A U S T R A L I A N
D E FForceC E
JOURNAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN PROFESSION OF ARMS
Australian Defence Force Journal
Board of Management
Air Commodore Peter McDermott, AM, CSC (Chairman)
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Campbell
Group Captain Ian MacFarling
Colonel David McKaskill
Captain Richard Menhinick, RAN
Contributions of any length will be considered but,
as a guide, between 2000-5000 words is the ideal length.
Articles should be typed double spaced, on one side of the
paper, or preferably submitted on disk in a word processing
format. Hardcopy should be supplied in duplicate.
All contributions and correspondence should be
Australian Defence Force Journal
CANBERRA ACT 2600
(02) 6265 1193
Fax (02) 6265 6972
The material contained in the Australian Defence Force Journal
is the copyright of the Department of Defence. No part of
the publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise
without the consent of the Editor.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Published by the Department of Defence
A U S T R A L I A N
D E FForceC E
NO. 155 CONTENTS
JULY/AUGUST 3. Contemporary Perspectives on
National Missile Defence
2002 Lieutenant Reuben R.E. Bowd,
19. Dissecting Command and
Control with Occams’s Razor or
Ask not what “Command” and
Editor “Control” means to you but
Irene M. Coombes what you mean by “Command
Contributors are urged to ensure the
Dr Noel Sproles, University of South
accuracy of the information contained in
their articles; the Board of Management
accepts no responsibility for errors of fact. 27. Australian Leadership – Leading
Permission to reprint articles in the Journal Edge or Luddite?
will generally be readily given by the
Captain Christopher Ruff, Aus Int
Editor after consultation with the
author. Any reproduced articles should bear
34. Does Risk Management
an acknowledgement of source. Cultivate a Culture of Risk
The views expressed in the articles are the Avoidance?
author’s own and should not be construed as Captain I.D. Langford, RAInf
official opinion or policy.
39. Current and Future Command
Challenges for New Zealand
Chief of Defence Force Change of Command Ceremony, Defence Force Personnel
3 July 2002 Dr Joel Hayward, Centre for Defence
Photograph by Corporal Mark Eaton Studies, Massey University, New
Printed in Australia
by National Capital Printing,
Fyshwick, ACT, 2609
Australian Army Blackhawks from the 5th Aviation Regiment during Operation Tanager.
Photograph by WO2 Gary Ramage
Contemporary Perspectives on National
By Lieutenant Reuben R.E. Bowd, RAAOC
The concept of the development of a National Missile Defence (NMD) has been a contentious
issue since the 1960s.1 However, technological constraints have, to date, rendered any attempt to
deploy such a system both impractical and premature. Furthermore, a variety of agreements, such
as the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty ratified by both Russia and the US, specifically
prohibit the deployment of defensive measures such as those presently being proposed by the US
under the umbrella of the NMD project.2 The proposal, and more recently the decision, by the US
to deploy NMD today forms a focal issue of debate both within the US and across the international
community due to a myriad of uncertainties and global security concerns which such a deployment
may present. Fears for the future of bilateral and unilateral agreements, aimed at the non-
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), especially in a time of post-Cold War
goodwill and disarmament, are paramount. Some experts even go as far as anticipating a renewed
global arms race which would, instead of creating a more secure environment for the US (the very
object of NMD), present new and increased dangers not only for that nation but across the globe.3
These fears are by no means unfounded and a global increase in such weapons, within nuclear
states currently not technologically capable of NMD, as a counter to the strategic advantage
afforded the US by such a system should not come as a surprise. However, a moderate, rather than
extreme response, is anticipated by adversaries of the US. The reason for this is that the US has
proposed the deployment of “limited” NMD whilst simultaneously expressing its inclination to
unilaterally reduce, rather than aggressively increase, US nuclear forces.4
This article seeks to discuss the potential outcome of an NMD deployment as proposed by the
Bush Administration in defence of US territory. It will briefly cover NMD in an historical context
as a legacy of the Cold War and will outline the NMD deployment system, as advocated by
President Bush. Additionally, technological merits of NMD in its present context will be explored
as will the arguments for and against deployment, its vulnerabilities, and the likely military and
political reactions by adversaries of the US to any deployment.
Historical Perspective Safeguard anti-missile system, designed
Historically, NMD is no new concept. Its initially to protect US missile silos, with an
origins can be directly traced as a legacy of the “expansion option” to allow the system to
Cold War. As early as 4 July 1945, despite protect population centres against the “North
conclusions by US industry that available Country Threat”.6 However, this system was
technology precluded building an effective abandoned on completion because it simply
missile defence, the Army made its first did not work. In fact by the time this early
recommendation to begin a research and form of NMD came online it was realised that
development effort to counter ballistic missiles the new Soviet multiple independent re-entry
(BM).5 NMD, to date, boasts a lineage of vehicle (MIRV) program would easily
failure. During the 1960s, Presidents Johnston overwhelm it. It was also vulnerable to direct
and Nixon launched a program which attack and technical problems (such as radar
culminated in deployment, in 1975, of the blinding by electromagnetic pulse) from
4 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
exploding nuclear warheads which made the of any NMD system was to protect all US
system unreliable, and even threatened the territory against limited ballistic missile attacks
survivability of American missiles it was launched deliberately by “rogue states” and to
assigned to protect.7 provide defensive measures to counter an
During the 1980s the prospect of an NMD accidental or unauthorised launch from any
was resurrected by Ronald Reagan with his source. Clinton’s statement, rather than
“astrodome defence” dubbed “star wars”, indicating a change in the traditional Democrat
aimed at creating a layered defence system for stance on opposing NMD, was primarily made
the US and making ballistic weapons in an attempt to silence Republican opponents
“impotent and obsolete”.8 This was a program who were criticising Clinton for, in their
largely driven by an attempt to counter the opinion, neglecting US defence issues. Clinton
threat presented by Soviet MIRVs. Like placed provisos on his plan to deploy which
Safeguard, the proposed NMD system was proved, in reality, unachievable during his
beset with technological impediments and was term in office. He stated that his final decision
premature in concept. Instead of ending the on deployment would be based on
global nuclear arms build-up it caused the considerations of technical performance, threat
opposite to occur.9 “Star Wars” was perceived assessments, all the costs and arms control
by the Soviet Union as affording the US a implications.15 On 1 September 2000, the
strategic advantage during a period of “nuclear debate was temporarily put on hold when
freeze”.10 Both proposals did not fail in concept Clinton decided not to authorise the
but rather proved to be technologically deployment of NMD due to technology
premature for their time. However, recent constraints, the refusal by Russia to agree to
developments suggest that the requisite modify the ABM to permit deployment, and
technology required for effective NMD may the reluctance of America’s allies to endorse
not elude the scientific community for much NMD unless strategic stability could be assured
longer. What these two attempted through a modified ABM Treaty. Clinton’s
deployments do demonstrate clearly is the assessment was supported by the Union of
likely reaction which nuclear opponents of the
Concerned Scientists, which in a news
US will have to any NMD system coming on-
conference during June 2000 described the
NMD programme as scientifically unsound and
Russia is currently the only country with
a “fatal rush…with a system that can’t work”.16
an operational BMD system which protects its
However, on assuming office in 2001,
capital Moscow. This system is compliant with
President George W. Bush announced that it
the ABM Treaty and even to this day continues
was his Administration’s intention to deploy a
to be upgraded.11 It began development in the
Capability 1 system comprising 100
late 1950s with the most recent upgrade
interceptors as early as 2005 with a Capability
coming on-line in 1989. However, the
3 system being deployed by 2011 with 125
Moscow BMD is the technological equivalent
interceptors located at two sites in Alaska and
to Safeguard, sharing that system’s limitations
President Clinton on July 22 1999 declared The ABM Treaty
it to be US policy to “deploy as soon as By seeking to shake off restrictions imposed
technologically possible an effective NMD by treaties such as the ABM, the current NMD
system”. 13 This was an extension of his proposal breaks with previous US policy which
Administration’s “3+3” NMD plan which was aimed at “limited” NMD within the framework
announced in April 1996.14 The stated purpose of the treaty. For example, on 5 December
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 5
1994, President George Bush signed the Missile that US internal policy would not be dictated
Defence Act mandating to: by Russia.23 However, if the US was willing to
Develop for deployment by the earliest date throw away the ABM Treaty then what would
allowed by the availability of appropriate prevent Russia from doing the same, and by
technology or by Fiscal Year 1996 a cost doing so set back hard won agreements of the
effective, operationally effective, and ABM post-Cold War era? It is true that many
Treaty-compliant18 anti-ballistic missile elements of the ABM are in fact a product of
system. . . designed to protect the United specific political and technological
States against limited ballistic missile circumstances of the Cold War; however,
threats, including accidental or should the US choose to repudiate it Russia
unauthorised launches or Third World may choose in turn to absolve itself of other
attacks.19 international obligations, debts and
The Act also specifically directed that responsibilities made by the Soviet Union.24
Brilliant Pebbles (space-based interceptors These concerns were realised when, in response
which were under development) was not to be to the proposed NMD deployment, President
part of any initial deployment as it threatened Putin of Russia addressed the Duma saying:
current agreements on the militarisation of If… the US proceeds to destroy the 1972
space. ABM Treaty - and I want to make this clear -
Presently, under the restraints of the ABM … if that happens, we can and will withdraw
Treaty signed on 26 May 1972, the deployment not only from the START II Treaty, but from
of NMD is prohibited. However, an the whole system of treaty relations having to
amendment on 3 July 1974 does permit each do with the limitation and control of strategic
side one deployment site limited to 100 and conventional arms.25
interceptors.20 In August 1997, in response to Russia, in the words of Putin, is “against
the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the having a cure that is worse than the disease”.26
newly formed nuclear states also signed the It also has condemned US NMD tests and has
ABM which the US now wishes to part with or warned the US that the breaking of ground for
at the very least amend. On 20 June 1999, US a firing range at a missile defence site in
President Bill Clinton and Russian President Alaska will be considered a breach of the ABM
Boris Yeltsin issued a joint statement affirming Treaty.27 Like many other countries, Russia
their commitment to the ABM Treaty which takes the view that the US’s unilateral
was described as “a cornerstone of strategic withdrawal from the ABM Treaty would lead
stability”, pledging “to [continue] efforts to to the destruction of strategic stability, a new
strengthen the treaty, to enhance its viability arms race, particularly in space, and the
and effectiveness in the future”.21 development of means for overcoming the
However, all this changed when on 1 May NMD system. Vladimir Rushailo, the head of
2001 President George W. Bush delivered a Mr Putin’s security council, said that “The
speech in which he said that a new framework international community should consolidate its
was needed, “beyond the constraints of the 30- efforts to prevent such developments”.28
year old ABM Treaty” that allows the US to The events of 11 September 2001 gave a
“build missile defences to counter the different new perspective to the NMD debate. President
threats of today’s world”.22 In June 2001, US Bush used the disaster to emphasise the
Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that the urgency for NMD deployment whilst
US would break with the 1972 ABM Treaty as opponents pointed out a need to concentrate
soon as it became a hindrance to the on conventional means of preventing
Government’s plans for a NMD system and terrorism. On 23 October an agreement was
6 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
struck between the US and Russia that allowed to that envisaged under the Strategic Defence
for progress toward NMD deployment in return Initiative (“Star Wars”) in the 1980s in that its
for sharp decreases in US missile holdings. effectiveness will be measured by its ability to
This was cemented on 15 November when successfully intercept some tens or low
President Bush announced a 2/3rd reduction in hundreds of incoming missiles, not thousands.
the US nuclear arsenal.29 The certainty of the The National Missile Defence (NMD)
future direction of the program was made clear program has been described by the Pentagon
when President Bush announced on 13 as a “system of systems”.36 It involves a vast
December 2001 that the US had given “formal and global network of tracking and monitoring
notice to Russia” of its intention to withdraw sites linked by high speed data
from the ABM Treaty. This commenced a six communications and involving the most
month timeline toward withdrawal.30 Bush advanced technologies. In order to
emphasised that the two nations had come to a successfully work all parts of the network must
new relationship no longer based on mutually perform their part perfectly. Currently, there
assured destruction but instead on mutual are seven parts to the Bush NMD deployment
cooperation. Despite Russian insistence that system, as follows:
the decision was not seen as posing any
serious security threat President Putin did 1. The initial launch detection and tracking
describe the decision as a mistake and system that consists of the satellites of the
emphasised the urgent need for a new Defence Support Program (DSP). In 2006 or
international framework to be put in place of 2007 these will be replaced by the Spaced
the ABM. Likewise, China expressed concern Based InfraRed System-High (SBIRS-High)
as to the impact of the US decision. Australia, constellation of five (plus one in reserve)
on the other hand, wholeheartedly supported geosynchronous satellites.
the US position sharing US concerns toward
the increasing global missile threat.31 2. Five ground-based early warning radars
(including one each in the UK and
The NMD System as Proposed by Bush Greenland) that receive the initial tracking
Deployment of NMD as envisaged under data from DSP or SBIRS-High through the
the present Bush Administration will not system’s command and control network.
comply with the ABM Treaty largely because
the system under development (although 3. Four but possibly as many as nine
“limited”) is to be programmed to have a (including one each in the UK, Greenland,
maximum of 250 interceptors at two and South Korea) X-band (high frequency,
locations.32 The project will cost American short wavelength) radars whose function is
taxpayers at most conservative estimates $60 to discriminate between incoming real
billion dollars.33 This expenditure adds to warheads and decoys. The first is to be built
current estimates that since 1983 the Pentagon on Shemya Island in Alaska.
has spent $95 billion on BMD and roughly $44
billion on NMD alone.34 The system is expected 4. An interceptor booster, which carries an
to use ground based interceptors and forward- exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) to close
deployed radars, sea-based interceptors proximity of the planned intercept point.
deployed near states of concern, and space While in flight the EKV receives updated
based early warning, tracking and queuing information on the changing location of
radars, as well as conventionally armed space- the incoming missile and passes this
based interceptors.35 This system is dissimilar information to the booster until separation.
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 7
5. EKV, whose on-board computer processes development of TMD’s.39 It is worth while at
updates on the location of the hostile this stage briefly describing both types of BMD.
missile after the EKV has separated from In simplistic terms, TMD is designed to
the booster. The EKV has a combined intercept short-range missiles whilst NMD
optical and infrared (multiple waveband) concentrates on a long-range missile threat.
sensor on board through which it acquires, Both use similar technologies which include
tracks, and discriminates its target. satellite-based infared sensors that detect and
track launches, radar to follow a threat and
6. The Battle Management, Command, interceptors to destroy a target. Eventually,
Control, and Communications (BMC3) both systems may also include space-based
network, the heart of NMD. It links the lasers although today this aspect remains
purely academic. The US already deploys a
separate elements, receiving and processing
version of TMD (the Patriot) which, although
data of every kind. A critical sub-element
far from perfected, goes some way towards
is the In-Flight Interceptor Communications
demonstrating the potential of pending
System (IFICS) through which information
technological enhancements which may easily
is sent to the interceptor as it flies toward
be converted for NMD application.40
Arguably, the greatest difference between
the two forms of MD is not technological but
7. A constellation of 24 low orbit SBIRS-Low rather political. While TMD enjoys wide
satellites that will improve launch detection support in the US policy debate, NMD remains
and warhead-decoy discrimination, is to be highly contentious.41 The popularity of TMD is
added later but is currently at the easily explained. Put simply, TMD addresses a
“experimental” level.37 non-contentious, real and visible military need
in today’s world having been proven necessary
As outlined, the seven complex through its application in recent military
components of the NMD system must perform confrontations involving the US. 42 TMD
perfectly, first as separate parts, and then mesh gained essential popularity from its role during
together if the system is to successfully the 1991 Gulf War where the early Patriot
intercept a hostile missile. Technology is system was deployed against Iraqi Scud
proving to be the brake on deployment. missiles being launched at Israel. Although the
system demonstrated its technological
limitations and did not intercept many Scuds
at all, its deployment did avert Israel from
To many, expectations of NMD are
launching retaliatory strikes against Iraq which
unrealistic taking the form of a “field of could have seriously fractured the US-led
dreams” attitude based on the premise which coalition. 43 By filling this role TMD
states that “if we build it, it will work”, placing development and deployment was legitimised,
a blind faith in technology.38 To date the not merely as a necessary element in modern
greatest technological developments in Ballistic warfare, but indeed an essential one. The
Missile Defence (BMD) have been in the field ideological debate over NMD is much more
of Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) rather than fractured.
