Operational Art
and Future Conflicts

These essays have been selected as the best submissions by ACSC Students in 2022

Twelve papers will be published over the next four weeks

Destryed Russion Tank in the Ukraine

Lessons from the 2022 Russian-Ukraine War

Lessons from the 2022 Russian-Ukraine War: What can the Australian Defence Force learn from the failures of the Russian Federation Armed Forces military campaign that can be utilised when planning future military operations and campaigns?
This essay was written on 23 September 2022, before the Ukrainian recapture of Kherson in the South in October 2022.

Imperfect Tools

Even Imperfect Tools Can Be Useful

Even Imperfect Tools Can Be Useful: An analysis of the MAP and its utility in combating complex adaptive systems.

Cyber purchasing

Evolution or Revolution

An Analysis of Capability Development to Support the Future.
Research and public discourse indicate that the ADF needs to reform its acquisition and force design processes to make acquiring military power a faster process.[2] Many within the national security space continue to ask whether the current system can support the development of military technologies in an all-domain kill-web environment.

System Engineers View

A Systems Engineer’s view of the Military Appreciation Process

Linear can be good enough: Enhancing the ADF’s Military Appreciation Process by using Systems Engineering methods to help define complex adaptive systems in war.

Ukrain border on fire

Plan for the Reality

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces was a significant escalation of ongoing tension and conflict between the two countries. This essay will evaluate three elements of military campaign planning against Putin’s strategic objectives. Noting the Russia-Ukraine War is still ongoing, an assessment of ‘success’ will not be made; instead, Russian-Ukraine War campaigns conducted between 24 February 2022 to September 2022 (Ukraine retakes 2400 square miles, including the city of Kharkiv) will be used to evaluate military campaign planning effectiveness.

Space Force

Increasing Australian’s relative superiority through multi-domain kill webs

This essay argues that the ADF should primarily consider joint multi-domain systems to create adaptive ‘kill webs’ to succeed in the contemporary environment. This paper evaluates the historical ‘service, platform, and network-driven’ models to discern limitations in the ADF’s ability to generate critical joint systems of Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) to defend and Joint Fires and Effects (JFE) to attack potential adversaries.

War in the Ukraine

Planned to Fail or Failed to Plan

The Russian approach in the 2022 Ukraine War.
This essay was written on 23 September 2022, before the Ukrainian recapture of Kherson in the South in October 2022. It offers a snapshot of the events leading up to that point. An analysis of Russian campaign planning and operations demonstrates how the Clausewitzian trinity of chance, passion and reason continues to hold true and has undermined Vladimir Putin's military foray into Ukraine.

Cubism as a form of non-linarity

The ADF needs non-linearity in contemporary planning

Why the ADF needs to incorporate non-linearity into contemporary planning to seize a competitive advantage.
This paper will argue that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) must place greater emphasis on nonlinear thinking and methodologies to enable a more holistic understanding of the contemporary operational environment and develop the intellectual edge required to outsmart, out-innovate, and outmanoeuvre its adversary.


Realising a data-centric all-domain kill-web through network-driven system design

This paper argues that the ADF requires network-driven system design to maximise the effects of platforms and capabilities across all domains. System design through platform or Service is a relic of the past.

ARrows indicate a linear plan across a battlefield

Are linear planning models even more critical as warfare evolves greater complexity?

This essay argues that linear planning processes are the most effective method of justifying capability development to the Australian Government to then apply those capabilities as military violence in the complex adaptive system of war.

A cowboy that may represent eith the good the bad or the alternative

The Joint Military Appreciation Process: The Good, The Bad and Some Alternatives.

This article evaluates the principal strengths and weaknesses of the ADF’s Joint Military Appreciation Process when used in the planning and execution of operations against complex adaptive systems. It proposes that the ADF could either scrap the JMAP process and move to an existing and more suitable framework for complex adaptive systems, or continue to use the JMAP in conjunction with these more adaptive reiterative systems.

Russia sticking a knife into the toaster that is the Ukraine

An evaluation of the Russian arrangement of military operations during the first phase of the Russo-Ukrainian War

This essay's thesis is that Russia failed to achieve its primary objective due to inadequate operational risk management. This risk, combined with failures in combined arms warfare and logistical problems, led to Russian forces failing to maintain sufficient operational reach and reaching their culminating point before achieving their operational objective.