Australia’s Military Strategic Challenges – Close to Home

The 16 September 2021 announcement of an enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) confirmed beyond any remaining doubt that the Australian Government considers its strategic environment to have permanently changed. The 2020 Defence Strategic Update presaged the announcement by highlighting a number of developments which had swiftly altered the strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific region since the publication of Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper.

Chris Watson
40min

The Art of Pacifism in the Conduct of War

For some, pacifism is a dirty word, shorthand for an unwillingness to fight on behalf of your country. However, pacifism is not just about being anti-war or anti-fighting. It is also about how not to get into a war. It is this latter meaning of pacifism that I draw on in this essay to discuss ethical issues in security strategy, not to undermine the willingness to fight but to consider the pragmatic tools that pacifism provides to prevent the need to fight. I am an amateur boxer, so I understand the inclination to fight and the desire to confront an adversary with force.

Dr Richard Davis
15min

Three words that conjure dangerous oversimplification

The Defence Strategic Update of 2020 provided three words that neatly encapsulate Government’s strategic objectives. The words also capture the raison d'etre of the Australian Defence Force and the tasks it is likely to execute in a period of ‘the most consequential strategic realignment since the Second World War’.[1]

Simon Hunter
8min

The Centre of Gravity in Context

Focusing upon the military idea of what a Centre of Gravity is, the article offers some background into Clausewitz's term to be able to better understand it today. The article finishes off by suggesting Clausewitz's idea of a Centre of Gravity remains relevant today and then discuses current doctrine and how military planners should be focusing upon the linking ideas of a CoG, not the idea itself.

Michael Ward
13min

JPME With a Purpose: Breaking Through the Mythology

A personal search for the truth beyond the myths of Canada’s naval success reinforces the merits of Australia’s attitude to cultivating informed leadership through a robust JPME system that encourages the asking of uncomfortable questions.

Darin MacDonald
20min