NMD. This is primarily due to a decision in With few exceptions NMD tests to date,
May 1993 by then-Secretary of Defense Les conducted under ideal conditions, have been
Aspin to reorientate the Ballistic Missile dismal failures.44 Exceptions occurred on 14
Defence Organisation (BMDO) toward the July and 4 December 2001. The 14 July test
8 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
was only a “qualified” success whilst the 4 Regardless, the NMD projects future was
December test is yet to be fully scrutinised, guaranteed when on 14 December 2001
although the Pentagon has proclaimed all tests Congress allocated $343 billion dollars to fully
as successful based on the ability to learn so fund NMD.52
much even from a failure.45 Discrimination
Reasons For and Against NMD deployment
(the ability to distinguish real warheads from
The reasons for controversy over the
decoys) is by far the most complex and
proposed deployment of an NMD can best be
controversial technological hurdle to be
overcome.46 However, at present all elements of shown by considering the US political
the proposed system are yet to be proven as arguments advocated by the two major schools
technologically feasible with even reliable of thought. Indeed these arguments are largely
tracking and monitoring of a target often representative of those being voiced by both
eluding currently available technologies. It opponent and supporter around the world.
was exposed by Defence Week that the Supporters of NMD, largely Republicans,
warhead hit by a Pentagon missile during the justify their argument on a real national
14 July test was carrying a global positioning security need, that being, to protect the US
satellite beacon that made it easy to track. from direct ballistic missile attack. They cite
Critics say that the missiles would have had the existence of politically unstable “rogue
little chance of pinpointing the warhead’s path states” which as “nuclear equipped adversaries
without the help of the beacons.47 Defence will not always [act] rationally or at least
Week also reported that the beacon helped the operate with the same logic” as the US does.53
defence missile compensate for deficiencies in Arms controllers, namely Democrats, 54
US radar tracking technology on the ground. consider that the solution to any security threat
To this end, opponents liken the enormous facing the US lies not in a costly NMD system,
technical challenges of NMD to “attempting to but instead through securing reductions in
hit a bullet with a bullet”.48 As evidence of the global nuclear arsenals through the
technical difficulties confronting the project strengthening of bilateral agreements, such as
many point to a decision on 15 December START and the ABM, and consider it of vital
2001 to cancel the multi-billion missile defence
importance to improve US-Russian relations.55
system for Navy ships occurring due to poor
Anti-NMD advocates argue that these goals
performance and excessive cost.49 Opponents
would be seriously threatened if NMD was
of NMD cite this as an example that goes some
approved and that the outcome of such a
way to proving that getting such a complicated
decision may be a renewed global arms race of
system to work even in the most simple
Cold War magnitude.
circumstances is at present doubtful.
The future test program is fluid and is to French President Jacques Chirac, a vocal
incorporate at least 15 more tests, and the opponent of NMD deployment, expressed
system could become operational, however exactly this concern saying:
unlikely,50 as early as 2005. Many consider it How do you convince (nations) to stop
nonsensical to deploy an inadequately tested piling up new arms when more powerful
defensive system before any clear offensive countries say it’s necessary to develop
threat is realised virtually guaranteeing that technologies that put hard-won strategic
any threat which subsequently appears will be balances into question? 56
able to penetrate the system. Missile intercept He added to the debate when, during an
systems will be incapable of keeping pace with interview with the New York Times on 17
improvements in offensive capabilities. 51 December 1999, he observed:
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 9
If you look at world history, ever since men in nuclear history. For example, the
began waging war, you will see that there’s intelligence community seriously
a permanent race between sword and underestimated the USSR following the first
shield. The sword always wins. The more atomic detonation in 1945. At this time
improvements that are made to the shield, military planners anticipated that the Soviets
the more improvements that are made to would take a decade to produce a similar
the sword. We think that with these weapon. Instead, by 1949 the Soviets
[NMD] systems, we are just going to spur detonated their own bomb and thus nullified
swordmakers to intensify their efforts.57 any strategic advantage enjoyed by the US.
Supporters counter this argument by This action-reaction dynamic typified the
emphasising that defences would reduce the entire Cold War period and goes some way to
utility of enemy missiles, deterring their demonstrating the potential dangers of
acquisition.58 Each argument has merit and underestimating any potential foe.63
will be addressed in greater detail. This argument can also be used by
Supporters of NMD draw largely on the opponents of NMD. To date, throughout the
truism that the global missile threat to the US nuclear era, Washington has gained no
is growing. The nuclear club of nations now, discernible diplomatic or strategic advantage
largely as a result of the collapse of the Soviet through its technological innovations,
Union, includes some two dozen states, many primarily because the Eastern Bloc has very
of which are at present highly politically quickly matched, copied or developed
unstable and unpredictable.59 This concern is countermeasures. The same, it is argued, will
doubled with the fact that the range of ballistic quickly occur to counter the effectiveness of
missiles is currently increasing, suggesting that any deployed NMD system, therefore nullifying
shortly many of these volatile states may its existence and success. Perhaps the most
develop deployment systems capable of obvious means of countering NMD is through
reaching the US, which, when combined with a rearmament, by developing greater numbers of
political will to strike, poses a real concern. ballistic weapons, new delivery systems and
Nations such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq decoys so as to overwhelm any shield
have been identified by advocates of NMD for established by the US. This would mean the
these reasons as possible “rogue” states. It is shaking off of related arms-limitations treaties
currently anticipated that North Korea will in a world that can ill-afford such action. This
become capable of posing such a threat to the is predominantly what the anti-NMD camp
US by 2005, Iran by 2010 and Iraq by 2015.60 fears with justification.
In 1998 a Congressionally mandated The implication of NMD for outer space has
commission led by former US Secretary of been afforded little attention, yet will pose one
Defence Donald H. Rumsfeld produced a report of the greatest avenues for instability. 64
which overwhelmingly confirmed the concerns Currently, outer space is a weapons free
of the pro-NMD lobby.61 Rumsfeld was highly environment “supported by a limited regime
critical of the US intelligence community (the Outer Space Treaty)65 and a number of
which anticipated that it would have at least a tacit agreements against weaponisation”.66 US
decade’s prior notice before any such missile deployment of an NMD is heavily reliant on
threat materialised.62 Rumsfeld’s report warned space-based components. However, presently
that missiles could appear much sooner. This there exists no treaty banning anti-satellite
criticism of the intelligence community is not (ASAT) weapons and therefore a key
historically unfounded and precedent for such vulnerability in the NMD network is presented
concern exists dating from the earliest periods when possible responses by US opponents are
10 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C F E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
considered. The militarisation of space, it is ICBMs as it is currently doing under the
argued, could inhibit future manned, scientific present disarmament framework.72 This move
and commercial activities in space, as well as was confirmed when, following summit talks
US arms control monitoring capabilities.67 in Slovenia during July 2001 with President
The vulnerabilities inherent in NMD Bush, President Putin expressed “that despite it
deployment add to the arguments against being in violation of the START II agreement,
NMD. Compared to offences, sophisticated Russia would strengthen its nuclear forces in
defences are much more vulnerable to attack response to US NMD and could eventually
because of their reliance on forward-based counter an American defence system by
tracking installations and space-based implementing multiple warheads on its
components. The task of the defender is far ICBMs”. 73 This response, in reality, will
more difficult than that of the attacker. At culminate in a breakdown in the disarmament
each step in an NMD process the defender is process but little increase in numbers of
vulnerable to possible mistakes and to attacks missiles. This is because Russia already has
on system components.68 Furthermore, the enough warheads to overwhelm the proposed
timeframe during which Bush will deploy NMD system.74
will allow considerable time for adversaries to China is staunchly opposed to the
“size-up” the system and develop means of deployment of NMD or TMD both in America
subverting it. Many argue that should Bush and East Asia. Many analysts within the US
continue to insist on flouting the ABM Treaty and abroad argue that the NMD initiative is
and “this coincides with an increase in US- prompted, not by a threat from “rogue states”
Russian or US-Chinese tensions…It might also but instead by a perceived “China threat”.75
include multinational approaches, as states China only has a small stockpile of missiles, 76
feeling threatened by the system may begin to and it is this fact that poses greatest concern
for China when it comes to the US NMD
coordinate their military responses in the
deployment. On 2 September 2001 it was
classic form of a preventative alliance”.69 In
alleged by the New York Times that the White
such a scenario, Russia could provide China
House had told the Chinese that it would not
with the technology to develop manoeuvrable
object to China’s plan to expand its limited
warheads to enhance their capabilities.70 This
arsenal of nuclear missiles if support for its
fear is already becoming a reality as seen
NMD proposal was forthcoming. However
through the signing of a “Good Neighbourly
administration officials have since rejected the
Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation” on 16
report reaffirming their commitment to
July 2001 between China’s President Jiang
reducing the global arms stockpile. 77
Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s national
This treaty superseded an outdated 1950
security adviser, said the US “is not about to
version and committed both Russia and China
propose to the Chinese that in exchange for
to a further 20-year pact. Also, North Korean
Chinese acceptance of MD, we will accept a
leader Kim Jong-il has recently visited Russia
nuclear buildup” adding that while
for bilateral talks with President Putin.71 Washington does not believe the Chinese have
Likely Military Responses to NMD Deployment reason to expand their nuclear forces, “their
Including Russia and China modernisation has been under way for some
Potential adversaries will react to US NMD time”. One senior official added: “We know
deployment differently depending on their own the Chinese will enhance their nuclear
circumstances. For Russia, the most logical capability anyway, and we are going to say to
response would be to stop de-MIRVing its them, `We’re not going to tell you not to do
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 11
it’”.78 Also, The Bush administration plans to any international treaties or agreements and as
offer China an early look at plans for testing they are not categorised as “weapons” are
the proposed NMD system in an effort to ease politically favourable.85 Further, penetration
Beijing’s opposition to the US shield.79 Clearly, aids will prove highly effective against NMD.
China would be prompted to more actively Recent US NMD tests have proven that dealing
pursue options such as mobile missiles and with large numbers of decoys will severely
MIRVs and many believe that should inhibit the system.86 Hence, even if a global
deployment occur a “head on collision with proliferation of ballistic missiles does not
China will be difficult to avoid”.80 occur, a build-up of penetration aids, which
Hence, in response to NMD deployment, it may render the NMD system ineffective, will.
can be surmised that large and technologically The problems faced by the current NMD
capable states will seek “step level” increases in system when discriminating warheads from
sophistication and modest increases in the decoys has already been mentioned.
number of launchers. Middle powers, such as The NMD system and its elements could
North Korea, may seek numerical increases in also be exposed to potential attack from the
ballistic missiles, especially where these can ground, sea and in space by adversaries. Many
also be used to counter local adversaries, whilst of its elements are susceptible to attack
smaller states will build a few weapons but will especially the forward based radar in Alaska
be unable to afford a sustained build-up. All and those facilities to be located on foreign soil
of these adversaries, it is anticipated, will turn such as in the UK and Greenland. 87 For
to penetration aids to ensure the success of the example, air strikes or special forces
missiles they have. Less technological states operations,88 or terrorist attack, could inflict a
posing a threat to the US may find it most substantial blow against the NMD system. A
beneficial to turn to asymmetric responses.81 low yield nuclear attack on any of the remote
This course of action has already been elements would be impossible to defend
alluded to by senior Chinese diplomats and against.89 This vulnerability could increase the
military specialists who emphasise that China demand for tactical nuclear missiles among
may pursue an “Andropov solution” (building NMD opponent states some of whom,
countermeasures) in response to any US NMD especially those with fewer resources, may
deployment.82 The Andropov solution would focus on sea launch and cruise missile
be more economical with some Chinese capabilities which would not be able to be
arguing that they could develop defeated by the NMD umbrella. Also, the sea-
countermeasures to the US NMD system “at a based elements of the system which are to be
cost of two per cent of their defence budget. At carried by the Aegis-class destroyers may
the same time, they had heard that the US result in an increased procurement and
system would cost two per cent of the US development of quiet submarines, of the type
defence budget. Given the huge disparity now widely available from Russia.90
between the two budgets, they asked, were Space-based components, critical to any
they not getting the better end of the NMD system, are particularly vulnerable to
bargain?” 83. As long as countermeasures attack with opponents only having to be
proved effective no strategic build-up would be capable of launching medium-range ballistic
necessary to overwhelm the US system.84 missiles with some accuracy to attack these
The primary reason why penetration aids assets. Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites are
will prove attractive to US adversaries is that most vulnerable and due to their tracking and
they are inexpensive and do not require queuing taskings would be a high priority
advanced technology. They also do not violate target.91 Hence, direct ascent ASAT weapons
12 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
would become a likely focus for some states as be highly effective and not easily detected
a counter to NMD and would be capable of especially if deployed on a commercial vessel
blinding the system and rendering it in international waters off the coast of the US.
inoperative. Co-orbital and permanent space Short-range ballistic missiles could also be
based ASATs may also see deployment launched in a similar fashion with little chance
especially as these weapons (unless nuclear of detection by any planned NMD system.96
armed) do not represent any direct violation to Other options may include delivery of a
any standing agreements on weapons in weapon on a rubber raft, or another vessel
space.92 Should the US deploy NMD and shrug which is hard to detect, as occurred in the USS
off the ABM, it would have no grounds for Cole incident in Yemen.97 One senior member
objecting to space-based weapons being of the Bush administration readily admitted
deployed in large quantities. Furthermore, in during a conference in 1999 that “he expects
an effort to undermine the US NMD system NMD to cause “the bad guys’ to redouble their
Russia could sell ASATs with impunity to efforts to acquire asymmetrical means of
China, India, Iraq, or other states of its attacking the US homeland or US allies and
choosing. Such weapons could also be nuclear their assets.98 Hence, it is very likely that NMD
armed offering considerably greater range and will fuel development of WMD and less
impact, although this would violate the Outer traceable means of delivery. Advocates of
Space Treaty. Once deployed ASATs could NMD argue that such developments are
render near earth space unusable for civilian or “inevitable” and that the US would be better
passive military use. Some ardent pro-NMD off with at least some means of self-defence
supporters in the US continue to press for against missile attack. Asymmetric means of
space-based interceptors (Brilliant Pebbles) attack will mean that many states will respond
which would only encourage states to develop to NMD deployment by “spending on areas
and deploy countermeasures and would where they believe the US to be vulnerable”.99
counter any agreements aimed at the This will prove taxing on the US military and
demilitarisation of space.93 enforcement agencies and may see opponents
Regardless, the most likely focus of “rogue”
exacerbating the situation by testing US bases
states to NMD will be in the form of
and defences.100 Moreover, it is likely that
asymmetric military responses. The
“rogue” states and terrorist groups will be
asymmetric response is appealing due to the
likely to receive “more assistance in their
fact that weapons are inexpensive and unlike
efforts if US NMD policy is conducted in a way
ballistic missiles, which are highly transparent
that alienates either Russia or China, or both”.
