Were the values that came to embody the digger legend of the 1st AIF incompatible with the expectations of British command? Did the traits required to command a less-than-conventional military force during the First World War require a less-than-conventional style of military leadership? This article explores the questions that arise regarding the leadership of the 1st AIF during the Great War - particularly that of General William Birdwood. Was his command effective given the unique circumstances, and were his opponents right to express criticism?
Core Areas of Study
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.
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.
The US Marine Corps has just released its new Commandant’s Guidance, foreshadowing a return to their traditional role of supporting the Navy’s fight for Sea Control now that it is being increasingly challenged. There are valuable insights for the ADF in understanding this fundamental shift in US Marine Corps thinking.
Compiled by Wing Commander Jo Brick
The aim of this paper is to provide insights into why preparing and developing a coalition environment is important for the ADF; what are the challenges that a coalition presents; and offer some recommendations on how the ADF might better prepare for the multilateral operations.
Responsibility for maintaining a sea-going, tank- or heavy vehicle-capable landing craft capability has historically shifted between the Army and Navy. Today, the ADF lacks a dedicated green-water amphibious capability to support operations in a region characterised by great rivers, but poor transport infrastructure.
The 16th and 17th century was a period of significant change in the character of war. The drivers accounting for these changes were not all based in military reforms, despite Western Europe being engaged almost continuously in war. While tactical applications is interesting, it was the beginnings of some profound changes in the development of warfare; the professional military, the standing army, scale of warfare and subsequent emergence of the state (Crown) owning the monopoly on violence and the arrival of proper naval forces.
As technological advances increasing automate the control of weapons, it is timely to review the skills we need in our warfare professionals. Their core skills will increasingly be maintaining SA and making decisions in confusing and evolving circumstances. We need to ensure the ‘science’ and ‘art’ of warfare are balanced.