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’.
How Australia’s ethical failures with Timor-Leste should inform a future shaping strategy for the Indo-Pacific
Australian military planners are grappling with a grey-zone Chinese shaping strategy that threatens to disrupt ‘stability, security and sovereignty’ in the Indo-Pacific. China’s strategy utilises a whole-of-government approach to influence competitors and potential partners through all means short of war.
Defining ‘Right’: What are the ADF’s Ethics?
The shifting sands of war
Familiar concepts of energy, strategy and territory are undergoing a transformation in the new geopolitical frontline of virtual space where intellectual sovereignty is becoming critical. The fight is no longer chiefly over what lies under the sand, but what strategic power can be derived from the sand itself. Australia must reconsider what it means to supply the world with raw material.
The 2019 ADF Joint Warrant Officer Course in review
Leveraging off the latest Joint Warrant Officer Course (JWOC) conducted in September 2019, the article focuses on the continued development of JWOC as part of the ADF’s Joint Professional Military Education Continuum. The article discusses the positioning of the JWOC course on the JPME Continuum and aims to assist in the preparation of senior ADF Warrant Officers for future Tier B and C appointments. It achieves this by providing an executive-level understanding of contemporary Defence issues at the strategic, operational and functional levels of command through the study of Australia’s Strategic Defence Environment, Joint Capability and Force Design and Command Leadership and Ethics. Most importantly it highlights the fact that a key ‘deliverable’ of the JWOC is to cultivate, in our senior Warrant Officers, the ability to think both critically and strategically.
Australia, Korea and ASEAN: Forging Ahead Together
Photo courtesy SBS Australia from the first ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, 2018
Michael Pezzullo’s seven gathering storms: national security in the 2020s
Mr Michael Pezzullo, Secretary, Department of Home Affairs, addressed the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on 13 March 2019 and provided a framework for considering emerging security risks - the 'future stormy possibilities' - into the next decade. This article is reprinted from 'The Mandarin' (image: Wordpress.com)
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
US Defense Implications of Expanding China
This U.S. DoD report assesses China’s global expansion efforts and the implications for the U.S. in terms of military access, logistics, force posture and training. The report has generated discussion and various assessments can be found online across the national security community.
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.