and easily detected, are best suited for stealthy
These countries are in a “good position to
attack. A state would merely need a means of
assist third countries in their efforts to acquire
delivery, (not necessarily a missile) such as a
alternative delivery systems and weapons” in
suitcase bomb smuggled in vehicles or by foot,
an effort to undermine the US NMD.101
small aircraft, small boats or other means, to
attack the US. Even terrorists lacking any state Conclusion
backing have been capable of launching It appears likely that the response of other
internal attacks on the US through this means, states to NMD deployment would be limited
as in the case of the World Trade Centre mainly to reactive missile deployments and a
attacks in New York and on the Pentagon.94 build-up of penetration aids. However, any
This is not to say that missiles can not NMD deployment by the US will be met by
feature in any asymmetric response. Cruise some certainties, these being that NMD is
missiles, easily available off the shelf,95 would unlikely to revolutionise the strategic
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 13
environment or render offensive weapons positive steps than the deployment of a
obsolete, and that it will be met by active contentious NMD.105 Such measures, in the
military countermeasures from a variety of longer term, may also result in a global
states, dependant on each state’s unique armaments reduction thereby nullifying any
circumstances. It may also trigger action- need for an NMD.
reaction dynamics and lead other states into This article has not sought to address the
unilateral arms build-ups; and, NMD is likely standpoint of US allies, particularly in Europe
to increase rather than reduce the worldwide and Asia. However, it can be said that all hold
armaments stockpile.102 It will also complicate reservations toward NMD and oppose any
the future international environment for arms deployment that violates the ABM Treaty.106
control and increase world tensions. The This was also the stance of the United Nations
militarisation of space would also make the General Assembly when on 5 November 1999
peaceful use of space, especially for arms it voted overwhelmingly in favour of a
control monitoring, very difficult. resolution to preserve the ABM Treaty.107 There
It can clearly be seen that NMD is little popular support for a system which,
deployment will open a Pandora’s box of whilst possibly offering the US increased
uncertainty for which the global community is security within a unilateral framework, will
unprepared and which it is largely unwilling to expose her allies and alliances especially NATO
accept. Although the system faces many to a new, dangerous and uncertain world.108
technological challenges it appears likely that These sentiments were echoed by former
some “limited” NMD system will be deployed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who
by Bush in his first term of office. It is felt that warned that participation in NMD would make
this system, like the earlier “Safeguard” NMD, countries like Australia “hostage to US actions”
will be a “rush to failure”. Not only will the and “a first-rate target in the event of
system, at present, fail technologically, but also hostilities between America and another
hard-won non-proliferation agreements will be country”.109 NMD deployment by the US
reneged on and any groundwork which has could lead to regional and even global arms
been made in arms control lost. races, polarising the world anew and making
NMD is not without its alternatives. A US enemies of countries that are now at worst
attempt at promoting international cooperation
and non-proliferation regimes as an attempt at
missile proliferation, instead of the isolationist
path currently being taken through NMD,
would be a much more permanent and positive 1. John Isaacs, “A Political Decision”, in Bulletin
of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000, p. 23.
method of addressing the US security concerns. 2. Michael O’Hanlon, “Star Wars Strikes Back”, in
Also, the long standing US policy, commonly Foreign Affairs, November/December 1999,
referred to as “deterrence”, has served the US p. 71.
well for years and no evidence suggests that it 3. http://www.stopstarwars.org. (Green Peace
would not continue to work against “rogue
4. James Clay Moltz, “Forecasting the Strategic-
states” or terrorists.103 Treaty compliant missile Military Implications of NMD Deployment”, in
defences aimed at TMD, offensive arms International Perspectives on Missile
reductions within the framework of existing Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper
treaties such as SALT, strengthening of the No. 5 (Monterey: Montery Institute of
International Studies, March 2000), p. 35.
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR),104 5. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
and the negotiation of an ASAT-ban for the 6. Ronald E. Powaski, Return to Armageddon:
demilitarisation of space would be much more The United States and the Nuclear Arms Race,
14 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
1981-1999, New York: Oxford University 23. ibid.
Press, 2000, pp. 32-33. 24. O’Hanlon, “Star Wars Strikes Back”, Foreign
7. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. Affairs, November/December 1999, p. 71.
8. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000, 25. http://www.stopstarwars.org.
p. 23. On 23 March 1983, President Reagan 26. ibid.
delivered a national television address in which 27. Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001 at
he called for research into defences that would http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/
make “nuclear weapons impotent and 0713-01.htm.
obsolete”. On 24 March 1983, opponents in 28. ibid.
Congress labelled President Reagan’s vision of a 29. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
defensive umbrella “Star Wars”. See also, 30. ibid.
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. 31. ibid.
9. In particular there was a substantial Soviet 32. Michael E. O’Hanlon, Defence Policy Choices for
build-up of penetration aids such as chaff, the Bush Administration 2001-05, p. 154.
balloons and dummy missiles in response to 33. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000,
“Star Wars”. p. 24.
10. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000, 34. Powaski, Return to Armageddon, p. 189. See
p. 23. also, http://www.stopstarwars.org.
11. There have been three system developments 35. International Perspectives on Missile
since the late 1950s. These being the ABM- Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper
1/A-135, ABM-2/S-225 and the most recent, No. 5, p. 34.
commenced in 1978 and operational in 1989, 36. Daniel Smith, “Technological Challenges in
the ABM-3/A-135. www.fag.org/starwars/ National Missile Defence” [2001 ?] at
12. http://news6.thdo.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/ 37. ibid.
europe/newsid_1177000/1177889.stm, and 38. O’Hanlon, “Star Wars Strikes Back”, Foreign
http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreignp/ Affairs, November/December 1999, p. 82.
usstrat-e.asp 39. ibid., pp. 68-69.
13. John Steinbruner, “National Missile Defence: 40. ibid., pp. 68-69.
Collision in Progress”, in Arms Control Today, 41. ibid., pp. 68-69.
November 1999, p. 3. 42. Michael E. O’Hanlon, Defence Policy Choices for
14. Powaski, Return to Armageddon, pp. 32-33.The the Bush Administration 2001-05, pp. 143-44.
plan allowed three years for development of 43. ibid., pp. 143-44.
NMD and, if warranted, three more years to 44. Daniel Smith, “Technological Challenges in
deploy a system. pp. 190-91. National Missile Defence” [2001 ?] at
15. John Steinbruner, “National Missile Defence: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
Collision in Progress”, p. 3. 45. ibid.
16. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. See 46. ibid.
also note 46. 47. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
17. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000, Exposure of US authorities rigging tests for
p. 24. The Capability 3 system will also ideal conditions should come as no real
comprise 3 command centres, 5 surprise. On 10 June 1984, under the Reagan
communications relay stations, 15 radars (6 Administration, an interceptor package guided
early warning and 9 high resolution UHF or X- by infrared sensors and a computer destroyed
band), and 29 satellites (Space Based Infrared its target in a similar fashion. In this instance
High and Low). See also Colonel Daniel Smith, the General Accounting Office in 1994 noted in
USA (Ret.), “Technological Challenges in its report that the target had been artificially
National Missile Defense” [? 2001] at heated to increase its infrared signature.
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. 48. ibid., This analogy has been asserted since 1955
18. ibid. Own emphasis added. when, after 50,000 simulated ballistic missile
19. ibid. intercepts on an analog computer, Bell
20. Michael E. O’Hanlon, Defence Policy Choices for Laboratory scientists concluded that “hitting a
the Bush Administration 2001-05, Washington bullet with another bullet” was possible.
D.C: Brookings University Press, 2001, p. 145. Although not valid today this test gives some
21. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. perspective of how long the NMD testing and
22. ibid. debate has been underway in the US.
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 15
49. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. 71. Dr. Bruce Blair, “Impact of NMD on Russia,
50. In February 1998 the first Welch review Nuclear Security” [2001?], http://www.-
criticised shortcomings and overambitious time abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
lines that amounted in its findings to a “rush to 72. International Perspectives on Missile
failure” in various missile programs including Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper
NMD. See Foreign Affairs, November/December No. 5, p. 35-36.
1999, p. 73. 73. Dr. Nicholas Berry, “U.S. National Missile
51. John Steinbruner, “National Missile Defence: Defense: Views from Asia” [2001?], at
Collision in Progress”, in Arms Control Today, http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
November 1999, p. 3. 74. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses: A
52. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. Response, (Canberra: ANU, 1999), p. 2.
53. Stated in May 1992 by the House Armed 75. ibid., p. 2.
Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin. 76. ibid., p. 2. The International Institute for
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate. Strategic Studies notes that “China’s strategic
54. See also page 3 for an explanation of why capability is comprised of less than 200 nuclear
Clinton, a Democrat, launched NMD projects. warheads, of which perhaps 20-30 would be
55. Foreign Affairs, November/December 1999, pp. operational at any given time”.
69. 77. Robert Burns, “US Says China Nuke Buildup
56. http://www.stopstarwars.org. Unnecessary”, Associated Press, 5 September
57. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000, 2001, on internet at National Missile Defence
p. 25. Organisation http://www.acq.osd.mil/bmdo/
58. International Perspectives on Missile bmdolink/html/ nmd.html.
Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper 78. No author, “China to See U.S. Missile Plan”,
No. 5, p. 35.
Washington Post, 2 September 2001 at
59. Foreign Affairs, November/December 1999, p.
60. ibid., pp. 70-71.
61. Rumsfeld has reassumed the appointment of
80. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses: A
Secretary of Defence under the current Bush
Response, (Canberra: unpublished, 1999), p. 2.
81. These include the use of weapons, other than
62. ibid., pp. 70-71. In November 1995, a National
ballistic missiles, such as conventional
Intelligence Estimate (NIE 95-19) judged that
explosives, or biological and chemical weapons,
“No country, other than the major declared
nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise against the US. International Perspective’s on
acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years Missile Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional
that could threaten the contiguous 48 states or Paper No. 5, p. 36.
Canada”. 82. Rose Gottemoeller, “If China Builds More
63. International Perspective’s on Missile Warheads”, Washington Post, 6 September
Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper 2001, p. A23 at http://www.washingtonpost.
No. 5, p. 33. com/wp-dyn/articles/A48967-2001Sep5.html.
64. ibid., pp. 33-34. “In the 1980s, faced with the necessity of
65. The treaty opened for signature at Moscow, responding to the Reagan administration’s ‘Star
London and Washington on 27 January 1967 Wars’ initiative with an economy that was
to “contribute to broad international co- already in crisis, the Communist Party general
operation in the scientific as well as the legal secretary, Yuri Andropov, decreed an approach
aspects of the exploration and use of outer that was an innovation in Soviet policy at the
space for peaceful purposes”. See, time: Instead of trying to match U.S. strategic
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space_law/conventions defenses or engage in a strategic offensive
/outerspace.html. buildup, as had been past practice, the Soviet
66. International Perspective’s on Missile Union would concentrate on developing
Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper countermeasures to the system — chaff,
No. 5, p. 33-34. balloons and other technologies that would
67. ibid., pp. 33-34. defeat the system without destroying it. In that
68. ibid., p. 34. way, Andropov argued, he could maintain
69. ibid., pp. 34-35. Soviet security on the cheap, without having to
70. ibid., pp. 34-35. match or mirror U.S. programs”.
16 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
83. Rose Gottemoeller, “If China Builds More 100. The recent attacks on the World Trade Centre
Warheads”, at http://www.washingtonpost. in New York and the Pentagon in Washington
com/wp-dyn/articles/A48967-2001Sep5.html. D.C have stretched US military and
84. ibid. enforcement agencies (i.e. FBI, Fire Brigade and
85. International Perspective’s on Missile Police Forces) to the limit, and were not
Proliferation and Defenses, Occasional Paper anticipated by the US intelligence agencies.
No. 5, p. 36. Therefore what hope would the US have of
86. ibid., p.37. preventing strikes against NMD elements on
87. ibid. foreign soil let alone on their own? NMD will
88. North Korean commandos have infiltrated be incapable of addressing these real threats.
South Korea with ease for years despite the best See also footnotes 82, 88 and 91.
efforts of the US and South Korea to prevent 101. International Perspectives on Missile
them. And terrorists have struck deep within Proliferation and Defenses, p. 41.
the heart of US territory. See also notes 91 and 102. ibid., p. 41.
94. 103. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses, p. 3.
89. International Perspectives on Missile 104. The MTCR is an informal political arrangement
Proliferation and Defenses, pp. 37-38. formed in 1987 to control the “proliferation of
90. Such as the Kilo-class 636 model. rocket and unmanned air vehicle systems
91. International Perspectives on Missile capable of delivering weapons of mass
Proliferation and Defenses, pp. 38-39. destruction and their associated equipment and
92. The USSR conducted tests in the 1960s and technology. The Regime’s controls are
1970s on a space-based ASAT weapon leading applicable to such rocket and unmanned air
the US to declare it “operational”. vehicle systems as ballistic missiles, space
launch vehicles, sounding rockets, unmanned
93. International Perspectives on Missile
air vehicles, cruise missiles, drones, and
Proliferation and Defenses, p. 39.
remotely piloted vehicles”. MTCR also
94. The first attack occurred on 26 February 1993
has considerable range limitations.
when a vehicle loaded with explosives was
detonated beneath the complex killing six
people, injuring thousands and causing
105. Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., USN (Ret.)
extensive damage. On 11 September 2001 the
“Why Should You/We Care?” at
complex was completely destroyed when
terrorists hijacked two commercial aircraft 106. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses, pp.
crashing them into the towers killing a yet to 4-5. See also, http://www.abc.net.au/
be disclosed number of people. The Pentagon 4corners/roguestate.
was also attacked in the same fashion. 107. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses, p. 4.
95. Examples of conventional missiles (cruise and 108. Jeremy Stoker, “Briefing Missile Defence”, in
other) which are widely held and capable of Janes Defence Weekly, 22 August 2001,
such tasking are the Soviet SA-2,3,6,10 and 12, pp. 23-25.
the SS-18, SS-24, and SS-25 and the Scud. In 109. Christopher Hellman “The Costs of Ballistic
America the D-5, Tomahawk and Harpoon. To Missile Defense” [2001?] at http://www.abc.
name but a few amongst hundreds. net.au/4 corners/roguestate.
96. International Perspectives on Missile 110. Peter Van Ness, Ballistic Missile Defenses, p. 5.
Proliferation and Defenses, p. 40.
97. The USS Cole suffered severe damage on 12 BIBLIOGRAPHY
October 2000 in a terrorist bombing attack Books:
when the ship was in the port of Aden, Yemen, Centre for Nonproliferation Studies, Occasional
for a routine fuel stop. A rubber raft loaded Paper No. 5: International Perspectives on
with explosives was ploughed into the ship Missile Proliferation and Defences, (Monterey:
killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 in the blast Monterey Institute of International Studies,
which blew a hole in the port side of the 2001).
destroyer. http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/ Marshall, A.W., Martin, J.J., and Rowen, H.S. (eds),
navpalib/news/news_stories/cole.html. On Not Confusing Ourselves: Essays on
98. International Perspectives on Missile National Security Strategy in Honour of Albert
Proliferation and Defenses, p. 40. and Roberta Wohlstetter, (Boulder: Westview
99. ibid., p. 41. Press, 1991).
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE 17
O’Hanlon, M., Defence Planning for the Late 1990s: Internet Sources:
Beyond the Desert Storm Framework, Christopher Hellman “The Costs of Ballistic Missile
(Washington D.C: Brookings Institution, 1995). Defense” [2001?] at http://www.abc.net.au/4
O’Hanlon, M., Technological Change and the Future corners/roguestate.
of Warfare, (Washington D.C: Brookings Daniel Smith, “Technological Challenges in
Institution Press, 2000). National Missile Defense” [2001 ?] at
O’Hanlon, M.E., Defence Policy Choices for the Bush http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
Administration, 2001-05, (Washington D.C: Dr. Bruce Blair, “Impact of NMD on Russia, Nuclear
Brookings Institution Press, 2001). Security” [2001?], http://www.abc.net.au/-
Osgood, R.E., The Nuclear Dilemma in American 4corners/roguestate.
