#DefineStrategy. Strategy would be easy if we got rid of the humans

"Strategy is hard". Jarrod Brook This insight seems trite, but it’s best to be grounded and show a little humility before unpacking what this means. Whilst there are a variety of reasons that make the formulation of strategy difficult, friction is always present due to the fundamentally human nature of strategy. Strategy can seem exceedingly … Continue reading #DefineStrategy. Strategy would be easy if we got rid of the humans

Why Nuclear Weapons Are Going to Go

Phillip Dolitsky recently critiqued my four part series of articles titled “How to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons” here on Chesterfield Strategy (see “Why Nuclear Weapons are Here to Stay.”) Dolitsky’s response is well researched, cogent, and clear. He is an able scholar, but we do have some points of disagreement. People often think that because I … Continue reading Why Nuclear Weapons Are Going to Go

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’

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

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

Thucydides and the Inseparable Union of War and Human Nature

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

Leadership vs Likership: No one wants to be led by a jerk

“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