Lethality key to legitimacy

Published on LCDR Chloe Wootten (author), Lisa Nipp (photographer)

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of Navy, speaks on
Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of Navy, speaks on "Mahan and Turner Restored: Naval Power and the Democratic State in the 21st Century" at the 2015 Sea Air Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett has recently returned from a successful visit to Maryland, USA, where he was invited to speak at at the United States Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition.

Attending the conference as part of an 'International Naval Leadership' panel and  to  provide a formal address, Vice Admiral Barrett was in company with service chiefs from across the globe.

In his address, Vice Admiral Barrett argued that it is our armed services’ constant duty to refresh the understanding of the principles on which the services of a democratic state must operate.  

Through the lens of American strategists, Alfred Thayer Mahan and Stansfield Turner, he reinforced that those principles had contemporary meaning and relevance to those whom navies lead. 

In doing so, he highlighted that these distinguished strategists had a deep appreciation of the relationship between the State as a political entity and the Navy as a principal vehicle for policy delivery in troubled times.  

Vice Admiral Barrett discussed his views on how leaders of 21st century naval powers need to advise governments and lead our armed forces in the implementation of their governments’ direction.  

"We must ensure that navies are well positioned to support governments in achieving their fundamental duty to protect and defend a country and its people," Vice Admiral Barrett said.

"The defence of our nations’ legitimacy, authority and credibility in the 21st century depends on our ability to project strategic lethal force over, on and beneath the sea.

"Lethality is the key to our nations’ ability to wage war, and consequently, to maintain the peace."

The full speech is available at: http://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/chief-navy-speeches.