Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs: Keystone Doctrine Development in Five Commonwealth Navies: A Comparative Perspective

Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No. 33
Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No. 33

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Aaron P Jackson


This volume examines the history, role and significance of the foremost military-strategic level doctrine manuals - often referred to as keystone doctrine manuals - produced by five Commonwealth navies: the Canadian navy, the Indian Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the South African Navy. Discussion of keystone doctrine development in each navy focuses on three areas: factors that were influential during the production of each keystone doctrine manual; the intended and actual effects each manual had following its release; and the significance of the content of each manual. Although several overarching themes are identified in each of these three areas, it is determined that overall keystone doctrine has provided an important tool that each navy has used to pragmatically promote its interests. Keystone doctrine has achieved this in a variety of ways, and in the process of doing so has come to constitute an essential mechanism that explains how the application of naval power fits within the framework of both national strategy and maritime strategic theory.