Discussion paper

Ghosts of papers past: the strategic basis papers and Australian national security strategy in the twenty-first century

International relations National security Defence Australia North America

This paper examines the historic and present challenges in Australia in developing national security strategy. It begins by defining what is meant by national security strategy, and how it relates to national security policy.

It examines the 1968 and 1971 Strategic Basis papers that began to develop a nascent national security strategy for Australia, and discusses why there was a lack of explicit national-level strategy for the subsequent 40 years.
Today, the absence of national security strategy for Australia is becoming an impediment to successful national policymaking: this paper concludes with basic recommendations that could help to fill that void.

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