Bob Breen

Bob Breen’s experience in first-hand research on international and regional peace support operations began in Somalia in 1993 and continued in Rwanda, the Middle East, Mozambique, Bougainville and East Timor periodically until 2002 when he began a PhD program at ANU, graduating in 2006. In 2007 he visited Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a review of Australian military force projection.  In 2008 he published Struggling for Self Reliance: Four case studies of Australian Regional Force Projection in the late 1980s and the 1990s.  In the same year he also co-authored a monograph for the Land Warfare Studies Centre, The world looking over their shoulders: Australian Strategic Corporals on Operations in Somalia and East Timor. He published two studies for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on meeting security challenges in the South Pacific and strengthening civil-military collaboration for responding to overseas emergencies in 2009 .

Currently, he is writing a volume of the official history of Australian peacekeeping in the South Pacific 1980-2006 and completing a manuscript on the Adaptive Army initiative 2007-2010.

Struggling for Self Reliance »

Four case studies of Australian Regional Force Projection in the late 1980s and the 1990s

Authored by: Bob Breen
Publication date: October 2008
Military force projection is the self-reliant capacity to strike from mainland ports, bases and airfields to protect Australia’s sovereignty as well as more distant national interests. Force projection is not just a flex of military muscle in times of emergency or the act of dispatching forces. It is a cycle of force preparation, command, deployment, protection, employment, sustainment, rotation, redeployment and reconstitution. If the Australian Defence Force consistently gets this cycle wrong, then there is something wrong with Australia’s defence. This monograph is a force projection audit of four Australian regional force projections in the late 1980s and the 1990s—valid measures of competence. It concludes that Australia is running out of luck and time. The Rudd Government has commissioned a new Defence White paper. This monograph is Exhibit A for change.