For Whom the Bell Tolls

If Putin is looking to history to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he should also heed the words of one of history’s great literary figures in John Donne.

Shaun Cameron
9min

Book review: Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, by Joan Beaumont

My fascination with the Great War, as for other amateur genealogists, begins with the involvement of my relatives. My wife’s paternal grandfather Edward Funston served on the Western Front and suffered trench feet, as well as his brother Hubert Funston who was shot beside him. Her maternal great grandfather Thomas William Austin also served, and survived the war but disappeared. On my father’s side, Fred Petty arrived on the Western Front in December 1917 and was killed by a German shell in March 1918.

Darren Cronshaw
9min

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.

Dr Daniel Peterson, Professor Greg Barton, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr Joshua Roose
37min

Relax Vlad, Nobody Covets Russia

Every nation has legitimate security concerns. It is also apparent that people can love their country no matter what kind of country it is. Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin held forth on how NATO encroachment eastwards threatens Russia and causes Russia concern. What makes no sense to observers is: who does he think is coveting Russia? Who in their right mind would want to?

Garri Benjamin Hendell
12min

ANZUS in the 2020s - A Blessing or a Curse for Australians?

The Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America (ANZUS)[1] came into force on the late Emperor Hirohito’s 51st Birthday the 29th April 1952. Without Japan’s warmongering in the Pacific, even given the rise of communism, it is unlikely to have existed. In 2020 the Australian Government’s Defence Strategic Update (DSU) stated: “the prospect of high-intensity military conflict in the Indo-Pacific is less remote than at the time of the 2016 Defence White Paper (DWP), including high-intensity military conflict between the United States and China.[2] This paper, in answering the question in the title, will also propose an alternative to ANZUS avoiding the Commonwealth becoming embroiled in a third world war. Any such option must still meet the government’s “firm commitment to the Australian people” in the first sentence of the DSU’s foreword “that we will keep our nation safe and protect our way of life for future generations.”

Chris Watson
46min

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

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

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
COIN Ops image

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
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
Exercise RIMPAC 2018

US Marine Corps to Re-Focus on Sea Control

The US Marine Corps has just released its new Commandant’s Guidance, foreshadowing a return to their traditional role of supporting the Navy’s fight for Sea Control now that it is being increasingly challenged. There are valuable insights for the ADF in understanding this fundamental shift in US Marine Corps thinking.

CDRE Peter Leavy
3 min