The inescapable ocean: on understanding Australia's strategic geography
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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 debate
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