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.

Chris Watson
40min

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’.[1]

Simon Hunter
8min

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[1] ‘stability, security and sovereignty’[2] 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.

Daniel-Thomson
34min

Defining ‘Right’: What are the ADF’s Ethics?

Overture

Andrew Stokes
30min

Lessons for Military Planning in 21st Century Warfare

ADF

 

Rob Alsworth and Andrew Tidmarsh
4 min
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
Fantasy battle scene

Dr. Phillip Karber on the Russian Way of War

Speaking to staff and cadets at the United States’ West Point Academy, Dr. Phillip Karber describes what he has learned about the Russian way of war from thirty trips he has made to Ukraine, including six months on the front lines of the war in the country's east. This lecture highlights how a re-imagined Russian military is conducting technologically advanced joint-land combat against a ‘near peer’ military – the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Modern War Institute
1h
Ying and yang symbol

No better friend, no worse enemy: How different organisational cultures impede and enhance Australia’s whole-of-government approach

Since 1999, Australia has increasingly deployed the military in joint, combined, interagency environments as part of a ‘whole-of-government’ approach. Despite some successes, a number of barriers between the contributing agencies continue to interfere with attempts to synchronise disparate elements of national power into a unified national effort.

Mark Smith
20m
Warehouse lined with boxes

The Australian Military and Logistics: When Preparedness Equals Survival

The material comprises a 2014 interview with Air Vice Marshall John Blackburn (Retired), in which he poses a number of questions relating to the resilience of Australia’s Defence logistics capabilities. The questions and tacit solutions he proposes have become more relevant given recent instability in the South China Sea and the current shifts in US foreign policy.

M Delaporte
2h
Handshake

Building Trust: Civil-Military Relations in Australia

Establishing and maintaining the necessary levels of trust in Australian civil-military relations has been tested over the past decade by incidents such as the ‘Skype’ and ‘children overboard’ incidents. This paper looks at civil-military relations; relationships between the civilian government, society and military leadership.

Brian Agnew
2h