Hand holding a sparkler

Thoughts from The Edge

Mick Ryan is the Commander of the Australian Defence College. This column from Ryan and his contributors focusses on intellectually preparing members of the profession of arms for strategic competition and future conflict.

COMADC Mick Ryan
2min
Lightbulb resting on a blackboard

How to Think (and How Not To)

In this piece, Ben McLennan discusses the pressing need to educate the Army’s workforce on how to think (and how not to). In his discussion, McLennan cogently addresses systems thinking, inherent biases and the need for open-mindedness as part of understanding the recipe to transform Army’s thinking. While specific to McLennan’s Army experience, his observations are equally applicable to other Services and anyone who aspires to think in a way that harnesses a competitive advantage.

LTCOL Ben McLennan
5 min
Two people tugging on a rope from opposite ends

Center of Gravity: What Clausewitz Really Meant (Part 1 of 2)

Part one of a two-part article written by Professor Joseph L. Strange, Marine Corps War College and COL Richard Iron, British Army.

This paper explores what Clausewitz really meant by the term “center of gravity”. The authors propose that he intended it to be a strength, either moral or physical, and a dynamic and powerful agent in its own right. The authors also suggest that the current Joint and NATO definition of center of gravity is incorrect, implying it to be a source of strength, and that this mis-definition has been responsible for much of the confusion about the concept that exists today.

Joseph Strange and Richard Iron
2h
Map laid out on a table with people working around it

Managing Assumptions in Planning and Execution

Jeffery Marshall
2h
Open book

Officers’ Call: The Profession of Arms

In 1962, General Sir John Winthrop Hackett, GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC delivered a series of lectures on the Profession of Arms at Trinity College, Cambridge. A renowned soldier, author and historian, General Hackett served with distinction in the Second World War and his career culminated in his appointment as the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine. Following the success of these lectures, he released a well-received book on the same subject, also called ‘The Profession of Arms’. The lectures provide a good historical basis for officers who wish to conduct further study of the profession of arms.

GEN Sir John W. Hackett
2h
Chess board

The Royal Australian Air Force Leadership Companion

The Air Force Leadership Companion is designed to assist Air Force personnel in understanding and contextualising the foundations of leadership as espoused in ADDP 00.6 Leadership. This companion explores the context of Social Mastery: Character, Professional Ethics, Followership and Leadership in the Air Force.

CDLE Department of Defence
2h

CDLE Command Paper 1 - 2016

The CDLE Command Paper 1-2016 is Commodore Peter Scott’s CSC, RAN account of Submarine Command and the issues he faced during his Command. In his paper CDRE Scott covers: qualification to command an Australian submarine, leadership with ultimate accountability and authority, the essential elements of command, purpose, vision and realism as guiding concepts, methods of submarine command, lessons from submarine command, obligations inherent in submarine command, behaviours, and traits to value and nurture.

CDRE Peter Scott
2h

Us as the Enemy: Jihadism and the Strategic Narrative of Anti-Westernism

Delivered during the Chief of Army’s Land Forces Conference 2018, Ms Theodorakis’ lecture highlights how jihadists adhere to a worldview that has painted the West as a morally corrupt enemy, and the jihadists themselves – despite their involvement in such atrocities as extra-judical killings, beheadings – are the ethical actors trying to bring about a more just world.

Katya Kristina Theodorakis
2h

CDLE Ethics Paper 1 - 2016

Ethics and morality are often seen as esoteric concepts, and are often misunderstood. Just like good manners, everyone thinks that they have been correctly taught what is right or wrong, good or bad, but the reality is that most people do not have a framework for understanding the conceptual underpinning of why they hold these particular beliefs. In order to behave ethically and know the difference between ethical extremes one must be aware of the different perspectives of ethics.

Dr Guy Forsyth
2h
Illuminated human brain

Redefining the Center of Gravity

COL Dale C. Eikmeier, USA (Ret.), is an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Army Command and General staff College. COL Eikmeier shares his thoughts on identifying Center of Gravity. This method will provide campaign planners with an analytical tool that will fulfil doctrinal intent.

Dale Eikmeier
2h
Open book with spectacles on top

Understanding Centers of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities (Part 2 of 2)

Part two of a two-part article written by Professor Joseph L. Strange, Marine Corps War College and COL Richard Iron, British Army.

This paper examines the role of centers of gravity in operational design, looking at the relationship between centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities. It suggests an analytical model that joint warfighters and planners on both sides of the Atlantic can use to assist strategic and operational-level planning. The model helps to analyze existing and potential vulnerabilities of a center of gravity, and determine which of those could be especially critical.

Joe Strange
2h
Brain made of microchips

Modern War Institute Podcast – Ep 60: The Brain and the Battlefield

In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi talks to Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychologist whose work has helped us better understand the nature of stress and psychological responses to it on the battlefield. Dr. Morgan engages with a range of important questions about neurobiology and the unique stress of combat.

Jake Miraldi
43m