Operational Art

Invigorating Campaigning into the Australian Defence Force

By The Cove May 16, 2019


This comprehensive paper by Lieutenant Colonel Trent Scott, published as part of the Land Warfare Studies Centre Study Papers, provides a critique of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) approach to operational art and campaigning.  He also offers a number of fixes for consideration to accompany his critique.  It's a long read, so if you want to dive in to this one, make sure you set aside enough time to immerse yourself in the content.

The author argues that the ADF Operational art is conceptually weak and has been characterised by an intellectually restrictive framework. Specifically, there is no widespread understanding of operational art relevant to Australia's contemporary geostrategic and geopolitical context. The consequence is that there is virtually no culture of campaigning in the ADF that is based on sound doctrine relevant to the demands on the use of military force in the contemporary operating environment. This is compounded by a less-than-comprehensive joint professional military education program which fails to adequately prepare its officers to operate in the lethal, complex and ambiguous contemporary operating environment.

Read the paper and let us know if you agree with the author that the ADF needs to invigorate its approach to operational art and campaigning, or whether you have an alternate view on the topic.



The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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