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Research Papers

 

Contents

Spacepower for Australia’s Security—Grand Strategy or Strategy of Grandeur?

“Out of Joint”: Independent Air Forces In Democratic Cultures

At the Crossroads of Cyber Warfare: Signposts for the Royal Australian Air Force

A Potential Policy For Australian Military Space

 


 

Spacepower for Australia’s Security—Grand Strategy or Strategy of Grandeur?
Squadron Leader Darin J. Lovett, RAAF
June 2012

Abstract
Spacepower For Australia’s Security—Grand Strategy Or Strategy Of Grandeur? contends that Australia needs to incorporate spacepower as an element of its grand strategy. An analysis of the meaning of strategy and grand strategy in the modern context of twenty first century power leads to a proposition that a more complex world requires a different view of strategy, one viewed through a systems lens. The effectiveness of risk analysis to strengthen national security is evaluated and shown to be deficient for complex systems with highly improbable but highly consequential events. An alternative view for developing strategy for complex systems is proposed that contributes the concept of system resilience. A theory of spacepower is developed following a comparison between the land, air, sea and cyber domains. Spacepower emerges as a unique element of national power, and an essential element of grand strategy for the twenty first century. An understanding of the unique territory of space, the dimensions of strategy relevant to spacepower and Australian national security, and outputs from the space system supports the thesis that space systems underpin modern society to such an extent they form an important, yet presently overlooked element of grand strategy.

 


At the Crossroads of Cyber Warfare: Signposts for the Royal Australian Air Force
Squadron Leader Craig Stallard, RAAF
June 2011

Abstract
The emergence of cyberspace changed the character of war in ways Clausewitz could never have imagined. Cyber violence transcends the physical environment, creating effects on an adversary’s warfighting capabilities as severe as a kinetic weapon. Uncertainty, the fog that envelopes all aspects of conflict, remains ever-present; however, cyber enables commanders greater situation awareness, shifting the shade of fog from opaque to translucent. The ambiguities of identity and effects that exist in cyberspace juxtapose with the speed and span of cyber operations, reducing, but not eliminating, uncertainty.
The Australian Government’s 2008 National Security Statement shaped the national cyber environment and raised the profile of cyber within the 2009 Defence White Paper. With new-found direction to pursue cyberspace as warfighting domain, the Royal Australian Air Force is looking to move forward on the development of a cyber force but faces numerous hurdles in its path. At the forefront of these hurdles is an appreciation of just what effects the Air Force seeks from cyberspace. The development of a concept of operations would be a significant signpost to guide the shaping of a cyber force. At the heart of this force will be personnel--air-minded cyber specialists who will plan, coordinate, and integrate cyber operations in support of air power. However, to raise-train-and-sustain an air-minded cyber force is an undertaking that requires long-term commitment and support from the senior Air Force leadership, without which an effective cyber capability for the Royal Australian Air Force will be unattainable.
The effects of cyber operations are real, and permeate across all warfighting domains. If the Royal Australian Air Force is to fulfill its responsibility to deliver air power in the defense of the Australia, it must honor the cyber threat and accelerate its journey to develop a cyber force.

 


“Out of Joint”: Independent Air Forces In Democratic Cultures
Wing Commander Stephen Edgeley, RAAF
June 2010

Abstract
This study comprises an analysis of why independent air forces in democratic nations maintain a focus on the independent aspects of air power, rather than embracing jointness. The author describes how the civil-military relations within a democratic culture enable an independent air force to choose to what degree they comply with government direction and policy in particular, the government’s policy and direction on the priority to be given to supporting joint operations. Next, the author describes why independent air forces maintain a focus on the independent aspects of air power. The author starts by explaining how historical influences created this autonomous focus and how concerns over organizational independence have allowed it to remain. This is followed by a description of how the budgetary process within democratic cultures encourages services to maintain an independent focus.
The author then moves on to describe the organizational aspects of independent air forces which give rise to a tendency for them to maintain a narrow understanding of the application of air power. Coupling these historical, budgetary and organizational factors with the ability to choose, the author explains why independent air forces maintain a focus on the autonomous aspects of air power, which in turn, creates a perception that they are unwilling to become part of the joint team. The final section of the study includes proposals as to how this focus on the independent aspects of air power can be reduced, and how the wider application of every aspect of air power will allow air forces to become more joint.

 


A Potential Policy For Australian Military Space
Wing Commander Stephen B. Cook, RAAF
June 2007

Abstract
Space is a critical vulnerability for Australia and its allies. This thesis seeks to identify a potential space policy for Australia as it attempts to address its space vulnerability. The guiding question answered in this thesis is “how is Australia vulnerable in space and what can be done to mitigate this vulnerability?”
This thesis comprises an analysis of contemporary issues affecting the international use of space and identifies a potential space policy for Australia. The author outlines the importance of the current outer space regime and identifies how the regime affects the behaviour of states in space, particularly with regard to the weaponisation of space. It concludes that the current regime can be a critical factor in reducing the vulnerability of space assets. The writer next discusses the history of Australian use of space and concludes that Australia is dependant on space for civilian and military purposes. This dependence has resulted in a number of vulnerabilities that need to be addressed if Australia is to ensure its continued ability to use space. The paper also identifies the vulnerabilities of space assets and highlights the need for Australia to work with allies to reduce those vulnerabilities. One of the most promising methods to reduce space vulnerability is by developing an operationally responsive space capability. The author outlines how this capability can be realised. Another important aspect of reducing vulnerability in space is through developing a space assurance regime. The writer identifies the elements required in a space assurance regime and provides a method for building such a regime. The final chapter identifies how Australia can build up its space capability by working with industry and allies and outlines the basis of a space policy.
The most important and immediate step that Australia needs to take is to improve the space knowledge of senior defence personnel.

 

 
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