Some years ago a study was made of the management styles of a wide range of American companies. The authors concluded that there was a relation to be derived from the interaction between a company's objectives and its resources. And it was this relation which determined management style.
During the era of Forward Defence the objectives were never staled very precisely, but the broad objective — to be able to send an expeditionary force of soldiers to an Asian theatre, supported by some tactical aviation, and escorted in transit by the Navy was sufficiently well known, understood and accepted to be effective. Resources were less certain, and were chopped and changed to meet cynical political decisions as to where the taxpayers' dollars would buy the most votes. The result was that decisions about the size and shape of the Defence Force were largely a matter of the pragmatic allocation of whatever was made available. The Chiefs of Staff did their best to divide up, as fairly as they knew how, the money provided to implement the objective. On the
whole the system did not work all that badly. Of course it encouraged and promoted inter-Service rivalry, part of the system for keeping (he military so divided that it could not become a political threat — but that was common in all the democracies. Whether the objective was 'correct', or not, was another matter altogether.