Blog Posts

The War College Diaries: An Unofficial Guide to the Australian Command and Staff Course

This article is a collation and edit of emails sent to Army members selected for attendance on the Australian Command and Staff Course for 2021 by an Army member attending the 2020 course as it happened. It contains the opinions of the author and completely unofficial in its content. Introduction Firstly, congratulations on your selection for … Continue reading The War College Diaries: An Unofficial Guide to the Australian Command and Staff Course

Finding a place for ‘Once an Eagle’

Military reading lists always seem to generate debate in the military blogosphere. The choice of books that individuals or organisations recommend to their people says a lot about who they are and what they hold dear. Similar to our doctrine, they are almost a representation of our belief system, so it’s natural for them to … Continue reading Finding a place for ‘Once an Eagle’

Winning Wars: Technological advantage or the will to fight?

‘Nor can technology abolish war’s central essence as the realm of uncertainty and of the clash of wills. Processing power can no more replace discernment and sheer guts at the strategic level than on the battlefield itself.’  - The Dynamics of Military Revolution As more have come to accept that our global society is on … Continue reading Winning Wars: Technological advantage or the will to fight?

The Five Elements of Great Oratory Skill: Winston Churchill’s Approach to Persuasive Speech

“Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king. He is an independent force in the world. Abandoned by his party, betrayed by his friends, stripped of his offices, whoever can command this … Continue reading The Five Elements of Great Oratory Skill: Winston Churchill’s Approach to Persuasive Speech

Project Apollo and Strategy as a Conversation

“But why, some say, the moon?”[1] While definitions of strategy vary, few question the value of a strategy to provide a ‘big idea’ and a sense of how an organisation can work towards an aspirational goal. As big ideas go, the President Kennedy’s 1961 proposal that the US commit ‘before this decade is out, of … Continue reading Project Apollo and Strategy as a Conversation

Information Operations: Marketing for War

The closer you look at Information Operations (IO), the harder it becomes to define. Indeed, so too does the broader information instrument of national power; a component of the ‘DIME’[1] model, as well as many other models used to understand national power. The perceived complexity of IO is often the cause of needless friction in … Continue reading Information Operations: Marketing for War

The Geopolitics of Surveillance Capitalism

In his 1998 landmark False Dawn, John Gray wrote that whatever mutation was to emerge from the disintegration of global free market capitalism and the uncontrolled spread of technology, it would likely be unrecognizable from capitalisms past. Two decades on, we can attest to Gray’s foresight. But the mutation that emerged has now become visible. … Continue reading The Geopolitics of Surveillance Capitalism

Understanding National Power

Where do nations derive their power from, and how best do they employ power to pursue their interests? This question has been contemplated by strategists for thousands of years—from Nicias to Napoleon, from the Parthenon to the Pentagon—yet we seem no closer to arriving at a suitable conclusion. Perhaps the closest we can get to … Continue reading Understanding National Power

Just War Theory in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War

“The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” Thucydides[1] Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian Waris generally acknowledged to be an outstanding example of military historiography. The text is an enthralling yet challenging account of the catastrophic impact of the 27-year war between Athens and Sparta during the 5th Century BC. … Continue reading Just War Theory in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War