Expeditionary warfare and military operations under a maritime strategy
As the Australian Army seeks to understand the institutional lessons of its last 15 operationally intensive years, it is timely to examine the concept of expeditionary warfare — an idea fundamental to the Australian approach to war. This examination becomes increasingly necessary as Defence progresses in its development of Australia's 'Maritime Strategy', a strategic policy approach based upon an operational concept proposed to Sir Julian Corbett in 1914.
Expeditionary warfare is a contentious idea and the subject of numerous conceptual arguments within Army, let alone the broader Australian Defence Force. Without a coherent understanding of expeditionary warfare, described in the Australian context, implementing the operational concepts of the future will be equally confused.
In this research paper, Lieutenant Colonel D.J. Beaumont argues that Army must inculcate interpretations of expeditionary warfare based on Australia's historical, geostrategic and organisational influences into its conceptual development. With expeditionary warfare addressed holistically, Australia's naturally expeditionary approach to warfare will evolve into mature and, more importantly, effective operational concepts. With strategic trends portending a time in which Australia's freedom of strategic manoeuvre becomes increasingly challenged, this discussion is crucial to the development of Army's capabilities and the operational concepts that define their use.