The shifting sands of war

Familiar concepts of energy, strategy and territory are undergoing a transformation in the new geopolitical frontline of virtual space where intellectual sovereignty is becoming critical. The fight is no longer chiefly over what lies under the sand, but what strategic power can be derived from the sand itself. Australia must reconsider what it means to supply the world with raw material. 

Zac Rogers
10

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
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Clash of Cultures: The Digger Legend of the First Australian Imperial Force

Were the values that came to embody the digger legend of the 1st AIF incompatible with the expectations of British command? Did the traits required to command a less-than-conventional military force during the First World War require a less-than-conventional style of military leadership? This article explores the questions that arise regarding the leadership of the 1st AIF during the Great War - particularly that of General William Birdwood. Was his command effective given the unique circumstances, and were his opponents right to express criticism?

Luke J. Graham
10min
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Understanding the Women, Peace and Security agenda

2020 is a milestone year for the 'Women, Peace and Security' agenda. Chief of Army Scholar, Lyndsay Freeman outlines the basics of this agenda, and how the ADF implements its core principles of supporting women’s meaningful participation in peace processes, prioritising their protection in humanitarian crises, and increasing women’s leadership and decision-making.

Lyndsay Freeman
10min
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A Year in the Life of a Staff Officer and a General

Many field grade officers will serve as a Staff Officer / Military Assistant during their career within a single service, joint headquarters, or in an interdepartmental position. This article offers our perspective on the working relationship between Staff Officer and General. We hope it will be useful to those who are stepping into these roles in the future.

Kate Tollenaar and Ian Langford
10min
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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
More than just a hashtag: the criticality of developing an Intellectual Edge

More than just a hashtag: the criticality of developing an Intellectual Edge

The current landscape

For some reason, the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) seems particularly susceptible to buzzwords. It would appear that for any new idea to have a chance of sprouting on what can often be somewhat barren ground, then it must have a catchy moniker. The prevailing thought seems to be that without one, an idea has little chance to gain traction against all the other good ideas being touted in Defence Headquarters.

LTCOL Greg Colton
2mins
Reflections on Command

Reflections on Command

This short, and hopefully helpful addition to The Forge, targets those who are about to assume unit command appointments. It should be broadly relevant to other levels of command, as well as a broader audience interested in military command approaches. Rich Barrett.

COL Richard Barrett
2mins

Learning Vulnerability

Learning to love learning requires passion and persistence. It can be a hard road, but intellectual endeavour is not just a personal challenge, it’s a challenge for the entire military community.

Dr Jack Bowers
3 min

Loose Lips Bring Ships: Operations Security in Operation Sovereign Borders

OPSEC requires constant monitoring to ensure it addresses the identified vulnerabilities and mitigates the assessed risks. It may be that this needs to occur not only in the chain of command, but by Defence publications as well.

CAPT Samuel C. Duckett White*
5 min
Military History

Changes in warfare in the 16th and 17th centuries - a ‘military revolution’?

The 16th and 17th century was a period of significant change in the character of war. The drivers accounting for these changes were not all based in military reforms, despite Western Europe being engaged almost continuously in war. While tactical applications is interesting, it was the beginnings of some profound changes in the development of warfare; the professional military, the standing army, scale of warfare and subsequent emergence of the state (Crown) owning the monopoly on violence and the arrival of proper naval forces.

COL David Edwards
6 min

Australia, Korea and ASEAN: Forging Ahead Together

Photo courtesy SBS Australia from the first ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, 2018

Jacob Choi
5 min