In February 2004 the Cabinet authorised the researching and writing of the Official History of Australian Peacekeeping and Post–Cold War Operations, and in July 2004 the Official History team began work on the five-volume series. With the inclusion of overseas emergency relief operations, the series was later expanded to six volumes and became the Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations.
This is Australia's fifth Official History series and I am its fifth Official Historian, following distinguished predecessors. Charles Bean was general editor and principal author of the 15-volume Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918. Gavin Long was general editor of the twenty-two volumes of Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Robert O'Neill wrote most of the two volumes of Australia in the Korean War. And Peter Edwards was general editor of the nine-volume Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948–1975.
As with the previous official histories, my team and I have been given full access to all relevant Australian Government records. There has been no censorship, except that the Government reserved the right to prevent publication of any material that might be damaging to Australian national security, such as intelligence sources and information received from allied countries. The excision of such material – and it has been extremely small – has in no way changed my conclusions or caused me to compromise the integrity of the history.