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Clash of Cultures: The Digger Legend of the First Australian Imperial Force

Were the values that came to embody the digger legend of the 1st AIF incompatible with the expectations of British command? Did the traits required to command a less-than-conventional military force during the First World War require a less-than-conventional style of military leadership? This article explores the questions that arise regarding the leadership of the 1st AIF during the Great War - particularly that of General William Birdwood. Was his command effective given the unique circumstances, and were his opponents right to express criticism?

Luke J. Graham
10min
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Joint Warfighting - The Impact of Assumption and Bias

Are aspects of the JMAP fundamentally flawed? In the absence of a complete intelligence picture, planners often make a series of assumptions. These are based on an unproven assessment of the adversary plan. Within these assumptions lie a series of unanswered questions relating to ‘intent’. This article explores how bias and assumption can impact on the planning process and complicate the successful attainment of the end-state.

Dougal Robertson
8min
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Synchronising Counterinsurgency Ops with Effective Intelligence

All combat operations need real-time, concrete intelligence, but the counterinsurgency operations’ (COINOPS) margin of error runs thinnest. In their fast, multidimensional context, COINOPS demand more comprehensive intelligence at platoon/company levels than conventional warfare does. This article explores the need for tactical unit leaders fighting insurgencies to have more intelligence assets available in the field in order to offer swift analyses to aid decision making in highly fluid environments.

Anant Mishra
6mins
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
Military History

Changes in warfare in the 16th and 17th centuries - a ‘military revolution’?

The 16th and 17th century was a period of significant change in the character of war. The drivers accounting for these changes were not all based in military reforms, despite Western Europe being engaged almost continuously in war. While tactical applications is interesting, it was the beginnings of some profound changes in the development of warfare; the professional military, the standing army, scale of warfare and subsequent emergence of the state (Crown) owning the monopoly on violence and the arrival of proper naval forces.

COL David Edwards
6 min

Lessons for Military Planning in 21st Century Warfare

ADF

 

Rob Alsworth and Andrew Tidmarsh
4 min
Title Why “To Change an Army” Still Matters

Why “To Change an Army” Still Matters

A short piece on why the 1983 article by General Don Starry retains contemporary relevance to future-focused, adaptive national security institutions.

COMADC Mick Ryan
3 min

Scenario Planning and Strategy in the Pentagon

Dr. Michael Fitzsimmons at the U.S. Army War College examines scenario plan­ning in the Pentagon. He demonstrates how uncertainty and com­plexity converge with the DOD’s bureaucratic decision-making to subvert what should be a straightforward process. His recommendations for reorienting this invite debate among strategists, planners, and the broader joint community.

US Department of Army
2 hrs
Lightbulb resting on a blackboard

First Principles Review - Creating One Defence

The Review Team were tasked with ensuring that Defence is fit for purpose and is able to deliver against its strategy with the minimum resources necessary. Using a structured framework, the team have conducted an end-to-end holistic review based on the outcomes required of Defence and founded on the first principles agreed by the review team.

Department of Defence
2h
Open book with spectacles on top

Military Culture, Learning and Adaptation during the Burma Campaign 1942-1945

This essay discusses how military culture and learning and adaptation on both sides affected the outcome of the Burma Campaign 1942–1945. The British 14th Army developed a military culture of learning and adaptation which led to their victory while the Imperial Japanese Army had an existing military culture based upon tenets of Bushido, which constrained their ability to learn and adapt and in turn led to their defeat.

Mathew Shelley
30m
People working over a map

Thucydides Trap: A lesson in strategy and chance from ancient Greece

Paul Taylor
20m
Cracked lightbulb

Understanding the challenges to British and French Imperialism 1900-1939– An application of the D.I.M.E model

The period between 1900-1939 is said to have created the characteristics of modern war and the global order as we know it. This period saw two World Wars, political revolutions, unprecedented innovation, the introduction of a third military service and created the pre-conditions that resulted in the end of Western imperialism.

Yaeli Liebowitz
30m