China and Russia - The view from the engaged watcher’s armchair
History is sometimes less about logical decisions than it is about the confluence of forces and the egos of humans.
On 24 February 2022, Russia crossed the border into Ukraine, a continuation of the war which had seen the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The build-up of troops on Ukraine’s borders had been watched for months, and while the media and pundits debated whether it constituted a false threat or an invasion, the US was in no doubt.
Enter, the Contemporary Australian Warrant Officer
The specialist skills of Warrant Officers have traditionally made them indispensable across the Services, but is this rank and role in a state of emergence? Could there be even more value in this cohort as modern conflicts emerge in brand new domains?
Rhetoric and Reason; What Drives the US and China
China has long charted its own course towards a defined destiny, while the West drifts from the path of unity towards a destination unknown.
One of China’s greatest strengths in the coming decades is that it knows where it is going. China, unlike the West, has a tangible, common future which it moves towards with fierce conviction. As a result of seeds planted long ago, China is now reaping the fruits of unwavering commitment to its direction at a time when the West faces trouble establishing unity.
Back to the Future for the South West Pacific
As this decade progresses, more and more learned Australians are joining a gospel choir. The melody they intend to sing is that we are at greater risk of a military conflict in our region than at any time since the end of World War II. While conveniently ignoring the brutality of the Korean War and our relatively limited entanglement in Vietnam, the bass and alto vocals are drowned out by the keening of sopranos and tenors. The latter support a bipartisan political system and electoral cycle which reinforce the creed that votes can only be secured by a hawkish approach to Defence.
Online Learning: No Going Back
Having discovered the benefits of online learning when the pandemic gave us no choice, we should embrace it as a valuable addition to our education tools.
Counterpropaganda is Not a Dirty Word
Democracies need to shed the ethical baggage associated with counterpropaganda and harness the integrity of their institutions to engage in positive information offensives in a hyper connected age.
The US’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021 remoulded the global geopolitical terrain in ways the strategic punditry is still grappling with. The international media was awash with the scenes of the mujahideen confidently posing for the cameras as they occupied the complexes of Kandahar, peering straight into the West’s bone-weary democratic soul.
The Next Revolution in Defence Spending
‘Whatever works’ is what the world’s military wants to purchase. But what is working in the current Ukrainian crisis? This lateral thinking look at the source of Ukrainian strength could suggest the next revolution in Defence spending.
Privatisation and the Pitfalls of ADF Expansion
If the ADF is to retain its best people as well as drive recruitment, it needs to match the attractions of private enterprise and not submit to an erosion of its core purpose.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part Two
This is part two of Information - the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet. In this part the author examines each member of the Military Power Quartet and the effects the use, or misuse, that each element has had against the backdrop of the Ukranian conflict.
Information – the Missing Member of the Military Power Quartet - Part One
In his forward to the new capstone doctrine, Australian Military Power, CDF General Campbell highlights ‘to fight and win, the ADF must fight as a cohesive force and with a clear understanding of how military power supports national power’. The doctrine attempts to distil the complex system of systems that comprise the Defence enterprise.
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – Five Lessons for Taiwan
Beijing is closely watching the West’s response to the 24 February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine for its own plans regarding the eventual subjugation of the independent country of Taiwan. The West’s desultory response to the crisis has revealed plain vulnerabilities and false assumptions about what the West would likely do in the event of an amphibious invasion or blockade of Taiwan by mainland China.
In Memoriam of the UNSC – The Ukraine conflict, world order, and the ADF
Russia’s act of aggression against Ukraine has finally proved the frailty of the UNSC design against belligerent behemoths.