ADF – doctrine and strategic planning

ADF – doctrine and strategic planning

24 May 2007

Government sources – general

The Strategy Planning Framework Handbook 2006, Department of Defence, Australia.

The most comprehensive public document on Australian strategic planning processes. “This handbook provides an overview of the strategy Planning Framework and concentrates on giving a description of the key documents and their interrelationship. However, it is beyond the scope of this handbook to give a detailed description of the process whereby the documents are formulated. Instead, each particular group or author within the Strategy Planning Framework takes responsibility for the form, content and derivation of their particular documents. Group responsibilities for each document are identified in the annexes to this handbook.

“A partner to this handbook is the Defence Capability Development Manual, which details the capability development process. The Strategy Planning Framework Handbook and Defence Capability Development Manual are supported by two Australian Defence Doctrine Publications, The Foundations of Australian Military Doctrine (ADDP-D) and Preparedness and Mobilisation (ADDP-00.2).”

Includes a list of key classified strategy development documents:

  • Defence Planning Guidance (DPG)

  • Australia’s Military Strategy (AMS)

  • Future Joint Operating Concept (FJOC)

  • Defence International Engagement Strategic Plan (DIESP)

  • Quarterly Strategic Review (QSR)

Address to Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, Lt Gen Peter Leahy, 23 March 2005

Discussion of the Hardened and Networked Army and the Seamless Force concepts as they flow from recent Army experience: “What became obvious to us during these diverse deployments to Namibia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Solomon Islands was that strategic doctrine (the Defence of Australia) and strategic practice (numerous deployments offshore) were at odds with each other. The emergence of a global islamic insurgency has compounded this ambiguity and complexity.”

Towards the Hardened and Networked Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, Australian Army Journal, Volume II, Number 1 (2004).

“The mode of warfare to which the Army and the ADF aspire was indicated in th ecampaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, in which effects on land were achieved through the seamless orchestration of fires from the sea and air, often using space-based assets. Australian Special Forces have already mastered many of these skills. Ultimately, the entire ADF will be networked throughout the battlespace with sensor–shooter links achieved in real time and the most appropriate fires will be brought to bear on targets, irrespective of the service designation of the provider.”

The Australian Approach to Warfare, Department of Defence, Australia, 2002

Key themes for the Australian Defence Force and society, including:

  • “the primacy of the civil authority, that is the Commonwealth Government, over the tasking of the ADF;

  • “the strong links the Australian Defence Force retains with the Australian community: the ADF is drawn from the community and supported by it and reflects the values of Australian society;

  • “the ADF is a professional fighting force which, at all times, conducts military operations in accordance with the international laws, conventions and mores governing the conduct of armed conflict;

  • “the ADF remains ready and able to defend Australia’s territory and national interests, and make contributions to international peace and security by operating alongside allies and other partners”; and

  • “a distinctive feature of the Australian approach to warfare is the way that it emphasises the role of initiative in Australian Defence Force members.”

Future Land Operating Concept: Complex Warfighting, Australian Army, April 2004

Draft written by Lt. Col David Kilcullen. “The concept has analysed the contemporary warfare environment and described how the ADF’s land forces must operate in this environment. As has been shown, the process of Globalisation and US dominance of conventional warfare has led its enemies to seek alternate, asymmetric means and arenas for confrontation. This has generated a complex, diverse, diffuse and lethal environment. To succeed, military forces must apply discriminating force to support whole of government efforts, in order to control populations and perceptions. This requires versatility, agility and orchestration, which in turn requires a human-centric philosophy of warfare, an ability to conduct integrated whole-of-government campaigns using JIATFs, and an ability to conduct integrated campaigns in complex environments. In turn, controlling populations and perceptions demands that land forces operate in close proximity to potentially hostile elements, in complex physical, human and informational terrain. This means that close combat remains the key to Complex Warfighting – in itself, it is not enough to guarantee victory, but it provides the means to control and influence populations and perceptions, by enabling proximity, precision and discrimination in the application of force.”

Land Warfare Doctrine 1: The Fundamentals of Land Warfare, Australian Army, 2002

“Illustrates the Australian Army’s concept of land power, and integrates military thought based on historical experience of the nature and conduct of war, with contemporary military thinking to create a foundation for success in modern conflict.”

Land Warfare Doctrine 1: The Fundamentals of Land Warfare – Powerpoint Summary

Government sources – Iraq and Afghanistan experience

Socaust Media Briefing – Post Op Slipper, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and Major General Michael Hindmarsh, CPA 60927/06, 27 September 2006

The most substantial official source on the operations of the Special Forces Task Group in Afghanistan 2005-6.

The War in Iraq – ADF Operations in the Middle East in 2003, Department of Defence, Australia, February 2004

“A review of Australia’s contribution to US-led coalition operations in Iraq. It follows the progress of the war – focussing on the part played by the ADF – and identifies some of the key lessons learned during three operations in the Middle East.” Includes material on early stages of Operation Slipper.


