001, p. 17.

[30].        P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, op. cit., pp. 495–496; M Thomson, The cost of defence: ASPI defence budget brief 2013–2014, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 2013, p. 28, accessed 13 January 2015.

[31].        The three treaties were the Five-Power Treaty, Four-Power Treaty and Nine-Power Treaty. Cited in United States Government, ‘Milestones: 1921–1936: the Washington Naval Conference, 1921–1922‘, US Department of State, Office of the Historian website, accessed 13 January 2015.

[32].        The Anglo-Japanese Alliance Treaty was first signed in London in January 1902 and ostensibly provided for mutual defence. The treaty was renewed and expanded in 1905 and 1911 before it was officially terminated in 1923. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Treaty, 30 January 1902, accessed 13 January 2015; I Nish et al., ‘Studies in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902–1923)‘, London School of Economics and Political Science, discussion paper, January 2003, accessed 13 January 2015; and P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, op. cit., p. 495.

[33].        Oxford companion, op.cit, pp. 495–496.

[34].        L Wigmore, Australia in the war of 1939–1945: Army: the Japanese thrust, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957, p. 7, accessed 13 January 2015.

[35].        Department of Defence, ‘Preparedness and mobilisation (provisional)‘, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication, 00.2, December 2004, pp. 2‑7, accessed 13 January 2015; ibid., p. 8.

[36].        Ibid.

[37].        The policy of ‘forward defence’ was to counter ‘perceived threats to Australian security as far from the shores of Australia as possible. In practice this involved deploying Australian armed forces overseas, basing and exercising Australian forces in South-East Asia in peacetime, forming alliances with great powers and smaller regional powers, and encouraging great power involvement in South-East Asia in particular’. Cited in P Dennis et al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history, op. cit., p. 213; E Andrews, The Department of Defence: the Australian centenary history of defence: volume V, op. cit., p. 128.

[38].        J Beaumont, Australian defence: sources and statistics: The Australian centenary of history of defence: volume VI, op cit., p. 22.

[39].        J Dedman, ‘Defence: post-war defence policy‘, Senate and House of Representatives, Debates, 4 June 1947, accessed 13 January 2015.

[40].        Ibid.

[41].        Ibid.

[42].        A Tange, Defence policy-making: a close-up view, 1950–1980: a personal memoir, op cit., p. 23.

[43].        Ibid.

[44].        Ibid., pp. 12–13.

[45].        Commonwealth of Australia, Defence report 1968, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra, 1968, p. 5.

[46].        Ibid.

[47].        Five Power Defence Arrangements: Exchange of notes constituting an agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Malaysia regarding external defence, done in Kuala Lumpur 1 December 1971 (retrospective entry into force for Australia 1 November 1971), accessed 13 January 2015; Exchange of notes constituting an agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore regarding external defence, opened for signature 1 December 1971, ATS [1971] No. 21 (retrospective entry into force for Australia 1 November 1971), accessed 13 January 2015.

[48].        Defence report 1968, op. cit., p. 6.

[49].        Commonwealth of Australia, Defence report 1971, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra, 1971, p. 5.

[50].        United States Government, ‘1969–1976: the Presidencies of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford‘, Department of State, Office of the Historian, 31 October 2013, accessed 13 January 2015.

[51].        United States Government, ‘Foreign relations of the United States, 1969–1976: volume VI, Vietnam, January 1969–July 1970: document 101‘, Department of State, Office of the Historian website, accessed 13 January 2015; G Brown, Australia’s post-Cold War security environment: the emerging defence policy dilemma, Background note, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 18 November 1991, accessed 13 January 2015.

[52].        G Brown, ibid.

[53].        D Fairbairn, ‘Australian defence: ministerial statement‘, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 March 1972, accessed 13 January 2015; Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Australian defence review, op. cit.

[54].        A Tange, Defence policy-making: a close-up view, 1950–1980: a personal memoir, op. cit., pp. 40 and 42; D Fairbairn, ‘Australian defence: ministerial statement’, op. cit.

[55].        A Hinge, ‘Australia’s search for self-reliance: a critique of Australian defence policy implementation and outcome 1985–2005‘, Doctor of Philosophy (Public Sector Management) thesis, University of Canberra, November 2006, p. 39, accessed 13 January 2015.

[56].        D Fairbairn, ‘Australian defence: ministerial statement‘, op. cit., p. 1.

[57].        Ibid., p. 3.

[58].        L Barnard, ‘Ministerial statement: Australian defence policy‘, House of Representatives, Debates, 30 May 1973, accessed 13 January 2015.

[59].        Australian Government, Australian defence: presented to Parliament by the Minister for Defence the Hon. D.J. Killen (1976 Defence White Paper), White paper, November 1976, p. 32, accessed 13 January 2015.

[60].        L Barnard, ‘Ministerial statement: Australian defence policy’, op. cit.


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