The Perry Group
2020 Papers

This year has been the third year that we have run the Perry Group elective at the Australian War College. The group aims to hone a more forward-thinking and creative mindset in our Defence leaders, using science fiction, so that this can be applied to futures oriented. It also provides the opportunity for War College students to research, and develop a group paper on, future Defence capability outside of the normal War College continuum.

This year again, we sought CDF guidance on the topics that Perry Group members might explore.

Each group that produced a paper was guided by directing staff at the War College. They were also allocated a subject matter expert from within VCDF Group who provided guidance on work that had already been done, and who also assisted in focussing the groups on key areas that would add most value to the work of Defence’s modernisation process.

Each paper contains an executive summary up front and a series of recommendations that may be useful to prompt further discussion in different working groups and committees across Defence.

I have left the papers largely ‘unfiltered’; I want to ensure that they remain an accurate representation of the views of our War College students. There has been some standardisation and editing, but the key ideas and themes in each paper remain unchanged.

I trust you find these papers insightful and enjoyable. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute again to the development of our future Australian Defence Force.

signature of M.B. Ryan

M.B. Ryan
Major General
Commander, Australian Defence College

15 September 2020

Logo of the Perry Group
drone flying over an explosion

Grey Zone

While ‘grey-zone’ has gained wide usage, it lacks an agreed definition, is used in a variety of ways to justify different kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities. Is ‘grey-zone’ a helpful term, or is it just another fad term that results in military and national security professionals abrogating their required learning about war as a phenomenon?

globe world view from outer-space with gridlines overlayed over the top


Long range strike

New technologies provide options for the protection of Australia that we have not had before. What might this mean in particular for a long range strike capability? In particular, in the context of the 21st century, what does "long range", "strike" and "strategic" actually mean and what are the range of options we might have for a 21st century deterrent built around long-range strategic strike?

China's flag artistically merged with America's flag

Campaigning in competition

What are the medium and long-range implications for Australia as a result of the US-China strategic competition, and what are our options?

covid-19 virus close-up


Post-COVID World

In the post COVID world, what are the possible scenarios for a post-COVID-19 global order and what effects may that have on Australian strategic policy?