The Battles Before

Case Studies of Australian Army Leadership after the Vietnam War

David Connery

Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Big Sky Publishing
Series :
Australian Military History Series
Illustration :
Full Color Throughout Highly Illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781925520194
Pages : 136
Dimensions : 9.7 X 6.9 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Much of Australia's military history literature focuses on battles and the way generals plan and prosecute an action or campaign. But what do generals do when they are not fighting battles? "The Battles Before" examines the role of senior leaders in preparing an army for war — fighting bureaucratic battles, mobilizing forces for operations, or preparing for a future that is impossible to anticipate. The five cases examined in this book focus on strategic leadership and describe how major organizations grapple with political, strategic, economic and cultural change over time.

The first three case studies analyze a series of pivotal moments in the history of the Australian Army: the dramatic downsizing that followed the Vietnam War, the seminal 1985 Dibb Review, and the buildup to the East Timor intervention in 1999. Further cases describe planning within a large organization, particularly the way senior leaders grapple with the demands of multiple operations while facing significant impetus for force modernization. The final chapter focuses on the crucial role of the Army's leadership in developing the next generation of leaders. The book concludes with a series of insights into the study of command in peacetime and its relevance to wartime command, particularly given the challenges that face peacetime commanders who operate within considerable constraints.

"The Battles Before" uses recently declassified documents and interviews with key participants in a meticulous examination of a 30-year period characterized by profound and far-reaching change. This was a period that would reshape the Australian Army.

About The Author

Colonel David Connery graduated from Officer Cadet School Portsea and served in artillery units, Army Headquarters, Strategic Policy Division and other appointments ranging from Director Strategic Analysis to Commanding Officer, University of New South Wales Regiment. David holds a PhD from the Australian National University (ANU), and Masters degrees from the ANU, University of Sydney and University of Canberra.He is currently Deputy Director (Academic, Outreach and Research) at the National Security College, ANU

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