Back to the Future for the South West Pacific
As this decade progresses, more and more learned Australians are joining a gospel choir. The melody they intend to sing is that we are at greater risk of a military conflict in our region than at any time since the end of World War II. While conveniently ignoring the brutality of the Korean War and our relatively limited entanglement in Vietnam, the bass and alto vocals are drowned out by the keening of sopranos and tenors. The latter support a bipartisan political system and electoral cycle which reinforce the creed that votes can only be secured by a hawkish approach to Defence.
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.
The Next Revolution in Defence Spending
‘Whatever works’ is what the world’s military wants to purchase. But what is working in the current Ukrainian crisis? This lateral thinking look at the source of Ukrainian strength could suggest the next revolution in Defence spending.
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.
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.
In Memoriam of the UNSC – The Ukraine conflict, world order, and the ADF
Russia’s act of aggression against Ukraine has finally proved the frailty of the UNSC design against belligerent behemoths.
Book Review: Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World, by Miroslav Volf
The influence of religion at its worst on violence, and its best on peacemaking, is relevant to military leaders today.
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.
Book Review: Stopping Military Suicides, by Kate Hendricks Thomas and Sarah Plummer Taylor
Veteran suicides number 500 in Australia over the last two decades, overshadowing 41 combat deaths. This is the context of the urgent need for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. Statistics suggest the scale of the issue but it gets starkly personal when we know or have supported someone who has taken their own life or thought about it.
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.
Book Review: Beyond Combat, edited by Tristan Moss and Tom Richardson
The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) core business is foundation warfighting. However, it is often involved in other activities: welfare of soldiers and their families, uniform and nutrition provision, military training, military memorials and music bands. Beyond Combat seeks to explore military history- not just through the wars that are fought- but by “embrac[ing] the history of all that militaries ‘do’ away from the battlefield that is central to the lives of the soldiers who compose those forces” (p.1).