Australia sells weapons systems to Saudi Arabia amid fears they will be used to commit war crimes

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
The Runway image

Air Force launches The Runway

The Runway, Air Force’s new professional development platform designed to foster a broad community of learning was launched on 31 Oct 19 by Commander Air Force Training Group, Air Commodore Glen Braz.

Air Force, Australian Defence Organisation and other government agency personnel are invited to engage with the curated content and take the opportunity to participate in a whole-of-government discussion around the key topics affecting the delivery of air and space power for Australia’s future.

The Runway
2mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'Why We Write' Series - Why I Should Write More

‘Share your ideas. Share your thoughts. Tell your story! All of us who have served have ideas. We all have a story to tell. It might be technical, it might be tactical, it might be right, it might even be wrong. But get it out there and let’s debate it.’

                                Admiral Jim Stavridis, USN (ret)

CDRE Justin Jones, RAN
3mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'Why We Write' Series - Why I Write

Why I write is a good question.  There are many reasons, but the main one is something that took me far too long to appreciate.  I write because it helps my thinking. Sounds simple and obvious, but it took me quite a while to consciously realise that writing ideas and thoughts down forced me to engage my brain first.  Writing lines of argument or facts and figures gives me much greater focus on the intellectual underpinning of whatever I am trying to say and on the accuracy of those facts and figures.

CDRE Peter Leavy
2mins
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

Teaching and Learning in the Australian Command and Staff course

The ACSC contributes to the development of the critical intellectual edge for the Australian Defence Force. It does so in a January-December full-time course at the Weston Campus of the Australian Defence College, in Canberra. 

The philosophy of the course is set out in the Australian Joint Professional Military Education Continuum (2019). In particular, the curriculum sets out the expectation for mid 04- mid 05 APS6-EL1 officers who are at this stages of their career moving from tactical to operational and strategic domains, within the broader Defence organisation. 

CMDR Paul Davidson, RAN
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

'Why We Write' Series: Intellectual Preparation for War – It’s a Team Event

LTCOL Clare O’Neill
6mins
Why We Write image

'Why We Write' Series: Why I Write

Why I write

Jason Begley


“Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and never repeat myself.”

Dalton Russell, Inside Man

Whenever the subject of communication arises, I am drawn to this particular quote from arguably the most underrated heist movie of the modern era. This single sentence provides a basis of why communication is important, and why writing is such a powerful tool. Why do I say this? Let’s take a closer look...

Clarity is king

GPCAPT Jason Begley
5mins
Why We Write image

'Why We Write' Series: Final Thoughts

Conclusion of the #WhyWeWrite Series

The Forge Editors


Today’s contributions from LTCOL Clare O’Neill and GPCAPT Jason Begley are the last in the #WhyWeWrite series. GPCAPT Begley emphasises the importance of the discipline of writing for refining the thinking process. LTCOL O’Neill’s piece reflects on how far we have come in the ADF in professional writing, in working collaboratively as a team, and the origin story of the Grounded Curiosity blog.

The Forge Editors
2mins
Why We Write Series - Blood, Treasure and Time

Finding Virtue In Violence Or Writing For A Moral Compass In The 21st Century

Finding Virtue In Violence Or Writing For A Moral Compass In The 21st Century

LTCOL Thomas McDermott


‘For we know enough, if we know we are the king’s subjects; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime out of us'.

Bates, a soldier, to a disguised King Henry V, Act IV, Scene 1 [1]

LTCOL Thomas McDermott
3mins
Why We Write Series - Blood, Treasure and Time

'Why We Write' Series - WHY I WRITE

#Why I Write

WGCDR Chris McInnes

I find writing difficult and, frequently, not enjoyable. For me, answering the title question typically involves much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I ponder why I keep doing this to myself. But then I will see a new, stronger argument emerge from what I have put down on page or a nice turn of phrase will allow a small glimmer of ‘you can genuinely write’ light into the ‘you’re an impostor, what do you think you’re doing’ darkness.

WGCDR Chris McInnes
3mins