• David Evans
Part of the RUSI Defence Studies Series book series (RUSIDS)


While the essential need for security is acknowledged by the military practitioner, it often fails to produce the enthusiasm for planning and development that the more dynamic sounding principles such as offensive action, concentration of force, surprise and some others provoke. This very likely is due to the simplistic perception that security is a defensive posture satisfied by confinement within a secure base or bases. Its defensive purpose is to provide physical security against all forms of attack, protection of military assets and, in particular, the offensive elements of the force. If these are destroyed no offensive action will be possible. Also, it should be recognised that the deterrence posed by one’s offensive forces will cease to be credible if they are seen to be vulnerable to attack — insecure. This was behind the essential need for a retaliatory strike capability during the decades of the Cold War when the two superpowers glared at each other across the globe; technically, just the push of a button away from a nuclear holocaust. It was the reason for President Reagan’s quest for a new strategic defence initiative. It was a time when no nation or installation could be 100 per cent secure. Security was provided by the chilling assurance of retaliation.


Military Operation Secure Base Offensive Action Military Capability Strategic Defence Initiative 
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Copyright information

© David Evans 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Australian Air Force, 1982–85Australia

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