Briefing Note: The Re-Discovery of Theories of Counter-Insurgency: New US Strategy in Iraq, Richard Tanter, 2007-04-19

“The current US “surge” strategy approach in Iraq involves sending in more combat troops, extending the service of those already deployed, and the appointment of a new commander of the Multi-National Force, General David Petraeus – a specialist in counter-insurgency warfare. One of Petraeus’ key advisers is Australian Colonel David Kilcullen. Kilcullen’s writings on counter-insurgency have been widely disseminated on the web. The sharpest critique of the “new thinking” on counter-insurgency came from the veteran American strategist Edward Lutwak, focussing on the US Army’s recently revised Field Manual on Counterinsurgency, issued under Petraeus’ name. Lutwak argued that imperial occupation has historically often overcome asymmetrical warfare by resistance groups, without resorting to counter-insurgency techniques of warfare,

‘if they are willing to out-terrorize the insurgents, so that the fear of reprisals outweighs the desire to help the insurgents or their threats.’

“Kilcullen replied to Lutwak in the blog Small Wars Journal in April 2007. The renewed US interest in the theory of counter-insurgency and asymmetrical warfare inevitably brings to mind the content and tone of the comparable internal US military debate in Vietnam, and the role of military intellectuals.”

The Philosophy of Special Operations, Major General Mike Hindmarsh, Australian Army Journal, Volume III, Number 3, Summer 2006.

“Special forces indisputably play an important role in modern warfare and will continue to do so. Their inherent agility, versatility, adaptability and responsiveness will ensure that, in an era when the enemy is a guerrilla one day, a tank column the next, and a terrorist the day after, they will remain a relevant and critical capability. In Australia’s circumstances, special operations now oft en form the centrepiece of strategic planning and operational design in response to security threats and in support of operations undertaken to further national interests.”

Australian Light-armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) as Mounted Cavalry: Vanguard for a Hardened Army, Lieutenant Colonel Roger Noble, Australian Army Journal, Volume II, Number 1, Winter 2005-2006.

Argument about the use of light armour in contemporary Australian overseas operations by a commander of the Al Muthannah Task Force. “Despite fielding arguably the best light-armoured vehicle in the world in the form of the ASLAV-3, developing robust doctrine for its use and generally leading the way in light cavalry thought and tactics for fifteen years, the Army still underestimates the potential of its own cavalry. The reasons for this underestimation are twofold. First, the Army possesses only one modern ASLAV cavalry regiment based in faraway Darwin. Second, there is a limited focus on cavalry in Australian military education and training. As a result, the role of cavalry in Australian military culture is ambiguous and does not fit easily into any particular conceptual framework.

“Yet, as we enter the Hardened and Networked Army (HNA) initiative—an initiative aimed at improving our combat firepower and protection—we must develop a better understanding of our organic light-armoured capabilities. The purpose of this article is to explain how ASLAV mounted cavalry, operating as part of a combined arms team, provide a multipurpose and combat organisation that is ideally suited for employment on the complex battlefields of the 21st century.”

“Hardening” – Australian For Transformation, Major David J. Wainwright, School of Advanced Military Studies United States Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

“To harden the Australian Army, requires an ability to rethink strategic imperatives and adjust from traditional mindsets. For the Australian Army to operate in the future threat-ambiguous strategic environment of warfare demands a force structure that is flexible, balanced and adaptive, with enhanced force protection, firepower, and agility. This paper examines the current proposal presented by the Future Land Warfare (FLW) Directorate to achieve the CA’s hardened concept. While this proposal is sound in principle, there are alternative options that may be advantageous. One possibility, the modular alternative, is presented in this paper.”

Gary Waters and Desmond Ball, Transforming the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for Information Superiority, Canberra Paper 159, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU (2005).

“The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is in the process of being transformed to enable it to gain information superiority in future contingencies. It is aiming to obtain common battlefield awareness and superior command decision-making, using a comprehensive ‘information network’ linking sensors (for detection), command and control ( for flexible, optimised decision-making), and engagement systems (for precision application of force). This book is intended to inform discussion about the key issues involved in the development of a force posture and associated command and control systems, information support systems, operational concepts and doctrine for the achievement of information superiority. It discusses Australia’s approach to Network-Centric Warfare (NCW); examines the command aspects of dispersed military operations utilising networked systems; outlines some of the principal strategic, organisational, operational, doctrinal and human resource challenges; and discusses the information architecture requirements for achieving information superiority. The book is also intended to contribute to the promotion of a vision that might excite and shape this transformation process.”

Special Report: Australian Network Centric Warfare Roadmap, Austral Peace and Security Net, 2005-10-06

“Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is about significantly enhancing the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) warfighting capability. Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to demonstrate the operational benefits to be derived from the enhanced information flows and consequent effects such as agility.”

The tyranny of dissonance: Australia’s strategic culture and way of war 1901–2004, Michael Evans, Land Warfare Studies Centre Study Paper 306, February 2005.

Special Operations – Trust, Influence and Networks: Creating Conditions for Nonconventional Assisted Recovery in Urban Areas of the Middle East, Major Michael A. McNerney and Major Marshall V. Ecklund, Australian Army Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2004