Australia's defence priorties have altered fundamentally in the past 20 years. Since the early 1970s when Australia abandoned its long-held strategy of 'forward defence', the primary objectiveof defence policy has been security of the Australian continent and its maritime approaches.The requirements of this task are quite different from those of the 'forward defence' era and there is a need for a differently structured defence force, new strategy and planning concepts and much else besides. Capabilites to meet priority defence contingencies are seriously inadequate. A Coast Too Long takes a hard look at Australia's defence needs for the future and what has to change. It sets the agenda for defence debates of the 1990s and is essential reading for anyone interested in Australia's future. Dr Ross Babbage is Deputy Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. He is one of Australia's leading defence authorities.