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

How Australia’s ethical failures with Timor-Leste should inform a future shaping strategy for the Indo-Pacific

Australian military planners are grappling with a grey-zone Chinese shaping strategy that threatens to disrupt[1] ‘stability, security and sovereignty’[2] in the Indo-Pacific. China’s strategy utilises a whole-of-government approach to influence competitors and potential partners through all means short of war.

Daniel-Thomson
34min

Defining ‘Right’: What are the ADF’s Ethics?

Overture

Andrew Stokes
30min

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

The Competition Prism

“Our traditional way that we differentiate between peace and war is insufficient …….we think of being at peace or war…our adversaries don’t think that way.” 

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 21 September and 5 October 2016 

Brigadier Grant Mason
4 min

ADF Concept for Command and Control of the Future Force

FOREWORD

by DL Johnston, AO Vice Admiral, RAN

Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Department of Defence
10min

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

One Step to Maximising our People’s Potential

This article's aim primarily is to spark interest in the importance of lifelong learning to realising potential and the use of coaching as a tool to assist this in Defence.

WGCDR Jacqueline Carswell
4 min
Diplomacy

Gaming for Strategic Acumen

Over the last few years, the subject of gaming has returned to the mainstream of professional military education around the world. Here, Darren Huxley reflects on how the Australian War College is using a common commercial board game, Diplomacy, to deepen its student's pursuit of strategic acumen.

COL Darren Huxley
7 min