Hard Power is a Reality – NATO Commander's Observations on Ukraine
An article introducing comments made by GEN Chris Cavoli, SACEUR and COM USEUCOM, on NATO and the War in Ukraine as well as his personal observations on implications as a military professional.
Can Australians fight?
A change in the character of war is the importance of pre-conflict, political warfare to weaken adversaries and undermine their will to fight. Meanwhile, recent wars between states reinforced the enduring nature of protracted, conventional war to avoid existential threats. This essay asks if Australia has the national understanding to counter the impact of political warfare and the commensurate will to endure a protracted war in the Indo-Pacific.
Forget the 4 Cs, Use Motivation as the Cornerstone for Successful Learning in the ADF
Within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the four C’s – critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication – are viewed as the cornerstone for successful learning. However, education philosophers and theorists – from the Dewey era to more a contemporary 21st Century (Pratt et. al 2022) – have all agreed that for successful learning to occur, the fundamental pillar of motivation needs to be the foundation from which all other educational constructs spring forth.
Climate and Australia’s National Security
Climate change matters to Defence and has a direct effect on warfighting. Inaction threatens to undermine Defence’s contribution to Pacific Step-Up initiatives and puts us at a competitive disadvantage in developing regional influence and power projection.
Break in the Chain - Intelligence Ignored Launching of the Easter Offensive of 1972
As publishers and historians have now pushed the Vietnam War into a few paragraphs in a Cold War section of United States and world histories, the events contained in most discussions of the war usually ignore the Easter Offensive of 1972. If mentioned at all, it often centres on the Paris Peace Talks and Operation Linebacker but not on why and how it occurred nor the NVA and VC massacres of their own people.
Enter, the Contemporary Australian Warrant Officer
The specialist skills of Warrant Officers have traditionally made them indispensable across the Services, but is this rank and role in a state of emergence? Could there be even more value in this cohort as modern conflicts emerge in brand new domains?
Rhetoric and Reason; What Drives the US and China
China has long charted its own course towards a defined destiny, while the West drifts from the path of unity towards a destination unknown.
One of China’s greatest strengths in the coming decades is that it knows where it is going. China, unlike the West, has a tangible, common future which it moves towards with fierce conviction. As a result of seeds planted long ago, China is now reaping the fruits of unwavering commitment to its direction at a time when the West faces trouble establishing unity.
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.