The Northern Territory in the defence of Australia: strategic and operational considerations

Author/s (editor/s):

Ross Babbage, Desmond Ball, S.D. Evans, J.O. Langtry, Stephen Youll

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 73

Northern Australia has become the primary focus of Australian defence planning. It is the area in which low-level contingencies are most likely to occur, and it is the direction through which higher threats are most likely to come.

The Review of Australia's Defence Capabilities by Paul Dibb, the 1987 White Paper on the Defence of Australia, and Excercise Kangaroo 89 each identified the need for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian defence planners to increase their familiarity with northern Australia.

This volume is a companion to Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 63, which also dealt with the Northern Territory in the defence of Australia but from the aspects of its geography, history, economy and the actual Defence presence in the Territory. This volume is concerned with the strategic and operational considerations. It highlights the Territory's place in the threat contingency spectrum, before examining those characteristics of the ambient environment which have particular significance for the conduct of operations. A strategic appraisal of the Territory's geography follows - in general terms and from an adversary's standpoint. Thereafter follow separate and specialised operational considerations as seen from the navy, air force and army perspectives. The final chapter addresses the civil-military nexus developing the Northern Territory.

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