What ‘RIGHT’ Looks Like: Linking Command and Moral Authority
…you don’t follow an order because you know for sure it’s gonna work out. You do what you are told, because your CO has the moral authority that says you may not come back. But the cause is just, and fair, and necessary.
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.
A Year in the Life of a Staff Officer and a General
Many field grade officers will serve as a Staff Officer / Military Assistant during their career within a single service, joint headquarters, or in an interdepartmental position. This article offers our perspective on the working relationship between Staff Officer and General. We hope it will be useful to those who are stepping into these roles in the future.
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.
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.
More than just a hashtag: the criticality of developing an Intellectual Edge
The current landscape
For some reason, the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) seems particularly susceptible to buzzwords. It would appear that for any new idea to have a chance of sprouting on what can often be somewhat barren ground, then it must have a catchy moniker. The prevailing thought seems to be that without one, an idea has little chance to gain traction against all the other good ideas being touted in Defence Headquarters.
Reflections on Command
This short, and hopefully helpful addition to The Forge, targets those who are about to assume unit command appointments. It should be broadly relevant to other levels of command, as well as a broader audience interested in military command approaches. Rich Barrett.
Learning to love learning requires passion and persistence. It can be a hard road, but intellectual endeavour is not just a personal challenge, it’s a challenge for the entire military community.
Lessons for Military Planning in 21st Century Warfare
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
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.
Center of Gravity: What Clausewitz Really Meant (Part 1 of 2)
Part one of a two-part article written by Professor Joseph L. Strange, Marine Corps War College and COL Richard Iron, British Army.
This paper explores what Clausewitz really meant by the term “center of gravity”. The authors propose that he intended it to be a strength, either moral or physical, and a dynamic and powerful agent in its own right. The authors also suggest that the current Joint and NATO definition of center of gravity is incorrect, implying it to be a source of strength, and that this mis-definition has been responsible for much of the confusion about the concept that exists today.