Counterpropaganda is Not a Dirty Word
Democracies need to shed the ethical baggage associated with counterpropaganda and harness the integrity of their institutions to engage in positive information offensives in a hyper connected age.
The US’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021 remoulded the global geopolitical terrain in ways the strategic punditry is still grappling with. The international media was awash with the scenes of the mujahideen confidently posing for the cameras as they occupied the complexes of Kandahar, peering straight into the West’s bone-weary democratic soul.
Privatisation and the Pitfalls of ADF Expansion
If the ADF is to retain its best people as well as drive recruitment, it needs to match the attractions of private enterprise and not submit to an erosion of its core purpose.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part Two
This is part two of Information - the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet. In this part the author examines each member of the Military Power Quartet and the effects the use, or misuse, that each element has had against the backdrop of the Ukranian conflict.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part One
In his forward to the new capstone doctrine, Australian Military Power, CDF General Campbell highlights ‘to fight and win, the ADF must fight as a cohesive force and with a clear understanding of how military power supports national power’. The doctrine attempts to distil the complex system of systems that comprise the Defence enterprise.
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – Five Lessons for Taiwan
Beijing is closely watching the West’s response to the 24 February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine for its own plans regarding the eventual subjugation of the independent country of Taiwan. The West’s desultory response to the crisis has revealed plain vulnerabilities and false assumptions about what the West would likely do in the event of an amphibious invasion or blockade of Taiwan by mainland China.
Military Strategy a Casualty of Successive Restructures
Defence in Australia has no military strategy for applying Australian military power for the achievement of government objectives. Australia’s inability to establish a military strategy tradition may be a consequence of the way the Defence structure and roles have morphed over the past half-century.
Indonesia and China: Geostrategic Implications for the ADF
As security tensions heighten in the Indo-Pacific, Australia is well placed to strengthen its relationship with Indonesia by stepping up military cooperation to jointly address China's growing influence in our region.
Book Review: Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
Brené Brown has been researching vulnerability, shame and resilience for two decades. Her TED talk on “The power of vulnerability” has 37 million views and is one of the five most watched. Her latest book Dare to Lead draws on her consulting and personal experience, teaching and evaluating the “Brave Leaders” course and interviewing 150 global C-level leaders to unpack the ingredients of brave leadership and courageous organizations.
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.
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.
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’.
A Fistful of Dollars: the Changing Paradigm of the PMSC and Mercenary in the Modern Battlespace
‘[Mercenaries] disunited, ambitious, without discipline, unfaithful; gallant among friends, vile among enemies; no fear of God, no faith with men.’
— Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince