Operational Art &
Political Warfare

The following papers were selected as the best writing by the 2021 ACSC students on operational art and political warfare.

Watch this space: Each week the Forge will be publishing two new AWARC papers.

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The Frameworks Are Fine, They Just Need a Reboot

Just like the changing character of war, the process for campaign planning will have to continue to develop to keep up with the nuances of the future battlefield.

23min
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Flexibility is Key to Tackling Contemporary Political Warfare

Applied flexibly as intended, we already have a solid framework to address contemporary political warfare. Applied inflexibly, Western theoretical and procedural frameworks diminish in effectiveness.

20min
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Operational Art and Political Warfare: A Cognitive Adaptation Problem

Operational art works as an adaptive framework only for those who see the environment for what it is, rather than what they want it to be.

20min
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We Have the Tools, We Just Need to Use Them Correctly

Western governments and militaries have the capabilities, frameworks and processes necessary to counter political warfare – but they must be applied with a unified whole-of-government approach.

20min
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Political Warfare Calls For Its Own Operations Centre

How existing Western militaries’ theoretical and procedural frameworks for military campaigns could be better enabled to adapt to the demands of contemporary political warfare.

20min
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Fatally Flawed: How to Fix Our Planning Framework

The doctrinal approach to planning and conducting campaigns is flawed for the simple fact that war is fundamentally a human endeavour—and humans are unpredictable.

20min
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A Pathfinding Alternative to Centre-of-Gravity Based Learning

It is time to kill the sacred cow of the Centre of Gravity and bring clarity and simplicity to the ADF operational framework.

34min
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Operational Art Undermined: The Iraq Experience

The swift success of Operation Iraqi Freedom was the result of a balanced symbiosis between operational art and the operational level. Political skewing of that balance led to the protracted disarray of the subsequent stabilisation period.

34min
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Modern Mind Games Call For a New Mindset

Despite the shortfalls of mental models to represent the information environment, integration of information warfare concepts into existing frameworks for the planning and conduct of military campaigns enable Western militaries to adapt to the demands of contemporary political warfare.

36min
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War or Peace? That’s So Last Century

The escalation of political warfare this century has exposed Western frameworks for planning and conducting military campaigns as well past their use-by date. Time to get over the binary fixation and get up to speed.

26min
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Political Warfare: Doctrinally Unsatisfying, Increasingly Inescapable

Just as military adopt new technologies, they must also continue to adapt to the new means presented by contemporary political warfare.

33min
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Getting Our Military Frameworks Up To Speed With Political Warfare

Adaptability is crucial if Western military theoretical and procedural frameworks are to keep up with the burgeoning challenges of contemporary political warfare.

36min
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Incomplete application of operational art: Invading Iraq in 2003

When properly applied, operational art compels operational leaders to consider strategic consequences of tactical actions. When not properly applied, we saw what went wrong in the Iraq War.

33min
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Marriage of Necessity – Strategy and Politics

Western military campaigning frameworks can successfully co-exist with political agendas so long as we are flexible and responsive in adapting to the fluid nature of political warfare.

35min
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Political Warfare: Where Do We Stand?

Do the existing theoretical and procedural frameworks for planning and conducting military campaigns enable western militaries to adapt to the demands of contemporary political warfare?

33min