Strategic Thought, (Boulder: Westview Press, Dr. Nicholas Berry, “U.S. National Missile
1988). Defense: Views from Asia” [2001?], at
Patton, T., Strategic Arms Limitations: An Analysis http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
of Factors that Impact Arms Control Progress Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001 at
and Weapon System Selection, (Michigan: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/
Dissertation Information Service, 1981). 0713-01.htm
Paulsen, R.A., The Role of US Nuclear Weapons in no author, “China to See U.S. Missile Plan”,
the Post-Cold War Era, (Alabama: Air Washington Post, 2 September 2001 at
University Press, 1994). http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010902/pl/
Payne, K.B., Deterrence in the Nuclear Age, us_china_4.html.
(Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., USN (Ret.)
1996). “Why Should You/We Care?” at
Powaski, R.E., Return to Armageddon: The United http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/roguestate.
States and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1981-1999, Robert Burns, “US Says China Nuke Buildup
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). Unnecessary”, Associated Press, 5 September
2001, on internet at National Missile Defence
Journal Articles: Organisation http://www.acq.osd.mil/bmdo/
Isaacs, J., “A Political Decision”, in Bulletin of bmdolink/html/nmd.html.
Atomic Scientists, March/April 2000. Rose Gottemoeller, “If China Builds More
Isaacs, J., “Go Slow”: The People Speak on Missile Warheads”, Washington Post, 6 September
Defence, in Arms Control Today, 2001, p. A23 at http://www.washingtonpost.
January/February 2000. com/wp-dyn/articles/A48967-2001Sep5.html.
O’Hanlon, M., “Star Wars Strikes Back”, in Foreign http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/
Affairs, Vol. 78, No. 6., November/December news_stories/cole.html.
Steinbruner, J., “National Missile Defence: Collision http://www.fag.org/starwars/program/soviet.
in Progress”, in Arms Control Today, November http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space_law/conventions/
Stoker, J., “Briefing Missile Defence”, in Janes http://www.news6.thdo.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/
Defence Weekly, 22 August 2001. europe/newsid_1177000/1177889.stm.
Van Ness, P., Ballistic Missile Defences: A http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/np/mtcr/
Response, Canberra, ANU, 1999. mtcr.html.
Lieutenant Reuben Bowd (RAAOC) graduated from ADFA in 1998 with an Arts degree double majoring in History
and Politics and sub-majoring in Asia-Pacific Studies. In 1999 he attended RMC, Duntroon and was allocated to
RAAC. Lieutenant Bowd has been posted as an instructor at ALTC, Bandiana and is presently serving in 3 CSSB,
Townsville. In 2001 he returned to ADFA to undertake history honours. In addition to coursework that included air
power evolution and theory, he researched a thesis on a little known yet important intelligence unit, the Allied
Geographical Section. In December 2001 he was awarded first class honours and the L.C.F. Turner prize for
“outstanding performance in history”. Lieutenant Bowd is keenly interested in military intelligence and maintains an
ambition to serve in the Australian Army Intelligence Corps.
18 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
The Australian Army
and the Vietnam War
The 2002 Chief of Army's
Military History Conference
3-4 October 2002
National Convention Centre,
Conference Enquiry Line
Phone: (02) 6266 2744
Dissecting Command and Control with
Ask not what “Command” and “Control”
means to you but what you mean by
“Command and Control”
By Dr Noel Sproles, University of South Australia
Command and Control (C2) provides coordination and smooth functioning in a military
operation, but as a topic it more often than not causes confusion and disagreement amongst
military professionals. One such cause for confusion is the view that “command and control” is a
phrase and that an examination of its constituent words can contribute to an understanding of
what command and control really is. The result is rarely satisfactory and leads one to ponder why
it is that two such familiar words should develop such difficult-to-understand concepts when
grouped together in this way? More often than not, the explanations offered seem more forced than
logical and are never very enlightening. They bring to mind the scene in an ancient temple where
priests and seers pore over the entrails of an animal in an attempt to read the future or ascertain
the meaning of some natural phenomenon. The only certainty in this approach is that if a
particular meaning is sought, then that meaning can be contrived.
A more fruitful approach may be to the command arrangements instituted by the
recognise that every word or expression in our Allies from 1941 onwards. Placing the usage
language has a history commencing from the of the separate words “command” and
time when someone, somewhere, first “control” in the context of those times will
associated it with something. This history, show that the meanings attributed to them in
which traces the development of a word or the 1940s are different from those currently
expression from its inception through any given them when associated with “command
subsequent derivations, is called its etymology. and control”. Although “command and
Treating “command and control” simply as a control” started out as a phrase sometime in
phrase while neglecting to study its etymology the 1940s, it will be suggested that it has
is ignoring an approach that promises to offer evolved to become a compound word and
a more edifying explanation of the term than should now be treated as such. While it is not
those usually provided. suggested that the explanation that will be
This article suggests a possible etymology offered can claim to be definitive, it is
for “command and control” commencing from supported by strong historical evidence. In
its roots in the efforts to achieve unified providing a simpler explanation of what this
command amongst the Western Allies in term means, based on its etymology, it is
WWII. It will show that terms that could well suggested that it also provides a more plausible
be the precursors of “command and control” explanation than those usually found in the
appear throughout the literature surrounding literature.
20 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
Origins references can still be found to “command and
There seems to be agreement that control” in the literature of this period.
“command and control” appeared either during McCarthy (1959, p. 15) referred to the
or sometime soon after WWII. While agreement “…between Britain and America
Ashworth (1987, p. 34) suggests that it had its regarding the machinery to be set up for the
origins in WWII, Alberts and Hayes (1995, p. 6) strategical command and control of their
is more emphatic in noting that the term did military resources”. That McCarthy did not feel
not appear until after WWII. It is difficult to it necessary to explain this term either in the
argue with the contention that “command and text or in footnotes indicates that he expected
control” is a post-WWII term as a search of the it to be a term familiar to the reader. The term
literature contemporaneous to WWII has so far “command and control” was used in the 1964
failed to reveal its use before 1945. The film Dr Strangelove by George C. Scott acting
earliest mention found in the search for the part of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
background material for this article was by of Staff thereby suggesting that by then it was
General Morgan who was responsible for much a widely accepted expression.
of the early planning for the Normandy While there may not be evidence that the
invasion. When discussing the issue of term “command and control” per se was used
directives to the naval and air Commanders-in- during the war years, there is ample evidence
Chief for Operation Overlord, he made that expressions closely resembling it were in
reference to “…the solution to the air command common use during that period. In a letter
and control problem” (Morgan, 1950, p. 226). from the RAAF Chief of Air Staff to General
Murphy (1948, p. 146) refers to Admirals Macarthur’s HQ early in 1944, reference is
Ramsay and Mountbatten in 1942 disagreeing made to “command and administrative
on who “…should be in command and control control” (Odgers, 1957, p. 199). The Australian
of the Naval Assault Forces during their Prime Minister, Mr. John Curtin, in a 1945
training in Combined Operations”. While letter to General MacArthur twice made
Murphy (1948) indicates an early date for the reference to “operational control and
use of the term, it is possible that Morgan command”, once in relation to 1st Australian
(1950) presents proof of even earlier use as the Corps (Long, 1963, p.45) and secondly in
Forward to Morgan (1950) was signed and relation to the RAAF (Odgers, 1957, p. 437).
dated by General Eisenhower in March 1947. Again, in 1945 the Australian Defence
Whichever one is the earlier may be open to Committee referred to the need for “…unified
dispute but what is clear is that the term operational and administrative control of the
“command and control” was in use in the whole RAAF …under one command” (Odgers,
period immediately after WWII leaving it open 1957, p. 438).
to the possibility that it was in fact in use The terminology was not restricted to US
during the war. and Australian usage. Stacey (1948, p. 48)
Its usage in the immediate post-war era associates “command” with “operational
was not as popular as it is now. For instance, direction” when discussing the internal
Wilmot (1952, p. 51) when discussing the command arrangements for 1st Canadian
German attacks on the British radar and Corps. “Direction” and “control” are
communications installations during the Battle synonymous and the phrase “command and
of Britain, refers to them as attacks on “…the direction” was used when now “command and
network of control”. It is almost certain that a control” would be used. Field Marshal
present-day writer would refer to them instead Montgomery provides evidence of this when in
as attacks on command and control. However, October 1945, he stated “On 1 September, the
DISSECTING COMMAND AND CONTROL WITH OCCAM’S RAZOR 21
Supreme Commander assumed command and between a unified commander and subordinate
direction of the Army Groups himself…” commanders of a joint or multi-national force.
(Montgomery, 1945, p.12). When he referred These command arrangements established the
to the same event some years later, he changed operational and administrative constraints or
“direction” to “operational control” when he boundaries placed on the unified commander’s
wrote “…from the 1st September 1944 authority. When establishing the origin of the
onwards, I was not satisfied that we had a meaning of “command and control”, the
satisfactory organisation for command or effects of this overriding need to achieve
operational control” (Montgomery, 1958, p. unified command arrangements across
326). organisational boundaries must be kept in
The German General, Adolf Galland, mind. These arrangements encompassed not
describes the amalgamation of the Luftwaffe only procedures but also political decisions on
day fighter and night fighter control systems the nationality and Service of Allied
late in WWII. He states that “The unification commanders.
of command and organisation of the day and Modern definitions of command and
night fighters …was at last achieved” (Galland, control describe “command” in terms of a
1955, p. 193). Whether the term “command commander’s authority. A typical example is
and organisation” was used by Galland or was that given by the US Marines who see the
the translator’s interpretation of the original “command” component of the term “…as
German is not known, but its intent and usage exercise of authority”(MCDP 1996). While the
is that usually associated at that time with WWII commanders would have been aware of
“command and control”. this nexus between command and authority, it
is suggested that this is not the meaning that
Command Arrangements they were referring to when using expressions
In the instances quoted, the terms such as “command and operational control”.
“command and control”, “command and In the context in which the expression was
operational control”, “command and used, they were referring instead to the identity
administrative control”, “command and of the individual commander, to his
direction”, and even “command and nationality, or to his Service. In that era when
organisation” are referring to command great multi-national operations were being
arrangements. This supports the view of mounted, the nationality of a commander was
Ashworth (1987, p. 34) that “command and often a politically significant issue, as indeed it
control” originated to “…cover a set of still is. Churchill (1952, p. 76) illustrates the
procedures related to the control of joint and delicacy of such issues as nationality when he
combined operations”. The high degree of records that as the US provided the unified
unification of command and integration of commander in Africa, then the British should
staff functions that was achieved during WWII provide the commander for Operation Overlord.
by the Western Allies, particularly at theatre This was then overruled when it was realised
level, created an intense interest in what that the US would have the preponderance of
Ashworth (1987, p. 34) referred to as “…the troops in Europe in 1944 and so “…an
exercise of command across organisational American commander should be appointed for
boundaries…”. It became necessary to the expedition to France”. To placate British
implement command arrangements that were public opinion, it was agreed that all the
the formal basis for establishing at the very subordinate Commanders-in-Chief would be
least a minimum level of cooperation to be British. While General Montgomery acted as
achieved in the pursuit of unity of effort land commander for the initial period of the
22 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
invasion, US public opinion would not accept developed into an acrimonious debate with the
a British officer as land commander over the result that command in the Pacific was
US Army Groups for the remainder of the eventually split between the US Army and the
campaign (Sixsmith, 1972, p. 157). General US Navy.
Eisenhower’s deputy commander and chief of Those attempting to dissect “command and
staff for the Allied invasion of North Africa control” and provide meaning for the
had to be Americans “…to create the individual words offer many explanations for
impression that the liberation of French Africa the supposed meaning of “control”. The US
was an American, not a British venture…” Navy, for instance, states that “Control is the
(Bryant, 1957, p. 498). The degree of political means by which a commander guides the
sensitivity surrounding the nationality of the conduct of operations” (NDP6, 1995,p. 9).
commanders is further illustrated by Burns Another version is provided by the US Marines
(1970, p. 182) who wrote about the concern of who see control as “…feedback about the
Churchill’s staff at the appointment of General effects of the action taken”(MCPD6, 1996).
Wavell, a British officer, as Supreme Allied These explanations do not allow for the
Commander of ABDA (American, British, possibility that the inclusion of “control” in
Dutch, Australian) Command in 1942. It was “command and control” can be explained
their concern that “…Wavell was slated to be a solely from its association with command
British scapegoat who would preside over a arrangements.
rapidly disappearing command”. The boot was The manner in which the terms
on the other foot when Churchill (1968, p. “operational control” and “administrative
659), following the 1943 US defeat at the control” were used by WWII politicians and
hands of Rommel at the Kasserine Pass in military commanders indicates that they
Tunisia, said: understood them to mean the limits to a
What a providential thing it was that I unified joint or multi-national commander’s
perpetually pressed for General Eisenhower authority over the forces of other Services or
to take the command, as the defeat of the nations. WWII commanders had a similar
American corps, if it had been under a understanding as their modern-day
British general, would have given our counterparts on the restrictions imposed by
enemies in the United States a good chance limited delegation of operational or
to blaspheme. administrative control or authority. For
In addition to his nationality, the armed example, while the Australian Government
service to which a unified commander delegated operational control of assigned
belonged was also an important issue. Australian forces to General MacArthur in his
Churchill (1968, p. 118), when discussing the capacity as Supreme Allied Commander, he
appointment of General Wavell to ABDA acknowledged the restrictions inherent in not
command in 1942, notes that “It was staffed in having administrative control of these same
strict proportion to the claims of the different forces. In a letter to Prime Minister Curtin,
Powers, and all in triplicate for the Army, General MacArthur referred to his not being
Navy, and Air”. Unified command of the able to move a RAAF headquarters into the
Pacific foundered on the issue of whether it operational area because “…the major
should be a Navy or an Army appointment. proportion of the administrative personnel in
The US Navy felt that as it had acknowledged the headquarters is composed of W.A.A.A.Fs
that command of the European theatre should (Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force)
be an Army appointment, then the Pacific who…are forbidden to leave Australia” (Odgers,
should be a Navy appointment. This 1957, p. 438). On the rare occasion when the
DISSECTING COMMAND AND CONTROL WITH OCCAM’S RAZOR 23
Supreme Commander’s staff overstepped the Van Crevald (1985, p. 1), perhaps the pre-
limits of their administrative authority they eminent authority in the field, chose to use
were quickly made aware of the situation. In “command” in preference to “command and
1945 Allied Air Headquarters unilaterally control” when writing “Command in War”.
designated Air Vice Marshal Bostock as Air Ashworth (1987, p. 34) refers to “command
Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAAF and control” as “…a subset of command”.
