The Peril of Extremes: on moral relativism and ethnocentrism

‘If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade, and sewed her back up, leaving only a tiny hole for urine and menstrual flow, the only question would be how severely that person should be punished, and whether the death penalty would be a sufficiently severe sanction. But when millions of people do this, instead of the enormity being magnified millions-fold, suddenly it becomes ‘culture’, and thereby magically becomes less, rather than more, horrible…’

Vedran Maslic
10min

Civil-Military Relations in Australia: Past, Present and Future

This Profession of Arms Seminar on the subject of Australian civil–military relations is intended to revive interest in a neglected but important field of study. For four decades, the field of Australian civil–military relations has been an outlier in defence scholarship, a situation which has hampered a better understanding of how policy, strategy and operations are formulated by Australian politicians, military professionals and public servants.

20min

Soldiers Breaking Windows

In the rush to provide an organisational response to allegations of violent war crimes committed by its soldiers, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) risks applying an educational solution to a behavioural problem. This essay proposes instead to examine the triggers and contributing factors behind the behaviour, and to transform the practical training landscape to better prepare soldiers for the intangible pressures they face on the battlefield.

“In many ways the Digger is a study in contradictions.”

John Wellfare
28min

The New ADF – the way to the inclusive future

What follows is a short opinion piece that covers off on the most effective way for the ADF to become relevant to the young people of this nation. It speaks to our existing culture and makes suggestions for improvement.

Jason Gardner
13min

Assistive AI

Nights on the vehicle checkpoint outside the regional hospital were turning into a real drag. The city had been liberated two months ago and the insurgency driven out. The majority of attacks were now skirmishes on the outskirts of town. The key roads leading into the city had been destroyed by the orbital kinetic bombardment system, leaving massive craters where key roads had once existed. Now there were only three heavily guarded choke points accessible to vehicle traffic which the enemy would need to capture if they had any hope of taking the city.

Samuel Hatcher
13min

The Aviator – A Story of Death Intertwined with Observations of Cultural Change

By all accounts, my father was what they call a top bloke. A Flight Engineer on C-130 Hercules, he was tall, funny and loved motorbikes, rugby and surfing. He was as active and manly as the Marlboro Man. He was married with two young children, worked in a job he loved, and had more friends than he could count.

Jessica Salih
17min

Twitter Girl

Attention ladies! Did you hear?
You can be a musketeer!
Wear a beret, fight like men,
just be sure to hide your femme.

Fire a rifle, hump a pack,
steady girls prepare for flak.
Doesn’t matter what you do,
‘cause Twitter-sphere’s got a view.

Prove your worth and earn your place,
makes no diff’rence for the case.
Token female, yes that’s you,
cheap shots thrown, there are a few.

Claire Pearson
2min

Integrating Our Military and Personal Stories: A Chaplain’s First Year in the Australian Defence Force

At the heart of the chaplain’s ‘spiritual’ role is assisting members to find congruence in their sense of self and the intersecting storylines of their lives, including their military story. I often invite those who are fatigued by change and challenge to reconnect with the adventure, and mishaps, of initial training. Looking back, yesterday’s challenge is often today’s amusing story. It is also the story of a challenge which has been overcome. These memories of past resilience can provide a source of new energy, the fuel of resilience, to face the challenges of tomorrow.

CHAP (FLTLT) Emma Street
11min

Evolving European Indo-Pacific Policies – Good for Australia

Evolving European Indo-Pacific Policies – Good for Australia

Synopsis

While AUKUS and the nuclear submarine agreement have amplified Australia’s role in the Indo Pacific, Europe is also asserting a greater interest in the region that could well determine a new international order.

Peter Leavy
23min

Euthanizing Democracy: The Assisted Death of Liberalism

Authoritarian states have weaponised the vulnerabilities of technology and unchecked power of social media to exploit the very tenet of democracy that they despise – free expression – to undermine democracy itself.

Vedran ‘Maz’ Maslic
55min

Working with Contractors: Culture clash or Positive Partnership?

Contractors always pursue large profit, the customer – a high-quality end product in due time and at a lower cost.  This struggle never ends, but this is natural.

Vladimir Putin[1]

Getting the best results from the ADF’s increasing use of private contractors calls for a deft ability to straddle the intrinsic cultural differences between military protocol and commercial practices.

Callum Brown
29min

Peekaboo with Mars or: How I learned to Love Jus ad Vim and address the Ethical Implications to the Changing Character of War

The contents of this paper reflect my own personal views and are not necessarily endorsed by the Naval War College or the Department of the Navy.

Stockdale Leader Development Concentration Paper Advisor: Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin, Ph.D.

William R. Soucie Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps
78min