Doctrine, Strategy and Military Culture: Military-Strategic Doctrine Development in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, 1987-2007

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Jackson, Aaron
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Between 1987 and 2007, the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand armed forces underwent a significant doctrinal renaissance. The hallmark of this renaissance was the production for the first time of military-strategic doctrine manuals. Constituting officially sanctioned, formalized and written expressions of institutionally accepted ideas about what armed forces do and how they do it, these manuals established fundamental principles to guide the application of military force in the pursuit of national strategic objectives. This study analyses the emergence and subsequent evolution of military-strategic doctrine in Australia, Canada and New Zealand during the 20-year period beginning with the 1987 release in all three countries of Defence White Papers. In addition to discussing the history of military-strategic doctrine development in the three armed forces, this study examines the broader significance of the doctrine itself. Informed by a comprehensive background discussion that focuses primarily on Australian, Canadian and New Zealand strategic policy developments and operational undertakings during this 20-year period, the examination of the broader significance of military-strategic doctrine manuals pays particular attention to the factors that influenced doctrine development and the intended effects of the doctrine manuals of the armed forces. Based on this examination, this study includes models developed to explain how army, navy, air force and joint doctrine development was shaped by and in turn shaped the broader political context in which the armed forces under study existed. Furthermore, it reveals several nuances about the nature, scope, role and utility of military-strategic doctrine. Finally, it establishes that the strongest connection between the many doctrine manuals is that they were all used pragmatically by the armed forces studied as a mechanism for attempting to shape the environment in which they each existed.

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© Her Majesty the Queen as represented by the Minister of National Defence, 2013. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information.
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