Command and were immediately advised by There is some evidence in the literature for
the RAAF Chief of Air Staff that such matters this development of separate meanings being
were his prerogative and that the order should associated with the term “command and
be withdrawn (Odgers, 1957, p. 439). control”. General Brooke, the British Chief of
While early usage included the modifiers the Imperial General Staff from 1941 to 1946,
“operational” and “administrative”, these were referred to his having selected General Hobart
soon dropped as evidenced from the immediate to “control and command” the experimental
post-war usage of the term. A possible 79th Division (Bryant, 1957, p. 597). This
explanation for this is that command application of the term, curiously reversed in
arrangements should spell out not only the the same manner as that used by Curtin, is in
commander’s operational authority but also the the sense of “command”. Frequent reference to
level of administrative authority delegated. expressions such as “control and direction”,
This realisation would have made the separate “operational direction and control”, “direct and
identification of the types of control control”, and “directing and controlling” will
unnecessary in any general reference to be found in Montgomery (1958). In most
command arrangements. instances they refer to command arrangements
A Compound Word but on other occasions they refer to
Alberts et al. (1995, p.6) states that “Prior “command”. Another illustration is to be
eras referred only to command…no one knows found in the way the term was intended in
why the language changed…”. The historical Dr Strangelove (1964). In this instance the
evidence presented here suggests that the reference is to what would now be called
change may have commenced in the attempts command support systems yet only a short
to resolve the complex political and time before this, “control systems” was being
organisational issues surrounding command used to describe the same thing. Bryant (1957,
arrangements for the unified command of p. 213), when referring to the German attacks
WWII joint and multi-national forces. Urban on British air defence control centres and
legend has it that “C2” gained its current radars during the Battle of Britain noted the
popular acceptance after it was used as a “…growing damage to its control system and
means to gain funds from the US Congress for airfields”. When statements such as “Air
a military project. power was used to destroy the enemy’s
“Command and control” may now refer to command and control”, it is command support
more than just command arrangements. The systems that were being destroyed. Indeed, the
reference may instead be to command itself, or most common use of “command and control”
to command support systems, or any now seems to be associated with command
combination of these three (Sproles, 2001, pp. support systems. This interest is expressed in
15-22). When “command and control” is used the proliferation of terms such as C3I
in the sense of “command”, the separate words (Command, Control, Communications, and
“command” and “control” are synonymous Intelligence), which Van Crevald (1985, p. 1)
and serve no real purpose in combination. dismisses as “jargon”, to indicate an interest in
24 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
a particular element of the command support concentrate on the relationship between the
system. two component words of the expression. This
It is suggested that this is evidence of the article argues against this idea of treating
gradual evolution of the term as it “command and control” as a phrase. It
metamorphosed to become what is known as a suggests that “command and control” has
compound word, i.e. two or more words that evolved over time to become a compound
together express a single idea. An open word with three possible meanings, none of
compound word consists of two or more words which can be ascertained without an
written separately, such as “chief of staff”, understanding of the context in which the
“rock and roll”, and, dare we say, “command word is being used. Acceptance of “command
and control”. and control” as a compound word then makes
“Command and control” is not the only pointless any attempt to find meaning from
example of a military term that has any of its constituent words. The question to
metamorphosed over the years into an open be asked is which of the available explanations
compound word. Kemp (1954, p. 108) is to be accepted? Is “command and control” a
provides an historical background to the set of words whose individual meaning is
compound word “Fleet Air Arm” and its pertinent to the meaning of the whole or
origins in the term “Fleet Air Arm of the Royal should it be treated as a compound word
Air Force”. In 1937 operational and expressing a single idea? Does it make sense
administrative control of the Fleet Air Arm was to attempt to define the constituent words or
passed over to the RN and it ceased to be an should they be considered to be a single entity
arm of the RAF. Since then the role and very just as they are in other compound words such
nature of naval aviation has developed and as “chief of staff” or “rock and roll”.
bears little resemblance to what it was in the The argument presented in this article is
1930s. To dissect this compound word into its that the meaning of “command and control”
component words and attempt to associate has evolved over time and that this meaning is
special significance to each in isolation does no longer to be found in an examination of the
not add to the understanding of the single idea discrete words making up the term.
that “Fleet Air Arm” conjures up today. It is Unfortunately there does not appear to be
even more pointless to try to do so with the proof positive one way or the other as to which
Fleet Air Arm of the RAN which has never had of the various explanations on offer is the
an organisational link with the RAF. “Fleet Air correct explanation. One person’s view, it
Arm” is a compound word with an interesting would seem, is as good as anyone else’s.
history that expresses an idea that is now However, the explanation of the meaning of
different from that when it was formulated as a the term “command and control” offered here
phrase. The origin of the word lies in the has the virtue of simplicity and, according to
command arrangements established between Occam’s razor, it should therefore qualify as
the RN and the RAF but it has evolved over the most likely explanation under the
time to mean something else other than this. It circumstances.
shares this property with “command and Occam’s Razor
control”. Occam’s razor is a principle stated by a
Which Explanation? medieval monk, William of Occam, that
During the past several decades, many “Plurality should not be posited without
alternative explanations for the term necessity”. Although its application can be
“command and control” have been offered that subtler than just as a mere application of the
DISSECTING COMMAND AND CONTROL WITH OCCAM’S RAZOR 25
KISS principle, it is generally understood to that the explanation provided in this article, by
mean that given two explanations, then the giving the simplest explanation of the term, is
simpler is more likely to be correct. When more likely to be correct.
applied to the term “command and control”, Therefore, to paraphrase words used by
which of the explanations offered is the President Kennedy in his inaugural address in
simpler? Is it amongst those that attempt to January 1961, it may be best to “Ask not what
find a variety of seemingly obtuse meanings ‘Command’ and ‘Control’ means to you but
that are often difficult to comprehend and what you mean by ‘Command and control’”.
seem to serve little purpose? Or is it the one REFERENCES
that places the origin of the term in the Alberts, D.S. and Hayes, R. 1995, Command
historical context from which it has developed Arrangements for Peace Operations, National
and acknowledges its evolution over time into Defense University Press Publications,
a new set of meanings? The choice is Washington, D.C., USA.
Ashworth, N. F. 1987, “Command and Control”,
ultimately the reader’s. Defence Force Journal, No. 63, March/April
Conclusion 1987, pp. 34-36, Department of Defence,
It is suggested that the origin of the term Burns, J.M. 1970, Roosevelt – The Soldier of
“command and control” lies in its association Freedom, Konecky & Konecky, New York, USA.
with the command arrangements developed in Bryant, A. 1957, The Turn of the Tide, Collins,
WWII to achieve unified command amongst London, UK.
Churchill, W.S. 1952, The Second World War.
the Allies. Over the intervening half century or Closing the Ring, Vol. V, Cassell, London, UK.
so, the term has come to be used to refer not Churchill, W.S. 1968, The Second World War. The
only to command arrangements but also to Hinge of Fate, 4th Ed, Vol. IV, Cassell, London,
command itself and to command support UK.
Galland, A. 1955, The First and The Last, (English
systems. The term has also metamorphosed ed), Methuen & Co. Ltd, London, UK.
over that period from being a phrase to being a Kemp, P.K. 1954, Fleet Air Arm, Herbert Jenkins,
compound word. Any relationship between London, UK.
the separate words “command” and “control” Long, G. 1963, “Australia in the War of 1939 –
1945”, Series One, Army, Vol. VII, The Final
is an historical curiosity that should be Campaigns, Australian War Memorial,
accepted as such. Attempts to attribute special Canberra, Australia.
significance to these words serve little purpose McCarthy, D 1959, “Australia in the War of 1939 –
and add nothing to the understanding of what 1945”, Series One, Army, Vol. V, South West
Pacific Area – First Year, Kokoda to Wau, 1962
the word is trying to convey. reprint, Australian War Memorial, Canberra,
It is worth repeating once more at this Australia.
juncture that the explanation offered in this MCDP6 1996, “Marine Corps Doctrine Publication
6, ‘Command and control’”, United States
article for the meaning of “command and
Marine Corps 4 October 1996 [Online, accessed
control” cannot claim to be definitive, at least 13 Jun. 97], URL:http://ismo-www1.mqg.usmc
not at this stage of the enquiry. However, .mil/docdiv/6/ch1.htm
unlike other attempts to explain the term, this Montgomery, B.L. 1945, 21st (British) Army Group
in the Campaign in North West Europe 1944 –
article provides a plausible history and
45, Lecture to the Royal United Service
derivation of the term that fits in with Institution London, October 1945, Printing and
documented history and the mindset of the Stationery Service, BAOR, Germany.
people who initiated the term. Attempts to Montgomery, B.L. 1958, The Memoirs of Field-
Marshal Montgomery, Fontana Monarchs,
associate other meanings complicate the issue
and only serve to add to the confusion Morgan, F. 1950, Overture to Overlord, Hodder &
surrounding the term. Occam’s razor indicates Stoughton Limited, London, UK.
26 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
Murphy, R. 1948, Last Viceroy. The Life and Times Sproles, N. 2001, “The Command and Control Triad
of Rear-Admiral The Earl Mountbatten of or Making Muddy Waters Clear”, Australian
Burma, Jarrods, London, UK. Defence Force Journal, No. 151,
NDP6 1995, Naval Doctrine Publication 6, “Naval November/December 2001, pp. 15-22,
Command and Control”, US Navy Doctrine Canberra, Australia.
Command, Norfolk, Virginia. Stacey, C.P. 1948, The Canadian Army 1939 –
Odgers, G. 1957, Australia in the War of 1939 – 45, 1945. An Official Historical Summary, King’s
Air War Against Japan 1943 - 1945, (1968 Printer, Ottawa, Canada.
reprint), Series 3(Air), Vol. II, Australian War Van Crevald, M. 1985, Command in War, Harvard
Memorial, Canberra, Australia University Press, Cambridge, USA.
Sixsmith, E.K.G. 1972, Eisenhower as Military Wilmot, C. 1952, The Struggle for Europe, The
Commander, Stein and Day, New York, USA. Reprint Society Ltd, London, UK.
Dr Sproles is a Senior Research Fellow with the Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre, a research group of the
University of South Australia. He spent 23 years in the Australian Army, retiring in 1982 as a lieutenant colonel. In
1999 he was awarded a PhD from the University of South Australia. Dr. Sproles is currently working with DSTO
Edinburgh under an agreement between the University of South Australia and DSTO. His current research interests
are in measures of effectiveness and C2. He has published widely in Australia and overseas on both topics.
Australian Leadership – Leading Edge or
By Captain Christopher Ruff, Aus Int
As Great Britain underwent the Industrial Revolution during the late 18th and early 19th
centuries, many of the old manufacturing systems gave way to new innovative processes based on
mass production and mechanisation. As the physical processes themselves underwent this change,
the attitudes and values of the people themselves were changing just as rapidly. Resistance to this
change was common, and a group known as the Luddites established a reputation for action in this
area. The Luddites were predominantly handloom weavers who, fearing the loss of their lifestyles to
the new factory based machinery, resorted to acts of vandalism in order to resist the introduction of
the new processes. Because the Luddites were financially secure under the old system, with its
removal, they saw their way of life (and their influence) being destroyed. The authorities ultimately
responded to their actions, but their movement has gone down in history as being representative of
those who do not readily embrace changes in their respective environments.
ust as the processes, skills and systems of comfortable with these changes and the pace
J the agricultural era were removed to meet
the demands of the industrial era; new ways
at which they are occurring. These people are
very likely to resist this change and attempt to
are today being sought to take advantage of retain the old processes within which they felt
the opportunities offered by the information comfortable (and powerful). It is these people
age. This new age has brought with it a host of who I choose to refer to as the new Luddites,
changes particularly in the way people are led. and just like their predecessors they have the
Traditional career structures no longer exist potential to cause considerable damage and
and managers are required to take more inconvenience when they choose to actively
responsibility for their own development. They resist change within their respective
are expected to coach and empower rather organisations.
than to control, and temporary roles and Australia is not immune to this
competencies are replacing job descriptions. phenomenon and it is because of this
Flexible contracts are becoming the norm and vulnerability that this article will seek to
traditional systems of hierarchy are giving way examine whether Australians are at the leading
to flatter structures based on processes and edge of leadership or whether they are
teams. 1 If leaders are to keep pace with Luddites. The main focus of this article is to
workplace changes of individual highlight that whilst Australians take pride in
accountability, global competitiveness and the way they conduct leadership in their
continuous learning, they need to adopt new respective environments; many people appear
leadership approaches and philosophies such as to refuse to adapt their particular leadership
those described above. This new approach is approaches to reflect the changing demands of
necessary for the trend to globalisation is their organisation, despite the advantages in
probably the most important issue affecting doing so. In order to highlight this point, the
Australian leaders in the 21st century. first part of this article will be devoted to
Just as it was 200 years ago, there are summarising the theoretical perspectives of
many people today who do not feel what constitutes Australian leadership.
28 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
Secondly a description of the environment learning; the importance of changing and
that Australia operates within will provide a improving the existing management workforce
useful context with which to approach the rather than waiting for a newly educated
final stage of this article. Finally, the issue will workforce to arrive. He also stressed the
be highlighted that whilst Australians attempt importance for leadership of building teams
to embrace new approaches to leadership, they and building cultures.2
are often prevented from doing so primarily by The works of James Sarros, Oleh
a resistance to change. Many leaders seek to Butchatsky and Joe Santora recommend a key
retain their positions and influence under the shift in the approach to leadership, an
old approaches and just like their Luddite approach that can be found in the work titled
companions from 200 years before, they “Australian Leadership”.3 This recommendation
attempt to damage the process and delay the is based on an analysis of interviews with
adoption of new techniques. senior Australian executives, which resulted in
In a presentation to the Senior Executive the generation of a model of “breakthrough
Service in Canberra on 16 April 1998, Dr Ken leadership”. Breakthrough leaders rethink the
Parry from the University of Southern structures, processes, values and ideals of the
Queensland presented the findings of a realities of organisational life with the purpose
recently completed synthesis of leadership of improving existing practices, or replacing
research in Australia and New Zealand. This them with something better or more relevant.
research examined the practice and nature of It results in the four Cs – continuous learning,
leadership in various organisational settings. confidence, competence and commitment.
The researchers interviewed over 5000 Another perspective on Australian
Australians from both private and public sector leadership is that put forward by Parry and
organisations with the results being compared Sarros where, with the increasing globalisation
with similar research conducted in the United of both the business and government
States. Because of its depth, this study provides environment, flexibility and adaptability of
the background to the examination of the leadership styles to suit different markets and
theoretical aspects of Australian Leadership in clients is becoming essential.
this article. All of the researchers described in this
Transformational leadership is a popular article agreed that certain aspects of leadership
and current concept in leadership and this is need to be adopted regardless of career path
evidenced by its concentration in the research and gender. These include:
that is undertaken in Australia. Some • creating a vision and having strategic
authorities in this field include Bruce Avolio, skills;
James Sarros, Oleh Butchatsky and Joe • communication and people management
Santora. Avolio for example presents his skills; and
interpretation of the ways that • knowledge of the industry and/or expertise
transformational leadership can deal with the in the subject matter.
challenges experienced in Australia. His work Other aspects include drive; innovative
discusses the component aspects of thinking; political awareness; engendering
transformational leadership and outlines its trust and negotiation skills. The opinions
benefits from the individual, team and Total expressed in this study were consistent with
Quality Management (TQM) perspectives. The the known values, abilities, and skills of
main themes that arise are the criticality of leadership. The traditional leadership aspects of
changes to the existing mindset of communication, strategic thinking, valuing
management; the criticality of organisational people, personal qualities and values-based
AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP – LEADING EDGE OR LUDDITE? 29
behaviour were reaffirmed as important for From the materials obtained in the research
both present and future leaders. for this article, it is evident that Australia
This research is just as relevant for recognises the concepts of transformational
followers in organisations as it is with the leadership and it attempts to encourage their
leaders and this is an important point when use within the workplace. This should be
examining the impact of leadership in successful given the nature of Australia’s
Australia. Transformational leadership is able culture and national psyche. Australians like to
to change the motivations, beliefs, and see themselves as an easy-going and athletic
attitudes of followers more so than other nation, and the habit of combining business
approaches to leadership. The ability to affect with sport indicates this. The deeply ingrained
this change has a significant impact on their cultural traits in Australian society as well as
behaviour and values as their perceptions of institutional factors such as the legislative
satisfaction; effectiveness and output are framework underpinning workplace behaviour
influenced by the actions of their leaders. As adds value to the adoption of this approach to
their behaviours and values are influenced, so leadership. In keeping with an increased global
too is the culture of the organisation and perspective, a more competitive business
ultimately this can develop into improved climate has produced a more inclusive
leadership style according to Paul Kerin,
organisational performance. Whilst this
Managing Director of the management
influence is hoped to be seen in a positive
consultancy AT Kearney.5 Authority is being
light, any negative perceptions in this process
devolved, shared with the emphasis on
can have an equally significant impact in these
cooperation. Teamwork, partnerships and the
areas. This will be covered later in this article
entrusting of employees further down the line
when the behaviours of current leaders are
with greater responsibility are the key issues
for the people running Australian companies.
