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Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies

Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies

Volume 4 Number 2 (2022)



Change and continuity in war
Beatrice Heuser


Australian civil-military relations: distinct cultural and constitutional foundations
Cameron Moore and Jo Brick

Digital payback: how Indigenous Australian thinking can stabilise a global rules-based order
Samuel White


Stephen Edgeley

What is integrated deterrence? A gap between US and Australian strategic thought
Van Jackson

A capability in search of a mission: Australia and hypersonic missiles
Benjamin Zala

On Chinese deterrence thought and practice circa 2022
Michael Clarke

Coercion, compellence and conquest: Russia's strategic deterrence concept in theory and practice after the invasion of Ukraine
Matthew Sussex


The unaccountable contradiction: military theory and the profession of arms in the twenty-first century
Michael Evans


War transformed: the future of twenty-first century great power competition and conflict
Mick Ryan | reviewed by Peter Layton

Mars adapting: military change during war
Frank Hoffman | reviewed by Chris Field

Fighting the fleet: operational art and modern fleet combat
Jeffrey R Cares and Anthony Cowden | reviewed by Allan du Toit

Weaponisation of everything: a field guide to the new way of war
Mark Galeotti | reviewed by Jason Logue

Fighting Australia's Cold War: the nexus of strategy and operations in a multipolar Asia, 1945-1965
Peter Dean and Tristan Moore (eds) | reviewed by Andrew Hine

The crux: how leaders become strategists
Richard Rumelt | reviewed by Michael Hatherell

Call for Submissions

Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies Vol. 4, No. 2
[PDF 2.7MB]


As Australians have slowly come out from COVID lockdowns over the past two years, we have been met with a perilous outlook for the strategic environment. While scholars and analysts have been unrelenting in delivering detailed considerations of Russia’s war in Ukraine, it has raised questions about what the conflict may mean for the future security of our region. This, coupled with the change in government in Australia since our last issue, has refocused engagement with our neighbours and renewed discussions about the best way for Defence to contribute to regional stability.

Against this backdrop, this issue encompasses discussions on continuity and change in war through to challenges and opportunities for Australia, including grappling with what deterrence means in the Australian context. After a couple of ‘failed’ attempts, thanks to travel restrictions in the past few years, the Australian Defence College was honoured to finally welcome Professor Beatrice Heuser in September, as the 2022 Professor Jeffrey Grey Distinguished Visiting Chair. This issue begins with the publication of the JG Grey Oration, delivered to a packed house in the Blamey Theatre at the Australian Defence College. Professor Heuser’s speech reminded us of the enduring causes and aims of war. But it also pointed to what has fundamentally changed, and how our conceptualisation of war, understanding of its strategic combatants, and how insurgency and technology are affecting our thinking on the division between civilians and combatants. She concludes that no extrapolation of long-term trends can lead to the conclusion that future forms of armed conflict will be only ‘more of the same’. We must prepare for a rethink of much of what we have hitherto thought about war. This oration was especially poignant, given the Centre for Defence Research held a profession of arms seminar in June underpinned by how long-term trends, such as great power competition, will affect our region. This led to a day of lively discussions about conventional deterrence - considerations for Australia, from which four of our presenters, introduced by the Commander Australian Defence College, AVM Stephen Edgeley AM PhD, have contributed commentaries to our focus section.

Van Jackson, a senior lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington who also served in the Office of the US Secretary of Defence in foreign and defence policy, critiques the US National Defense Strategy concept of integrated deterrence. He argues it is a buzzword with flimsy intellectual foundations, exposing a risk-averse approach focused more on escalation control than prevention of war or territorial aggression. For Australia, he says the evolving character of US thinking has serious implications not just for deterrence but also for the role of the military and allies in US statecraft.

Benjamin Zala, ANU senior lecturer and former Harvard Belfer Center research fellow, examines the effects of advanced conventional weapons on US nuclear deterrence, then considers how, despite the enthusiasm of its advocates, Austrconceptualisation alia might use a hypersonic missile technology capability to have deterrent effects. He argues for a considered debate on the potential costs and benefits of such technology, particularly given their potential to have unforeseen consequences on the wider global strategic balance and arms racing.

Given this discussion on capability versus concept, we then turn to how deterrence is viewed from Chinese and Russian perspectives with commentaries by the Centre for Defence Research senior fellows. Michael Clarke discusses the differences in Western and Chinese interpretations of the concepts of deterrence and compellence and the implications this holds for understanding Chinese behaviour in crisis and conflict scenarios, as may occur over the status of Taiwan. Matthew Sussex then examines the Russian approach to deterrence - its conceptualisation and application - and assesses some of the implications of Russia’s ‘strategic deterrence’ for Western strategic practice in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Our peer-reviewed papers again turn to notions of continuity and change as we consider perspectives unique to Australia. In their paper, Cameron Moore and Jo Brick consider the cultural and constitutional foundations of Australian civil-military relations. They posit that the distinct place of military forces and military culture in Australian society, and over a century of Australian foreign policy, forms the foundation for interaction between Australian military and civilian leaders. The journal encourages discussions such as this, which shed new light on and further examine an understudied area of Australian defence.

We then have Samuel White’s exploration of how first nation thinking may inform modern military strategists thinking on the spectrum of competition, grey-zone operations and the global rules-based order. White argues that war and warfare were an integral part of Indigenous Australian society. He identifies three principles of Indigenous thinking on conflict that may be applicable in the modern era in a multitude of ways, such as methods to avoid escalation, promote empathetic international relations and protect sovereignty in an era of competition.

This issue of the journal again brings a summer digest of essays and reviews beginning with Michael Evans’s review essay of two important books: The New Art of War: The Origins, Theory and Future of Conflict by Colonel Geoffrey F Weiss and Strategia: A Primer on Theory and Strategy for Students of War by Colonel Charles S Oliviero. This is followed by a Christmas book list with reviews of War Transformed by Mick Ryan, reviewed by Peter Layton; Mars Adapting by Frank Hoffman, reviewed by Chris Field; Jeffrey R Cares and Anthony Cowden’s Fighting the Fleet reviewed by Allan du Toit; Mark Galeotti’s The Weaponsiation of Everything reviewed by Jason Logue; Fighting Australia’s Cold War by Peter Dean and Tristan Moss, reviewed by Andrew Hine; and The Crux by Richard Rumelt, reviewed by Michael Hatherell.

So, as we head into the Christmas and summer break of 2022/2023, read, relax, enjoy and have a safe and happy holiday.

Cathy Moloney
Director, Centre for Defence Research

Published online: 25 November 2022
Last Updated: 30 November 2022