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

The Art of Pacifism in the Conduct of War

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 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

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
Battle image

Scharnhorst and Professional Mastery


To me, being 'professional' has meant striving for excellence at my everyday job. Until I attended Command and Staff Course at the Australian War College last year, I did not appreciate that being good at my job was not the same as being a military professional. The course broadened my understanding; being a professional requires one to embrace continual learning in all aspects of the profession. I became conscious that through professional mastery, individuals, even those in junior roles, can influence organisational outcomes beyond their job.

SQNLDR Agam Sheldon
3mins
Defence Product Innovation Success - Summary

Product innovation success in the ADF – an exploratory study

It is possible for Australian defence companies and the Australian Defence Organisation to achieve greater success and better mitigate the financial, technical and schedule risks in developing new, technology-based  equipment and services for the ADF.

The research leading to this conclusion was based on case studies of 20 successful and unsuccessful Australian defence projects, and addressed three key questions:

Dr Gregor Ferguson
3mins

Defence materiel sales - an exploration of the ethical challenges

(Note: This paper is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of Defence nor the Australian Army. I pose this paper to invoke discussion on the topic).


Research, development, manufacture and selling of military materiel, in particular systems that are designed to deliver kinetic effects and bring harm to others, has always been a contentious issue for members of the public of Western democratic nations - especially during long periods of perceived peace.

Anthony Watson
3mins

Are we ready for machines to learn and make decisions for us?

LTCOL Jasmin Diab uses the example of her recent work in supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency to ask us to consider the future of machine learning and its ability to support military decision making.

LTCOL Jasmin Diab
3 min
Analysis

The Commander’s call: Re-defining rules of engagement (ROE) during Counterinsurgency (COIN) operations

The author writes on the inherent contradiction that exists between the implementation of international humanitarian law and the military operations in the conflict environment. The case in study is about ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Syria, where the U.S troops along with their ISAF colleagues face a dual challenge fighting the insurgents while working within the framework of international humanitarian and domestic laws. The article discusses the necessity of involving the field commander's view while developing rules of engagement so that the operational imperatives aren't lost while guarding against collateral damage.

Anant Mishra
4 min