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.
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
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.
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.
North Korea’s Military Capability
This article is a Backgrounder document produced by the US Council on Foreign Relations outlining North Korea’s military capabilities with a particular focus on unconventional weapons. The article addresses the current state and source of origin of North Korea’s current arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their delivery platforms.
How the Military Fights Climate Change
Military leaders have known for millennia that the time to prepare for a challenge is before it hits you, says scientist and retired US Navy officer David Titley. He takes us from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria to the icy shores of Svalbard to show how the military approaches the threat of climate change, in a refreshingly practical, nonpartisan take on climate preparedness. "The ice doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls your congress. It doesn't care which party controls your parliament," Titley says. "It just melts."
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.