Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – Five Lessons for Taiwan

Beijing is closely watching the West’s response to the 24 February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine for its own plans regarding the eventual subjugation of the independent country of Taiwan. The West’s desultory response to the crisis has revealed plain vulnerabilities and false assumptions about what the West would likely do in the event of an amphibious invasion or blockade of Taiwan by mainland China.

Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill
12min

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
Shaking hands image

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
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
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

Australia, Korea and ASEAN: Forging Ahead Together

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

Jacob Choi
5 min
General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC addressing ADFA Trainees

ADFA Presentation 2019 – General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC

The Governor-General of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC, addresses ADFA staff and trainees

Australian Defence Force Academy
53:06
Hands shaking with the words cooperate and connect written on them

ANU's support to JPME at the ACSC

A short essay on the Military and Defence Studies Program taught by the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, the significance of ANU's research-based teaching on strategy, leadership and military history, and on the need to remain nimble minded for what happens next.

John Blaxland
3 min