In his presentation, Parry states that
Yet whilst these traits share a commonality,
Australian leaders are currently grappling with
certain negative aspects of Australian culture
the implementation of technology,
exist that can prohibit the development of
globalisation and change management
effective leadership. Australians are inclined to
throughout their organisations. Innovation, be sceptical of leadership. Whereas American
creative thinking and cultivating knowledge leaders receive the respect of their followers
capture and dissemination are considered to be until they demonstrate themselves to be
essential for leaders in order to handle these untrustworthy, Australian followers start with
developments. Also important is the ability to a negative aspect of their leaders until they
achieve cultural transformation and corporate deserve their respect. 6 Quite simply, in
agility through influencing people and values. Australia, leadership is a tenuous occupation,
From this statement it appears that the because once one is in the role, there is often
adoption of transformational styles of someone waiting in the wings to take over.
leadership is necessary when it mirrors the Research for the Australian Industry Taskforce
skills required to handle the changes in on Leadership and management skills found
technology and globalisation.4 Many leaders that Australian managers tended to possess a
mention transformational leadership, but as the cultural mindset that fails to recognise the
next part of this article will demonstrate, there need for changes in management styles. 7
appears to be some resistance to this change Perhaps the most troubling sign is the failure
and the leading edge Australian is replaced by among leaders to identify the uniqueness of
the Australian Luddite. Australia. This is in part a measure of isolation:
30 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
There is no strong sense of identity because organisational structure, however painful that
identity relies on being noticed, and at times may be but they often fail to change the soft
the rest of the world rarely notices Australia. elements of the organisation. Cross-functional
Whilst it is important to gain the benefits from teamwork, delegation of responsibility, and
seeing the world and absorbing different broadly defined roles for employees are key
cultures, one should come back to the local drivers of the potential benefits in most
culture and embrace it. To impress others, it is redesign initiatives – yet they are frequently
first necessary to understand yourself and this neglected. These issues become that much
is perhaps highlighted by this extract from more important as the scope and level of
Sarros’s book Australian Leadership, a quote change desired increases.10
that highlights the unique position that As indicated, there exists within Australian
Australia is in the world. leadership (especially at the higher levels) a
Historically, Australia is the progeny of the distinct reluctance to practice effective
United Kingdom. Ideologically, we are leadership styles. When it comes to leadership,
closely aligned with the United States. Australians appear to display a cultural quirk
Geographically, Australia is firmly in the that can make the adoption and acceptance of
Asia Pacific region. Is it any wonder new styles of leadership difficult. Added to this
Australian Executives have some trouble is insecurity when it comes to asserting
leading their firms when confronted with themselves in the wider international arena. It
contradictory conditions such as these?8 is well known that Australian cricketers and
The examination of Australian leadership rugby players are the best in the world and
soon makes it clear that it is culture specific; that our Olympic Games were one of the best.
for what leadership means in Australia may be However, when it comes to competing in the
different to the concept in the United States, global marketplace, problems can occur. The
Middle East or Asia. Americans generally are institution of the changes necessary to be more
committed to leadership yet whilst the British competitive are recognised by senior leaders
share the same language, their concept of within organisations, but it appears that they
leadership is more restrained. The key are unwilling to make the hard but necessary
differences appear to be in the areas of people changes. Those leaders who encourage
orientation, skills in negotiation, skills in (whether intentionally or not) the resistance to
managing national diversity, and the capacity the adoption of change are causing significant
to manage between extremes. Evaluating the problems for the future. If the leader acts in
quality of Australia’s leaders requires taking a this way within an organisation, then those
longer perspective of national progress and followers who wish to do so may attach their
assessing performance not just against what is values and beliefs to this leader. This may
achieved but also against what might have result in the spreading of this resistance further
been done. The implication is that leaders are a down the leadership chain.
long way from knowing how to place Australia The first part of this article mentioned the
in the emerging global economy.9 Luddite movement and the motives for their
Many operating managers however actions. If a suitable example could be found
consider culture change or organisational today within Australian leadership then this
improvement the “forbidden zone”. They could be it. “Australian Luddites” by the virtue
recognise the opportunity in doing this for the of their positions of influence within the
organisation, but are uncomfortable or leader/follower relationship are capable of
overwhelmed addressing it. Many companies inflicting greater damage to an organisation
are prepared to make dramatic changes to than simply smashing a handloom. This does
AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP – LEADING EDGE OR LUDDITE? 31
not mean that there exists a nationwide today’s economy. Traditional rules of
conspiracy to thwart the development of management and organisational design need
effective leadership. Many of these people to be broken and new paths to success need to
simply fear the consequences of the rapid be defined. By focusing on alignment, a better
developments that are being seen today and understanding of the differences in thinking
they feel that they may not be able to handle and behaviours required of leaders can be
them. Because of this, their actions are a means obtained. Creating alignment involves three
of coping with their situation. It is almost as if broad categories of activities: generating
they are slowing down the pace of change to a context, co-creating challenging and
level to which they are comfortable with. This compelling commitments and realising them.
form of resistance whilst not endemic is Leaders must embody the organisation’s
sufficiently well entrenched to constitute a commitments. Leaders do this through
problem that needs to be recognised and dealt changing their behaviours and actions so that
with. they become the personification of the
As younger generations adopt commitments. 11 Avolio’s view on
transformational approaches to leadership, transformational leadership mentioned that it
these issues should be reduced over time. Those examines the criticality of changing cultural
people who represent Generation “X” and “Y” mindsets as well as emphasising learning
have greater exposure to rapid change and the throughout organisations. This perhaps is the
onset of globalisation. As a result, they are most useful way to handle the new Luddite.
better equipped to embrace change. As these Essentially their existence is based on fear and
people progress throughout their organisations, a lack of understanding as to what is
they are more likely to utilise transformational occurring. If these fears are removed, then the
styles of leadership and enable the changes to process can be allowed to resume and these
develop within the organisation that will leaders can play their role in the change.
hopefully improve organisational performance. It has been a continual process since then
Tough markets for products and services drive of developing programs in leadership and
ongoing major workplace change at a management development that look at
relentless pace. For these reasons, the values, ethical issues and leadership as an
leadership skills required to create a stable yet all-encompassing aspect of a person’s life. In
innovative future to inspire and motivate the global context, Australian managers are
people to commit to the new, are required not going to be successful if they do not
more than ever at all levels of the organisation. learn relationship skills of a very high order.
This is a belated recognition that we need a It is insufficient to take Australian leaders
different balance of skills for the situation at and tell them that they have to be better at
the moment, and that these skills are relating to people in different cultures and
everybody’s business. understanding workforce and strategic
Can anything be done for the “Australian alliance partners in different cultures. Many
Luddite”? In the 19th century, Luddites were Australian executives do not understand
imprisoned and sometimes executed for their themselves well enough to be effective
actions. Whilst many would like to wish the leaders. Australia is coming of age in terms
same fate on various leaders they have met of business leadership and to share in the
during their lives, measures such as these are rewards, Australia needs leaders who have
not necessary in today’s environment. The key vision and the capacity to achieve that vision
lies in developing critical cultural capabilities with the commitment and conviction of a
that will make companies competitively fit for challenged, educated and energetic
32 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
workforce. Therefore, Australian leaders NOTES
require international experience, language 1 . Pam Jones, “The New Business Age: Delivering
capabilities, experience of managing cross- Exceptional Performance”, Mt Eliza Business
culturally, and an understanding of cultural 2. Ken W. Parry, “Leadership Profiles Beyond
nuances pertaining to social, economic and 2000: How Australian Leadership is Different”,
political relationships overseas.12 This change National Press Club Canberra. 16 April 1998.
3. James C. Sarros, Oleh Butchatsky, “Leadership.
will not be easy for it goes to the very core of
Australia’s Top CFO’s: Finding out what makes
the organisation, challenging the culture, them the best”, Harper Business, Sydney 1997.
values and beliefs that brought success in the 4. Ken W. Parry, “Leadership Profiles Beyond
previous decades.13 2000: How Australian Leadership is Different”,
National Press Club Canberra. 16 April 1998.
In some circles of Australian leadership, 5. James Dunn, “The Stuff of Leadership”,
there exists a fear, not necessarily of change Management Today, May 1998, pp.14-18.
itself, but at the pace of change and its 6. Amanda Sinclair, Doing Leadership Differently.
Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 1998.
perceived direction. Just as the handloom
workers feared the loss of their positions, so 7. Catherine R. Smith, Leonie V. Still, “Breaking
too do some of our leaders and it is due to the Glass Barrier: Barriers to Global Careers for
this negativity that a Luddite attitude may be Women in Australia”, International Review of
Women and Leadership (1996), 2(2), pp. 60-72.
perceived as being prevalent in Australian 8. James C. Sarros, Butchatsky Oleh, “Leadership.
leadership. This should not be a long-term Australia’s Top CEO’s: Finding out what makes
issue, for as the industrial evolution them the best”, Harper Business Sydney 1997.
progressed and provided the impetus for
9. David James, “Do Australian Leaders Rate Our
change in other areas, so to will the changes Interest?” Management Today, March 2001,
present in 21st century life allow for pp.14-19.
significant improvements in the field of 10. Gustafson, Grant; Thrum, Andrew: “Braving
the Forbidden Zone”. HR Monthly, April 1998,
technology and globalisation. The Luddite pp. 24-27.
phenomenon appears when old processes 11. Mark Youngblood, “Leading at the Edge of
undergo dramatic and significant changes. Chaos”, HR Monthly, May 2000, pp. 32-33.
12. Catherine R. Smith, Leonie V. Still, “Breaking
The use of education and the continued use
the Glass Barrier: Barriers to Global Careers for
of new approaches and the resolving of Women in Australia”, International Review of
deeper cultural issues within both the leaders Women and Leadership (1996), 2(2), 60-72.
and the followers can handle situations such 13. Pam Jones, “The New Business Age: Delivering
Exceptional Performance”, Mt Eliza Business
as these. The applications of transformational Review: pp. 54-61.
leadership styles are one way of helping
resolve these issues. Australia is able to BIBLIOGRAPHY
Arbuthnot, Scott. “Taking It Personally”.
contribute to the wider global community,
Management Today. August 2000. p. 19.
but first the cultural issues covered in this Avery, Gayle. “The Australian Way”. HR Monthly.
article need to be addressed. Once Australians March 2000. pp. 38-39.
are able to understand themselves in a wider Cottrell, David. “The Need For Speed in New
Millennium Leadership Styles”. Employment
global context then they can attempt to Relations Today”. Spring 2000. pp.61-71.
resolve the negative issues affecting their Davis, Ed, “Towards Improved People Management-
performance. Whilst a Luddite attitude can be An Analysis”. Journal of the Australian and
seen at the moment, Australian leadership New Zealand Academy of Management
can look forward to be being seen as leading Dunn, James; “The Stuff of Leadership”.
edge in the near future. Management Today. May 1998. pp. 4-18.
AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP – LEADING EDGE OR LUDDITE? 33
Goleman, Daniel. “Leadership That Gets Results”. Murrill, Maureen. “Category Leaders”. Management
Harvard Business Review. March/April 2000. Today. June 1998. pp. 3-4.
pp.78-90. Parry, Ken W. “Leadership profiles Beyond 2000:
Gustafson, Grant; Thrum, Andrew; “Braving the How Australian Leadership is Different”.
Forbidden Zone”. HR Monthly April 1998. pp. National Press Club Canberra. 16 April 1998.
24-27. Pratt, Richard. “Leadership, A Fine Distinction”.
Hartmann, Linley; “What Do Managers Like to Do?
Management Today. January/February 2001. p. 9.
Comparing Women and Men in Australia and
Prescott, John. “Management Challenges for
the US”. Australian Journal of Management.
June1997 22(l), pp. 71-91. Australia in the Asian Century”. Mt Eliza
Hauschild, Susanne, Light, Thomas and Stein, Business Review. pp.38-45.
Wolfram. “Knowledge Must be Spread Ruff, David; The Fourteen Obligations of Top
Around”. BRW Magazine. March 2 2001. pp. Management. 1997.
64-68. Sarros, James C., Butchatsky, Oleh. “Leadership.
Hickman, Gill. R. Leading Organisations: Australia’s Top CEO’s.- Finding out what makes
Perspectives for a New Era. Sage Publications. them the best”. Harper Business Sydney 1997.
California 1998. Saville, James, Higgins, Mark, Australian
James, David. “BHP Management School will Management: A First-Line Perspective.
Nurture New Management Style”. Business McMillan Education Australia, Melbourne
Review Weekly. 10 February 1997. pp. 44-46. 1994.
James, David. “Do Australian Leaders Rate Our Simons, Fran. “Heroes, Warriors, Leaders,
Interest?”. Management Today. March 2001.
Managers”. The Australian Financial Review
Jones, Pam. “The New Business Age: Delivering
Exceptional Performance”. Mt Eliza Business Sinclair, Amanda. Doing Leadership Differently.
Review. Pp 54-61. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 1998.
Kavanagh, John. “Australia’s Most Admired”. Smith, Catherine R. Still, Leonie. V. “Breaking the
Business Review Weekly. 15 October 1999. pp. Glass Barrier: Barriers to Global Careers for
68-73. Women in Australia”. International Review of
Kelly, Paul. Future Tense, Australia beyond Election Women and Leadership (1996),2(2). pp.60-72.
1998. Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, 1999. Stanton, Dennis. “The Emergent Leader”. HR
Kingsley, Hugh;. “Just For A Change”. Management Monthly. March 2000 pp. 48-49.
Today. April 2000. pp. 20-22. Thompson, Ian, Morgan, David, E. “The World
Lamond, David. “If Management is ‘Common Sense’, According to Karpin”. Journal of Industrial
why is Sense in Management So Uncommon”. Relations. December 1997, 39 (4) pp 457-477.
Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Ulrich, Dave. “A Time To Get Results”. Management
Academy of Management 1998..4(2). pp.1-9.
Today. April 2001. p.12.
Mair, David. Managing in Australia. Landsdowne
Way, Nicholas. “Leadership at the Barriers”.
Publishing, Sydney 2000.
Mant, Alistair. Intelligent Leadership. Allen and Business Review Weekly. October 6 2000: pp.
Unwin, St Leonards 1997. 56-62.
Martin, John. “Leadership”. Local Government Way, Nick. “Battle of the Chromosomes”.
Management. February 1999. pp.16-19. Management Today. August 2000. pp. 16-18.
McColl, Gina. “Engendering Good Management”. Youngblood, Mark. “Leading at the Edge of Chaos”.
Management Today. May 1999. pp.16-19. HR Monthly. May 2000. pp. 32-33.
Captain Christopher Ruff graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in December 1994 into the Australian
Intelligence Corps and is currently posted to Sydney as the Second in Command of the 3rd Intelligence Company, 1st
Intelligence Battalion. Captain Ruff has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Adelaide (Politics) and a
Masters of Management Studies (Human Resource Management) from the University of New South Wales.
Does Risk Management Cultivate a Culture
of Risk Avoidance?
By Captain I. D. Langford, RAInf
An Army not prepared for combat is like an orchestra without instruments.
