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#ADFRAS2040 – Reflections on the Possibilities of Autonomous Systems – Gary Waters and Patrick Bigland

In the first of The Central Blue’s #ADFRAS2040 series, Drs Gary Waters and Patrick Bigland reflect on the wide-ranging potential of robotic and autonomous systems. Though the path to full autonomy will be a long one, Waters and Bigland draw attention to some of the initial steps that will start the ADF down the right [...]

By |June 14th, 2020|#ADFRAS2040, Australian Defence Force, Future Warfare|0 Comments

#BookReview – Essence of Decision – Reviewed by David Hood

Graham Tillett Allison Jr. is an American political scientist and professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is renowned for his contribution to the bureaucratic analysis of decision making. Philip David Zelikow is an American attorney, diplomat and academic. He is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Allison published Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile [...]

By |June 7th, 2020|Book review, Leadership|0 Comments

Let’s Make Grand Strategy Great Again – Michael Sleeman

In April 2019, we argued that ‘every staff paper, speech, and brief that remains buried in network folders represents a lost opportunity to inspire the intellect, stimulate the curiosity, and gain the insight of an increasingly engaged professional military community.’ Today’s post is an example of our attempt to address that problem.   This article [...]

By |May 24th, 2020|Australian Defence Force, Strategy|1 Comment

Swarming it ain’t – Keirin Joyce

We are delighted to welcome Keirin Joyce back to The Central Blue. Few people in Australia can match Keirin’s expertise in or commitment to the Australian Defence Force’s employment of unmanned systems. In this piece, Keirin calls for greater clarity and sobriety when discussing swarming. The First World War saw flights of fighters coordinating among [...]

Call for Submissions: Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2040 – The Central Blue, The Forge, and Grounded Curiosity

How will the future Australian Defence Force (ADF) exploit robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) to gain and maintain advantage across the continuum of competition and conflict? And how can the ADF counter threats to the future force posed by adversary RAS? These are the questions currently being asked by the ADF’s Force Exploration Branch as [...]

Cold War Nuclear-Powered Hypersonic Missiles: A Successful Failed Innovation – Peter Layton

Russia’s testing of an SSC-X-9 Skyfall hypersonic weapon has rekindled interest in a largely forgotten Cold War technology: nuclear-powered air power. In this article, Peter Layton looks at the history of US development of nuclear-powered weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. In doing so, he highlights that successful innovation does not necessarily require a system [...]

By |May 3rd, 2020|Air Power, History|2 Comments

In Defence of a Balanced Force – Nathan Thompson

The bushfires, floods, and now COVID-19 will change the discussion of national security in Australia. The exact form of that change is still unclear; however, the subject matter experts in the Australian Defence Force must engage in and inform the debate early, consistently, and logically. This post is an example of how. Written before the [...]

#BookReview – Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace – David Hood

Edward Luttwak is a political scientist known for his works on grand strategy, military history, and international relations. Moving to the United States (US) in 1972, Luttwak received a Doctorate in International Studies in 1975 and has served as a consultant to the US National Security Council; the US Department of State; and the US Army, Navy, and Air Force. While [...]

By |April 19th, 2020|Book review, Education, History, Review, Strategy|1 Comment

Reinterpreting Douhet: Appreciating the Offensive Character of Cyberwarfare – Douglas Holmshaw

Giulio Douhet’s theory of air power continues to be a topic of debate and controversy nearly a century after he wrote Command of the Air. Though some aspects of that book have been soundly discredited, parts of his theory continue to resonate with modern military theorists, particularly in new ‘domains’ such as cyber. In this [...]

By |April 12th, 2020|Australian Defence Force, Cyber Warfare, Future Warfare|1 Comment

#BookReview – Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War IIReviewed by Jo Brick

Phil Haun (ed.), Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. Illustrations. Appendices. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Notes. xvi+297 pp. Let us not be zealots. Let us not plunge thoughtlessly from the old and known to the new and untried. Let us [...]

By |April 5th, 2020|Air Power, Book review|0 Comments