Analysis

The Commander’s call: Re-defining rules of engagement (ROE) during Counterinsurgency (COIN) operations

The author writes on the inherent contradiction that exists between the implementation of international humanitarian law and the military operations in the conflict environment. The case in study is about ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Syria, where the U.S troops along with their ISAF colleagues face a dual challenge fighting the insurgents while working within the framework of international humanitarian and domestic laws. The article discusses the necessity of involving the field commander's view while developing rules of engagement so that the operational imperatives aren't lost while guarding against collateral damage.

Anant Mishra
4 min
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
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
Radar

Capability Boost: Trials Demonstrate Enhanced ViDAR/ScanEagle Package

This article from Jane’s International Defence Review discusses the use of Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) technology on the ScanEagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) platform to provide detection capabilities comparable to radar using Electrooptical (EO) and Infra Red (IR) sensors.

Anonymous
30 m
Human and robot facing each other

Google Ponders the Shortcomings of Machine Learning

This article discusses Google’s AI research project Google Brain and DeepMind and their explanation for why, despite advances in computing power, machine learning still lags behind human cognitive skills, particularly the ability to “generalize beyond one’s experience”. The article describes the use of graphs of relationships to replicate neural networks as a potential area of future advancement in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Tiernan Ray
20m
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
Eye with electronic interior

Artificial intelligence system uses transparent, human-like reasoning to solve problems

This article describes a method by which a computer can recognise objects using Transparency by Design Network (TbD-Net) developed at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Researchers have used human-like reasoning to develop an algorithm which they claim can outperform other visual recognition software and algorithms because humans can view its reasoning process to determine where and how it is making mistakes.

Kylie Foy
15m
Handshake with a map of the world super imposed over the top

Social Contracts and the Australian Civil-Military Relationship

In Australia, troop deaths in combat remind the public of the terms of employment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and raise the question of commensurate compensation. One community group is committed to the task of developing a ‘military covenant’ to articulate these terms and compensations based on the idea that the ‘unique nature’ of military service is an invocation of a social contract. But is a social contract really at the heart the Australian civil-military relationship?

Cate Carter
10m
Himan man removing his face and showing circuitry beneath

Neuro Embodied Design: How We’ll Become Cyborgs and Extend Human Potential

Humans will soon have new bodies that forever blur the line between the natural and synthetic worlds, says bionics designer Hugh Herr. In an unforgettable talk, he details "NeuroEmbodied Design," a methodology for creating cyborg function that he's developing at the MIT Media Lab, and shows us a future where we've augmented our bodies in a way that will redefine human potential -- and, maybe, turn us into superheroes. "During the twilight years of this century, I believe humans will be unrecognizable in morphology and dynamics from what we are today," Herr says. "Humanity will take flight and soar."

Hugh Herr
16m
Map of earth and the oceans

Queryable Earth: A Searchable database of Earth

What if you could search the surface of the Earth the same way you search the internet? Will Marshall and his team at Planet use the world's largest fleet of satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Now they're moving on to a new project: using AI to index all the objects on the planet over time -- which could make ships, trees, houses and everything else on Earth searchable, the same way you search Google. He shares a vision for how this database can become a living record of the immense physical changes happening across the globe. "You can't fix what you can't see," Marshall says. "We want to give people the tools to see change and take action."

Will Marshall
7m