The Fundamentals of Land Warfare1
The safe management of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) materials and personnel has
received significant attention over the past few years both operationally and non-operationally.
Deployments such as East Timor, Bougainville, and Afghanistan, events such as the Blackhawk
accident, the HMAS Supply fire, and the ADF Everest team tragedy in 2001 have brought the
management of risk into the spotlight.
The ADF, including the Australian Army, has introduced mechanisms of Risk Management
(RM) identification and mitigation into the decision-making process. This is aimed at maximising
force preservation whilst encouraging intuitive decision-making. This mechanism has been
incorporated into military doctrine and is applied entirely across the operational continuum (peace,
conflict, and war).
The Army has both a legal and moral requirement to minimise risks whilst maintaining
capabilities largely concerned with the exercise and application of violence. This training is
inherently dangerous, and it is this balance between realistic training and risk minimisation that
has led to a culture of risk avoidance being encouraged to ensure no loss of life or equipment.
The aim of this article is to assess whether RM doctrine and procedures encourage risk
mitigation or total risk avoidance. Much of this analysis is derived from terms and definitions
within the doctrinal risk management process, so therefore a review of the key terms and elements
of risk management must be included.
Risk Management and Avoidance The RM process is broken down into seven
Risk is defined as: stages. They are:
the potential for injury or loss, the potential a. Step One: Establish context;
for a hazardous event or hostile action to b. Step Two: Identify risks;
occur. It is a combination of consequence, c. Step Three: Analyse risks (the
exposure, probability/likelihood of a likelihood and consequence
of each event should be
specified hazardous event or hostile action.2
It is this potential which RM attempts to
d. Step Four: Evaluate risks;
mitigate against through examination of the
e. Step Five: Treat risks (identify
activity and the level of risk determined to be
acceptable. f. Step Six: Monitor and review; and
Risk Management is defined as: g. Step Seven: Communication and
a process whereby decisions are made and consultation.
actions implemented to eliminate or reduce Once this process is complete, the
the effect of hazards and threats to the commander must then be willing to accept the
achievement of a mission or task.3 identified risks. This may minimise or exclude
DOES RISK MANAGEMENT CULTIVATE A CULTURE OF RISK AVOIDANCE? 35
some components of the capability accidents that did occur then we may find that
development which, whilst expedient for the many are in fact within “residual risk”
commander in the short term, impacts on probability zones.4 (For example, if we knew
realism in training and creates a culture of risk that the probability of death by accidental
avoidance over the long term. discharge of a weapon is 1:1,000,000 we would
Limitations of Risk Management not bother trying to manage it since it was well
There are a few limitations within the within acceptable and community standards).
standard RM framework that could restrict its Risk Avoidance and Risk Acceptance
effectiveness as a command tool. Firstly, RM Risk avoidance is defined as the informed
assumes that the activity being analysed must decision not to become involved in a risk
be conducted in the general manner specified. situation.5 In relation to RM in the Australian
Treatment options (i.e. Step 5 of the process), Army, it is argued that as a result of the focus
do not incorporate alternate means of of risk management in doctrine, commanders
conducting the activity (e.g. fly/steam/drive), are unwilling to accept the higher risks
and it would not be valid to embed alternatives identified at a cost of the realism of training.
within the existing framework. This would The commander that chooses to not accept
therefore mean an individual, stand-alone RM reasonable risk therefore becomes an inhibitor
analysis for each activity option is required, to the maintenance of individual and collective
despite it being a component of the same capability of his/her force element. This is, of
operation/exercise. course, in direct doctrinal contrast to the
A further limitation of the nature of RM Australian Army’s vision, which is:
concerns the management of time. RM ...to become a world class Army, ready to
implicitly assumes that all selected treatment fight and win as part of the Australian
options must be implemented immediately in Defence Force team, to serve the nation and
order to be effective, but in some make Australians proud.6
circumstances this assumption is not correct. Risk acceptance is the calculated decision
This will arise in the context of deliberate taken by commanders accepting risks once
planning, and any other risks seen on the they have assessed that the outcome is worth
horizon are deferred until that stage. the risk “exposure”. It is a command decision
The other significant limitation to the RM based on balancing the mission, the personnel,
process assumes that all risks are independent and the outcome. On operations the results are
of each other. As a result, the structure of the fairly obvious, with success gauged by the
RM is very straightforward, with a list of risks accomplishment of the mission, casualties
and mitigators the result. However, there is in taken, etc. In training, success is determined
fact a very complex inter-relationship between predominantly by the safe conduct of the
risk and circumstance, which should be activity, and the improvement of capability. It
considered when examining treatment options is in training, however, that the commander
(e.g. a vehicle accident could be the cause of a can limit the improvement of capability
gunshot injury; this could be mitigated against through refusal to accept reasonable risk.
if the requirement to unload prior to boarding The acceptance of reasonable risk is an
a vehicle was identified). essential quality of commanders, who as a
RM also fails to take into its calculations consequence of their actions determine both
any historical or statistical analysis when operational success and realism in training.
determining the probability of occurrence. If in Realism in training develops in individuals and
fact we did proper statistical analysis of those teams the knowledge, skills, and attitudes
36 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
required to win the operation. Quality training driving element for the rationale for RM. It is
ensures that commanders and their soldiers are achieved through the acquiring of a knowledge
fit to carry out their tasks and responsibilities. edge a process beginning with information and
Such involvement is central to the ending with decisive action.12 The application
development of a mutual trust, and it is the of the knowledge edge in training and combat
commander that must engender this in training allows commanders to pursue professional
to ensure it continues in battle. mastery, which provides the means to realise
The Australian Army and Risk Management the potential benefits of superior situational
As stated, RM in the Australian Army is a awareness.13
method undertaken to achieve force Doctrinally, the Australian Army
preservation and preserve combat power.7 The encourages manoeuvre warfare utilising
authoritative documents for the directive control.14 This ability to manoeuvre
implementation of the Army’s risk relies on effective command. One of the
management policy are Training Information principle components of command concerns
Bulletin No. 83 (TIB 83), Risk Management8 itself with decision making. RM of course aids
and the Defence Occupational Health and the commander to fulfil doctrinal obligations,
Safety Manual (DOHSMAN).9 but also gives the commander the freedom of
It is the TIB 83 which links RM to doctrine, action to focus on the key issues, rather than
clearly articulating the responsibility for being distracted or overwhelmed by the
commanders and all key stakeholders to unimportant.15
incorporate RM into their exercise and
operational planning (via the Military Risk Management and the Military Appreciation
Appreciation Process). The DOHSMAN details Process (MAP)
the actual implementation of RM in the TIB 83 articulates exactly the relationship
workplace, the formulation of policy, and the between RM and the MAP:
ownership of responsibility onto all The risk management process is not a
commanders and their soldiers. Of particular remedy for poor planning or execution.
note however, the DOHSMAN considers It is not a separate planning process to the
impartially the acceptance or avoidance of risk MAP. Indeed, the MAP is primarily
as competing options, although it points out concerned with the identification of risks
that avoidance of risk is the only option associated with each possible COA,
requiring no additional effort from the determination of methods to control risk,
commander.10 This in a sense makes it a more and acceptance of risk inherent in the final
seemingly attractive option to a risk-averse plan.16
commander. Despite this however, both of the It is the thought processes that are involved
aforementioned documents offer sound policy in the formulation of RM that is applied
and advice to commanders to enable them informally within the Intelligence Preparation
to achieve an effective balance of the Battlefield (IPB). This step gives scope to
between capability development and the commander to consider the risks from the
operational/exercise safety. threat (i.e. enemy), and the environment
Risk Management and Doctrine (terrain, weather, etc). Accordingly, during the
RM is firmly embedded into the Australian Course of Action Analysis, the commander
Army’s parent philosophical doctrinal wargames plans, auditing them informally for
publication, The Fundamentals of Land risk and risk controls. This is the operational
Warfare.11 Force preservation is the principle- implementation of RM.
DOES RISK MANAGEMENT CULTIVATE A CULTURE OF RISK AVOIDANCE? 37
As stated, through the doctrinal application the realism of training and the acceptance of
of RM throughout the process of the MAP, risk by the commander in training that will
professional mastery at all levels of command reduce the risk to personnel and equipment on
is enhanced. This engenders an intuitive operations. Risk avoidance is the act of
decision-making cycle at all levels. This lessens commanders who by virtue of their risk refusal
the effect of the “fog of war” which is derived in training, increases risk on operations.
from misinformation, contradictory evidence, Conclusion
and intelligence sensor confusion. This article has demonstrated the
Application of Risk Management on Operations importance of RM across the operational
and Training continuum in the Australian Army. Whilst
RM on operations is somewhat easier to some believe that the articulation of the RM
accommodate than in training. For the process encourages a process of “risk
commander, operational risk is an ongoing avoidance”, this article contends that this
consideration in all aspects of military avoidance is more to do with the refusal of
appreciation whilst deployed. Owing to this some commanders to accept risk rather than
fact, it is easier for the commander to accept the requirement to conduct the RM process as
an operational risk because it is put into a per the TIB 83, DOHSMAN, and The
context in relation to the strategic aim (e.g. Fundamentals of Land Warfare.
Military Operations in the Littoral As discussed, it is the preservation of force
Environment, Forced Entry from the Air and that is the fundamental aim of RM in both
Sea, etc). Casualties on operations are also peace and war. Commanders at all levels have
seemingly more acceptable to Government in an obligation to provide realistic training and
the pursuit of its strategic agenda rather than accept risk in order to minimise that risk when
in training. on operations. It is in the pursuit of the
In training, RM is a much more involved “knowledge edge” that will lessen the
process, which places risk into a training likelihood of an accident in training, or a
context, the benefits of which are much harder tactical disaster in war.
to identify. This has the potential for the NOTES
commander to make the assessment the risk is 1. Australian Army, The Fundamentals of Land
not worth the reward. The price of this, is of Warfare, 1998, p. 6-1(since superseded by
course, a loss of realism in training and a LWD-1, The Fundamentals of Land Warfare,
reduction in individual and collective 2. Australian Army, TIB 83, p xiv.
capability. This “risk-averse” culture is 3. ibid., p. xv.
perpetuated not necessarily by the RM process, 4, Email MAJ Mike Cook/Brig Peter Lambert
but from a refusal from commanders to accept (AAA President) dated 2 Apr 02.
5. Australian Army, The Fundamentals of Land
that despite our best efforts, managed risks will Warfare, 2002, p 3.
sometimes occur. These commanders disregard 6. ibid., p 3.
doctrinal guidance (to provide realistic 7. John F. Antal, Manoeuvre Warfare: An
Anthology, 1993, p. 1-1.
training) in order to eliminate risk.
8. Australian Army, Training Information Bulletin
TIB 83 begins with the premise that both No.83 Risk Management, 1998.
operations and training are hazardous and will 9. Australian Defence Force, Defence Occupational
be rarely free from risk. It is the doctrinal Health and Safety Manual, 2001, Chapter 5.
10. Australian Defence Force, Defence Occupational
responsibility of commanders to utilise RM
Health and Safety Manual, op. cit., para. 506.
tools both formally and informally in order to 11. Australian Army, The Fundamentals of Land
facilitate realistic training. Paradoxically, it is Warfare, 2002, p. 87.
38 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O F U R N A L 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
12. ibid., Ch 4. Command Staff & Operations Wing 2002,
13. ibid., Ch 4. Operations Notebook 2002.
14. ibid., Ch 1-6. Department of Defence 1996, Australian Army
15. ibid., Ch 3-6. Manual of Occupational Health and Safety.
16. LWP-G 0-1-4, Ch 4, Ann D. Department of Defence 1998, Training Information
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bulletin No.83 Risk Management.
Department of Defence 2002, The Fundamentals of
Antal, J.F. 1993, Manoeuvre Warfare: An Anthology,
edit. R.D. Hooker, Jr, Presidio Press. Land Warfare.
McLennan, P. 2002, The Application of Risk Department of Defence 1998, The Fundamentals of
Management Methods to the Employment of Land Warfare.
Civilians in the Area of Operations, Royal Department of Defence 2001, LWP-G 0-1-4 The
Australian Air Force Aerospace Centre. Military Appreciation Process.
Captain Ian Langford joined the Army in 1992, and after serving as a soldier with the 8/12th Medium Regiment, was
selected to attend The Royal Military College, Duntroon which he graduated from in 1995, winning the Sword of
Honour. Upon commissioning, he was posted to the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment where he served in
both Rifle Company and Support Company appointments. In 1999 he successfully completed the Combined Special
Forces Selection Course and was posted to the 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment. Whilst in
that tenure he served in Malaysia, the United States of America, and in 2001, East Timor. His most recent
appointment is as the Staff Officer Grade Three-Operations at Headquarters Eight Brigade in Sydney. Captain
Langford has a degree in Management, and is currently studying a degree in Law.
Current and Future Command Challenges
for New Zealand Defence Force Personnel
Dr Joel Hayward, Centre for Defence Studies, Massey University, New Zealand
The Berlin Wall’s destruction in 1989 initiated a two year period in which the Soviet Union
struggled to hold together and prove it still had political and economic relevance in a world that no
longer cared so much about the communism-capitalism rivalry that had dominated international
relations for 40 years. In 1991 the Soviet Union could limp on no longer and, in essence, gave up
the fight. The Union collapsed, eventually replaced by a weaker and smaller Commonwealth of
Although the likelihood of global war has since become remote, the Soviet Union’s dissolution
brought an end to the power balance that had created a degree of certainty in international
relations. Whereas the great powers had generally kept a lid on their subject or satellite nations’
internal tensions and squabbles — often through the threat or use of force — their new “hands off”
policies and practices have allowed those tensions to re-emerge.
he first example of this occurred even while ethnic groups to seek self-determination or
T the Soviet Union was gasping its last
breaths in 1991. In June of that year Croatia
sovereignty in states and regions where the
attainment of their goals without violent
and Slovenia decided they would not remain struggle is highly unlikely.
part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This Only the United States, as sole superpower,
initiated a bloody four-year intra-state conflict has the ability to take the lead in major
(that is, a war within a state, not between security problems. Yet its foreign activities are
states) that pitted various south Slavic ethnic themselves sources of tension to many peoples
groups against each other. who accuse the US of heavy-handed
Without the superpower interference that behaviour, favouritism towards certain states,
kept ethnic disturbances and state failures at self-serving foreign policy and cultural
a “manageable” level, such crises have imperialism. Even the widespread sympathy
escalated in number and intensity. The dawn the US gained in the wake of the 11 September
of the 21st century reveals a world that is 2001 terrorist attacks is evaporating with
highly fractured, with the United Nations surprising speed. Any mismanagement of the
(UN) supporting an ever increasing number Americans’ “War on Terrorism” could be
of peacekeeping missions in countries where greatly destabilising, particularly in the already
cultural, religious and ethnic tensions have volatile Middle Eastern and Central Asian
turned violent. regions.
