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

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

Jeremy Pinney
58min

The Future is Limited: The Ethics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

The successful first flight of Boeing Australia’s ‘Loyal Wingman’ unmanned aircraft in early 2021 marks the introduction of a new and ground-breaking capability for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the broader Australian Defence Force (ADF). Unlike existing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) employed by the RAAF such as MQ-4C Triton, Loyal Wingman’s unique leveraging of artificial intelligence (AI) in conjunction with its ability to carry a variety of payloads gives it the potential to become the ADF’s first fully autonomous lethal weapon system.

Regan Ho
23min

An Inclusive War

Introduction

Amanda Van De Paverd
5 min

Victory in the Age of Cyber-Enabled Warfare

Future conflicts will not be won in cyberspace, but they can most certainly be lost there.

Major Christopher Wardrop
10min

Can We Help You? To Speak To Your Advisor Press 1. If You Wish To Instigate a Backlash Press 2.

Can ‘advise and assist’ missions be conducted successfully without even setting foot on site?
Let’s look at the ethics and pitfalls of resolution by remote control in nonviolent conflicts.

Mathew Wann
10min

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

CDLE Leadership Paper 1 - 2009

In CDLE Leadership Paper 1-2009 CMDR Tony Mullan, RAN identifies a range of practical areas against which the content of existing values programs in Defence can be evaluated. The paper describes what values are and their relationship to individual behaviour, decision making and long term organisational performance.

CMDR Tony Mullan
2h