Counterinsurgency operations are not just ‘difficult’, they’re ‘playing Pac-Man on level 256 while solving five rubik's cubes with one hand difficult’. Intervening in foreign affairs in pursuit of a rules-based global order has sapped the energy from superpowers past and present - and will likely continue to do so into the future. Throughout the 20th … Continue reading British response in Dhofar: the pursuit of an elusive ‘rules-based global order’
On 22nd June 1941, the Russian military was in disarray as Germany embarked upon the largest military campaign the world had ever seen; Operation Barbarossa. Tactically, the Red Army was woefully unprepared, but a robust Soviet strategic and ideological framework was in place to leverage off the concept of total national mobilisation. Russia’s ruthless approach … Continue reading Countering Mass as a Middle Power: A Case Study
In late 1938 Europe stood on the brink of war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain received a hero’s welcome on his return from Munich. His efforts to save the peace in Europe were greeted by fanfare and relief. Intent on preserving peace in Europe, Chamberlain had made all allowable concessions to Hitler. He was convinced … Continue reading The Risk of Appeasement to Relative Power
Without humans, war would be a relatively straight-forward affair. Thucydides explores the dynamics of human interaction in his account of the Peloponnesian War; both how humans affect, and are affected by war. He presents us with a number of key propositions about war and human nature, perhaps most strikingly, the motives for war; “fear, honour, … Continue reading Thucydides and the Inseparable Union of War and Human Nature
New and novel technologies are transforming military capabilities and will impact how militaries will fight into the future. As with any transformation, new vulnerabilities are being exposed and will be exploited by future adversaries. These new technologies include directed energy weapons which are within the reach of our future adversaries. Directed energy weapons can be … Continue reading The ethics of directed energy weapons
This post explores the German approach to Auftragstahik (mission command), blitzkrieg (combined arms integration) and officer education during the Second World War. It explores why modern military professionals remain facinated by the German approach but are unable to replicate it.
“We need leadership, not likership” is a common catchphrase among many military organisations. Based on the premise that the desire to be liked is inherent in our nature, this statement left me conflicted, particularly noting that my personal experience within the military weighs preference to working for likable commanders. As such, I set out on … Continue reading Leadership vs Likership: No one wants to be led by a jerk
The Utility of Military History for the Practitioner War is too important to be left to the generals. — Georges Clemenceau The challenge for military professionals is learning how to think, not what to think. By understanding the past, practitioners of war can best create their future. But history itself does not provide answers to contemporary … Continue reading The Profession of Arms