Book Review: Military Virtues

oday’s soldiers navigate complex ethical dilemmas. They face new threats and often carry unprecedented potential for destructive power. An unfortunate series of ethical failures in recent conflicts, by members of Western military forces has raised the need for improved military ethics training. As military commanders scramble to correct such failings, so too is the need to identify what moral resources are required for soldiers to choose; right over wrong, justice over injustice, virtue over non-virtuous.

Darren Cronshaw
3min

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

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

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

Operations in deception: corrupting the sensing grid of the enemy

Fooling the enemy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) artificial intelligence system will be as critical as refining our own in a live situation. AI is the future, but it has its vulnerabilities.

Jacob Simpson
10min

Countering Robotics and Autonomous Systems through Maritime Area Denial

Muddying the waters acoustically will be equally important as guided munitions when it comes to underwater mine warfare in the new age of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS). Let’s look at both the kinetic and the non-kinetic approaches.

Nate Streher
7min

What ‘RIGHT’ Looks Like: Linking Command and Moral Authority

 

…you don’t follow an order because you know for sure it’s gonna work out. You do what you are told, because your CO has the moral authority that says you may not come back. But the cause is just, and fair, and necessary.

Nick Bosio
27min

An Introduction to Moral Injury in Defence

The difference between an individual who returns from a deployment morally injured, and an individual who returns unharmed, may be defined by whether they can answer the following questions: ‘what do I really believe? Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my purpose?’. Can you answer those questions?

Unsurprisingly, ‘knowing thyself’ is not a standardised training package delivered by Defence. Should it be so the ADF can craft efficient personnel encapsulating the totality of fitness: physical, intellectual, moral/ethical, and spiritual?

Samuel J. Cox
6mins
Sci_Fi Reading List image

A Cadet's Introduction to Science Fiction


 

‘The minute I was bored with a book or a subject I moved to another one, instead of giving up on reading altogether… The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading.’ – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

OCDT C. R. Wooding
3mins
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Synchronising Counterinsurgency Ops with Effective Intelligence

All combat operations need real-time, concrete intelligence, but the counterinsurgency operations’ (COINOPS) margin of error runs thinnest. In their fast, multidimensional context, COINOPS demand more comprehensive intelligence at platoon/company levels than conventional warfare does. This article explores the need for tactical unit leaders fighting insurgencies to have more intelligence assets available in the field in order to offer swift analyses to aid decision making in highly fluid environments.

Anant Mishra
6mins