"Getting Our Feet Wet": Operation POSTERN 1943 and Future Amphibious Campaigning
Operation POSTERN was a joint forcible entry operation in New Guinea, 1943, spearheaded by land forces from the Australian I Corps. It was a truly joint and combined operation that involved all three services and forces from Australia and the United States. A retrospective glance at POSTERN affords valuable insights for future maritime campaigning. For the foreseeable future, the core military problem for amphibious and littoral operational planners is likely to remain gaining access to maritime terrain across multiple contested domains, and generating sufficient combat power ashore to stage at or seize advance bases. Operation POSTERN offers important operational lessons in theater-shaping, deception, manoeuvre, and advance basing.
International Law: A Primer for Military Readers
International law is a topic which confounds most lawyers, let alone members of the general public or military personnel. Despite so much of it having been incorporated into the US Army’s DNA through the law of land warfare, the foundational premise of international law is so poorly understood that it tends to fall into the category of something soldiers have to learn about and comply with, but none really understand.
Working With Civvies – the Integrated Workplace
There are so many public servants working for Defence that it is important to know how to work with them.
‘Department of Defence analysis, produced last year and seen by The Mandarin, raises concerns that cultural differences between navy, army, air force and Defence public service can be a structural source of workplace bullying, mistreatment of women and other unacceptable behaviour.’
Thinking Strategically - Reflections
The Australian Government is very active on many fronts, including Defence. The relatively recent realisation that the world is heading to a great geostrategic reset, leading to a new world order, has raised the anxiety of politicians, agriculturalists, miners, industrialists and the military. Both the transition and the new geostrategic state are potentially inimical to Australia’s interests and sovereignty, making the work of ‘thinking strategically’ ur
Hard Power is a Reality – NATO Commander's Observations on Ukraine
An article introducing comments made by GEN Chris Cavoli, SACEUR and COM USEUCOM, on NATO and the War in Ukraine as well as his personal observations on implications as a military professional.
Can Australians fight?
A change in the character of war is the importance of pre-conflict, political warfare to weaken adversaries and undermine their will to fight. Meanwhile, recent wars between states reinforced the enduring nature of protracted, conventional war to avoid existential threats. This essay asks if Australia has the national understanding to counter the impact of political warfare and the commensurate will to endure a protracted war in the Indo-Pacific.
Forget the 4 Cs, Use Motivation as the Cornerstone for Successful Learning in the ADF
Within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the four C’s – critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication – are viewed as the cornerstone for successful learning. However, education philosophers and theorists – from the Dewey era to more a contemporary 21st Century (Pratt et. al 2022) – have all agreed that for successful learning to occur, the fundamental pillar of motivation needs to be the foundation from which all other educational constructs spring forth.
Climate and Australia’s National Security
Climate change matters to Defence and has a direct effect on warfighting. Inaction threatens to undermine Defence’s contribution to Pacific Step-Up initiatives and puts us at a competitive disadvantage in developing regional influence and power projection.
Break in the Chain - Intelligence Ignored Launching of the Easter Offensive of 1972
As publishers and historians have now pushed the Vietnam War into a few paragraphs in a Cold War section of United States and world histories, the events contained in most discussions of the war usually ignore the Easter Offensive of 1972. If mentioned at all, it often centres on the Paris Peace Talks and Operation Linebacker but not on why and how it occurred nor the NVA and VC massacres of their own people.
Needless anxiety over China will only make it true
Australians need to rapidly reassess their China-Taiwan calculus, because as it stands we are overstating our global importance and understating realities. Overstating the possibility of conflict risks us creating a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein we make our fears come true.
Cementing Iran into a Russo-Chinese Coalition is Strategic Folly
Bringing Iran in from the cold would not only undercut a potential axis with China and Russia, it would allow the US to concentrate on its main game. Washington’s encouragement of a major rapprochement  between Israel and Saudi Arabia is intended to simplify the US’s security dilemmas in the region, including as a counter-balance to an increasingly assertive Iran.
China and Russia - The view from the engaged watcher’s armchair
History is sometimes less about logical decisions than it is about the confluence of forces and the egos of humans.
On 24 February 2022, Russia crossed the border into Ukraine, a continuation of the war which had seen the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The build-up of troops on Ukraine’s borders had been watched for months, and while the media and pundits debated whether it constituted a false threat or an invasion, the US was in no doubt.