Counterpropaganda is Not a Dirty Word
Democracies need to shed the ethical baggage associated with counterpropaganda and harness the integrity of their institutions to engage in positive information offensives in a hyper connected age.
The US’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021 remoulded the global geopolitical terrain in ways the strategic punditry is still grappling with. The international media was awash with the scenes of the mujahideen confidently posing for the cameras as they occupied the complexes of Kandahar, peering straight into the West’s bone-weary democratic soul.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part Two
This is part two of Information - the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet. In this part the author examines each member of the Military Power Quartet and the effects the use, or misuse, that each element has had against the backdrop of the Ukranian conflict.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part One
In his forward to the new capstone doctrine, Australian Military Power, CDF General Campbell highlights ‘to fight and win, the ADF must fight as a cohesive force and with a clear understanding of how military power supports national power’. The doctrine attempts to distil the complex system of systems that comprise the Defence enterprise.
Military Strategy a Casualty of Successive Restructures
Defence in Australia has no military strategy for applying Australian military power for the achievement of government objectives. Australia’s inability to establish a military strategy tradition may be a consequence of the way the Defence structure and roles have morphed over the past half-century.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
JPME With a Purpose: Breaking Through the Mythology
A personal search for the truth beyond the myths of Canada’s naval success reinforces the merits of Australia’s attitude to cultivating informed leadership through a robust JPME system that encourages the asking of uncomfortable questions.
War-Fighting and the Production of Non-Sense
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update provides a strategic demand signal for Defence to think equally and iteratively across shape, deter and respond. In this context, the notion of warfighting warrants a reconsideration in terms of the dominant position it occupies within the ADF. If this term no longer simply speaks to the activity of fighting a war, what does it actually do, and how does this affect Australia’s current approach to military strategy?
The National Security Thinking of Australia and Singapore
Australia and Singapore have benefited from different “means” for the same “ends” in their national security reasoning to date, but China’s potential to overtake US influence in the Indo-Pacific region challenges both ways of thinking.