The UN has not, however, proven entirely The fragility of world peace naturally
successful at easing tensions and fostering impacts on New Zealand and its security and
peace in many hot spots around the globe, and foreign policy concerns, especially as its own
its record of successful peacekeeping is poor. “neck of the woods” — the Asia Pacific region
The UN’s apparent support of the right to self- — has not remained free of coups, ethnic
determination for all peoples (most easily disturbances and failed states. Aspirations of
defined by ethnicity and cultural uniqueness) self-determination or freedom from external
may be an attractive by-product of de- controls have emerged in several places around
colonisation. Yet this ideal has itself inspired the Pacific Rim. UN and regional coalition
40 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
New Zealand troops in East Timor
peace-support missions are consequently no to keep defence spending at a mere one per
longer occurring only on the other side of the cent of GDP. Nonetheless, seeing no obvious
globe; they are happening in New Zealand’s threats to New Zealand’s sovereignty, and with
backyard. Since September 1999, for instance, a global war now highly unlikely, the
New Zealand has maintained a large Government has sought a new role for its
peacekeeping force of 700 or so Service men armed forces. Judging peace-support missions
and women in East Timor. to be the NZDF’s best means of contributing to
The point of all these observations, of regional security, the Government has tried to
course, is that there is something paradoxical make the NZDF a more flexible, effective and
and disturbing about the way successive New deployable asset for the United Nations and
Zealand governments have handled defence any potential regional coalitions.
and strategic issues since the end of the Cold It has, therefore, significantly re-prioritised
War over a decade ago. Between 1991 and its meagre defence spending in order to
2002 the percentage of New Zealand’s GDP achieve different objectives to those set by
devoted to defence almost halved, with the previous governments which were purportedly
National Government being responsible for locked into Cold War thinking. Its decision that
most of the reduction in defence spending. New Zealand no longer needs an air strike
The Labour-led Coalition Government capability, announced in May 2001 and
formed in 1999 has not reversed the trend. actualised through the dissolution of three
Despite having more New Zealand Defence RNZAF squadrons by year’s end, represents
Force (NZDF) personnel deployed overseas New Zealand’s greatest departure from
(most in East Timor) at any time since the traditional defence and foreign policy thinking
Vietnam War, the Government seems willing in several generations.
CURRENT AND FUTURE COMMAND CHALLENGES FOR NZ DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL 41
Some people in the NZDF and the wider resentment and staying in an Air Force that
community consider the Government’s actions, will no longer have much possibility of a direct
policies and plans to be reckless and unwise, combat function. Many RNZAF officers,
while other see them as courageous, timely and including senior officers, feel that their raison
appropriate. Debate between these two d’être no longer exists, and that air logistical
“camps” raged throughout 2001 and into 2002, support of the Army and Navy cannot possibly
with bitter public accusations of conspiracies give them command opportunities of a
and leaks of official information genuine military type. Yet, at least for the next
overshadowing and stifling genuine debate on few years, the RNZAF’s senior officers will
the most important strategic and security have powerful command challenges to rise to:
issues. keeping personnel aware of their constitutional
It is within these challenging global and loyalty to a government they may still feel
national contexts that the NZDF’s officers must hostile to; maintaining order and discipline in
strive for command, leadership and managerial spite of dissatisfaction; providing strong and
excellence as they undertake the nation’s wide- inspiring leadership to raise morale;
ranging demands as defined and articulated by demonstrating managerial efficiency and
the Government. effectiveness as they re-organise the Air Force
Perhaps right now the greatest challenge for its new roles and challenges.
for any potential or serving commanders, The Navy, on the other hand, will benefit
especially at higher levels (Army lieutenant from the Labour-led Government’s decision
colonel or equivalent), is keeping their own (announced in January 2002) to purchase a
and their subordinates’ morale high. Morale large multi-purpose warship and several off-
throughout the NZDF has clearly taken a shore patrol ships to go with its two ANZAC-
battering from savage media criticism and class frigates. With more hulls in the water,
microscopic scrutiny, fuelled by self-serving and with the officer in charge of each ship
politicians who are using defence issues as exercising command, leadership and
“ammunition” to fire at their enemies on the management responsibilities (even on a limited
other side of the Debating Chamber. Seemingly scale in the case of small vessels) the Navy
endless claims of dysfunctionality, inter- looks set to provide more command
Service hostility and conspiracies have opportunities than it has been able to for
increased, not decreased, the tensions and several decades.
inter-Service suspicions. Tensions between the three armed Services
Junior, intermediate and senior leaders in are not new, of course. At least a little inter-
all three Services have a heavy command Service rivalry has always existed, particularly
responsibility (which almost all recognise, of over capital acquisitions and upgrade/-
course) to prevent their own and their modernisation programs. The run-down in
subordinates’ feelings about recent and current defence spending during the last decade or so
defence policies from becoming divisive. They has even occasionally turned the Services
must pull their units and Services together, not against each other in an unwanted, but
apart. seemingly inescapable, competition for
This won’t be easy for all personnel. The resources.
Government’s disbanding of the air combat Yet the Services have, by and large,
and jet training squadrons in 2001 seriously committed themselves to the concept of
wounded morale within the RNZAF. For jointness; that is, their closely synchronised
remaining airmen and airwomen their primary employment, under unified command, to
challenge may well be overcoming their achieve common objectives in a range of
42 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
situations across the broad spectrum of brethren-in-arms. They must tolerate no inter-
conflict. Although the Labour-led Coalition Service rivalry and they must try to gain fuller
Government’s scrapping of the RNZAF’s air understandings of the limitations and
strike capability has undoubtedly damaged capabilities of the other Services.
inter-Service relations, in the short term This naturally raises the issue of
anyway, the future is not bleak. In July 2001 technology. Since around the time of the
that same Government established New Persian Gulf War of 1991, new weapons,
Zealand’s first operational Joint Forces information technologies and tactics have
Headquarters, with personnel drawn from all purportedly been transforming warfare to
three Services to form a staff that will plan and enable battles to be fought “over the horizon”
oversee future NZDF operational deployments. with little face-to-face contact between
This is a significant step towards the belligerents. Military professionals commonly
attainment and maintenance of true jointness. describe this transformation as the “RMA”, or
Yet jointness itself creates tremendous Revolution in Military Affairs. The more ardent
challenges for those exercising command. and techno-centric proponents of this RMA
Joint commanders need to know far more than claim that the fundamental nature of warfare is
single-Service commanders ever did. They changing. Digitisation and remotely operated
need at least a basic understanding of the weapons, they say, have already made
terminologies, technologies, doctrines, redundant the chaotic, frightening and violent
limitations and capabilities of all three close combat that has always characterised
Services, as well as how best to utilise elements warfare. The “norm” will now be less chaotic
from each at any given moment. Because this and more manageable “stand-off” battles
places unrealistic expectations on any one (hitting the enemy from positions of safety)
individual, the Joint Force Commander (a and long-range precision strike.
major general or equivalent) has to rely heavily Other more cautious commentators,
on his or her three Service component including the author of this article, accept that
commanders. They, in turn, have to work the means of prosecuting warfare have
harmoniously as a united team of experts as changed dramatically, so that a joint or
they offer advice, make plans and coordinate combined-arms battle today would be
efforts. Appropriate training for these joint incomprehensible to, say, one of General
command positions will be difficult; the US Patton’s soldiers. Yet we also believe that
leads the world in this area, but New Zealand warfare’s fundamental nature has not changed
and the US now have very limited officer at all. Rather than being in a military
exchange programs. revolution, it seems clear that we are merely in
At the very heart of jointness is the notion a period of rapid change in the technologies
that, although a particular Service may available with which to do the same old jobs:
sometimes seem to be the dominant force intimidating, coercing, punishing, taking,
because of its largest contribution to a crushing; in short, threatening or inflicting
particular mission, all three Services are equal bloodshed.
partners and all have critically important roles Having said that, New Zealand
to play. Effective jointness is certainly a force commanders must stay abreast of those new
multiplier, and should be pursued with zeal. and constantly-improving technologies if they
Commanders not only within the Joint want to remain professionally competent and
Forces Headquarters, but also those within the military competitive. Thanks to satellites and
single Services, must ensure that their staffs aircraft and shipboard tracking and sensor
and teams respond to the other Services as equipment, for instance, they can have
CURRENT AND FUTURE COMMAND CHALLENGES FOR NZ DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL 43
fantastic battlespace awareness. But they will New Zealand commanders (and all their
have it only if they strive to master the subordinates) in former generations.
technologies and the corresponding new This is not the only change during recent
practices and procedures (and sometimes even decades. Since around the time of the Vietnam
new doctrines) and recognise the full potential War, most Western nations have become less
of the new capabilities they provide. They must willing to commit their armed forces to
also take great care when assessing or conflicts unless the cause is (or can be “sold”
exploiting all new capabilities that they don’t as) primarily humanitarian and not merely
become, or let their subordinates become, so national-political. Public expectations of
smitten by the technology that they take their warfare have also shifted. Whereas death and
eyes off the time-honoured and proven privation were accepted as ever-present
principles of war. features of armed conflict as recently as the
Education is thus becoming more Second World War, now the public want iron-
important, not only in terms of the great mass clad guarantees of minimal casualties, no
of technical information now available, but collateral damage, and the quick return of
also in terms of understanding the combatants. The growing Western sensitivity
complexities of the constantly changing world, to casualties has been manifest on many
occasions in the quarter-century since
region and nation. With peace-support
Vietnam. The clearest case is perhaps the
missions becoming more frequent and
dramatic drop in American public support for
substantial, NZDF personnel are called on
the United Nations peace-enforcement mission
increasingly to operate in wider and less
in Somalia that followed the October 1993
familiar roles throughout the west and south
killing of 18 American soldiers in Mogadishu.
Pacific regions. These roles include
President Clinton and Congress responded
peacekeeping, truce monitoring, conflict
promptly by withdrawing the entire American
resolution, disaster relief and civil defence.
With these new demands in mind, the New
These new attitudes place intense pressures
Zealand Army has gained a slight lead in terms
on the commanders who must plan and lead
of providing tertiary education to its officers
all operations, including peace-support
and senior NCOs, but the other Services are not missions. These should, by their very nature, be
far behind. All are now providing at least a far safer than combat missions, yet deaths
basic education in: military history; the wider inevitably occur despite the very best
international environment; the origins and command efforts, actions and decisions. Single
character of this region’s diverse cultures; the deaths, however, can be sensationalised (and
distinctive foundations and nature of New even trivialised) by news-hungry media and
Zealand society; the organisation and insensitive politicians hell-bent on scoring
governance of its communities; and the nature points against their opposition. This often
of civil society, democracy and public unfair and ill-informed scrutiny can be
discourse. psychologically traumatising to those in
All this, of course, must be learned in command positions. They find serious
addition to the routine, the promotion-related accidents and deaths almost unbearable at the
and the specialised professional training that “best” of times. Dealing with intense and
all military personnel undertake in order to perhaps accusatory scrutiny only adds to their
master the particular tasks that their Services distress.
assign to them. The whole weight of learning Becoming “media-savvy” is now
has thus become heavier than that carried by critically important for commanders, whose
44 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
troops, squadrons or crews are exposed to violence of “hot” combat (which might even
far more media interest than ever before. result from an unexpected incident during a
They need to find a balance between, on the peace mission) will place commanders under
one hand, providing the public with basic different pressures in terms of the use of
operational information in a transparent and manoeuvre and firepower and the maintenance
honest fashion and, on the other hand, of force protection. Issues of life and death
maintaining an appropriate level of become far more important, as do the
operational secrecy as well as protecting commanders’ own grasp and experience (or
their subordinates’ right to some privacy. lack thereof) of tactics and operational art.
Moreover, commanders need to learn how to These are things that must be trained for;
handle improper media intrusiveness without intensively. Peacekeeping alone cannot provide
causing offense, and how to remain within all the insights and skills needed.
their constitution boundaries when quizzed Training with other national armies, air
on current political actions and decisions. forces and navies may help to prepare the
Having sworn oaths to obey and serve their Services and their commanders for combat,
government they clearly cannot publicly especially as some of New Zealand’s stated and
challenge or condemn decisions they don’t likely allies have experienced real and major
like. Commanders must especially watch out combat in recent decades. It is probable, in
for the so-called “CNN factor,” the ability of fact, that if and when New Zealand ever sends
intrusive media to cause political and social a sizeable force overseas for combat it will be
disruption back home by reporting part of a coalition led by the United States,
inaccurately or putting a negative spin on Britain or Australia. Kiwi commanders, then,
benign events. must ensure that they and their subordinates
One thing that some serving military understand their likely partners’ forces,
personnel don’t especially care for is recent doctrines, systems and procedures. Given New
governments’ high commitment to Zealand’s relatively low level of training with
peacekeeping. Some see this as a potentially US forces, its current and future commanders
costly distraction from their training for war. unfortunately get little exposure to, and
With over 700 military personnel deployed experience with, US military personnel and
overseas on peace-support missions one their awesome array of state-of-the art
cannot doubt that the NZDF is pulling its weaponry and systems. This situation — a
weight in terms of regional security. This result of the “ANZUS rift” caused by New
heavy overseas commitment is nonetheless a Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance — is a factor that
double-edged sword: it gives many more the New Zealand Government needs to
Service men and women opportunities to address.
exercise authority while on operations that Perhaps the last of the major issues
they would otherwise get during periods of affecting, or likely to affect, New Zealand
relative inactivity. Yet it removes them from military commanders are those of gender and
training and exercise opportunities that focus ethnicity. Increasing numbers of women are
more directly on preparing for command in joining the three Services, and even entering
combat. roles (such as flying fighters, at least before the
Commanding forces in combat, they know, air strike capability disappeared) traditionally
is very different to commanding them on reserved for men. They are also rising through
peace-support missions. While no-one doubts the ranks and assuming significant
that peacekeeping involves grave risks and responsibilities, including that of command.
often places personnel in mortal peril, the Although there has not yet been a woman of
CURRENT AND FUTURE COMMAND CHALLENGES FOR NZ DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL 45
one-star rank (brigadier or equivalent), there divisions, and also sponsors a Mutual
have been several of colonel or equivalent Assistance Programme to provide academic
rank. Likewise, the NZDF continues to attract and skills-based training to members of other
many Maori, with a far higher percentage of Pacific-rim nations’ armed forces. The Royal
the uniformed strength being Maori than New Zealand Air Force Command and Staff
found in almost any other employment sector. College at Whenuapai includes officers from
There are currently Maori at almost all ranks, other nations and ethnic backgrounds on its
including Major General Jerry Mateparae, annual senior course.
Chief of Army General Staff (CGS). He is not Ethnic issues, therefore, cannot be ignored
the first Maori warrior to have gained this by leaders and commanders if harmonious
position. relations are to develop within the NZDF and
All commanders, male and female, Maori between it and other national forces.
and others, need to be aware of society’s Sensitivity, tolerance and inclusiveness must
changing values, including increased become integral to every commander’s
sensitivity towards gender and ethnic issues. behaviour and leadership style, and it must
Women can now be committed to combat (at become the norm at all levels of his or her unit,
the time of writing, for example, one of the right down to the private soldier or other
rifle platoons in East Timor has had a woman Service equivalent.
commander) and they must be treated fairly All in all, then, New Zealand’s current
and without discrimination in every instance. crop of military commanders, and those
Harassment must not be tolerated, and rising through the ranks to succeed them in
commanders need to remain mindful of all due course, have demanding challenges to
Equal Opportunities issues. They must also face as they strive for excellence. Yet, if their
demand, and use discipline to enforce, a zero- forebears are any example, New Zealand has
tolerance policy on discrimination and every reason to expect that its officers will
harassment. Their best means of meet their challenges with passion,
accomplishing this is to remove all determination, commitment and great
objectionable behaviour, even that usually professionalism. They will strive to overcome
associated with mirth, from their own the frustrations of resource constraints,
conduct, and to make their expectations clear unpopular political decisions, occasionally
to all subordinates. testing inter-Service relations and so forth to
It is the same with ethnic and racial issues. create motivated teams that can fulfil their
Not only will commanders need to recognise government’s requirements effectively, safely
that the NZDF is as multi-cultural as wider and credibly. In doing so, they will doubtless
New Zealand society, with a strong Maori emerge as exemplary citizens of both New
participation, but they must also remain Zealand and the world’s community of
sensitive to the ethnic dynamics of regional nations. We can, therefore, be optimistic that
situations. New Zealand has peacekeepers in New Zealand commanders will live up to the
nations or territories marked by ethnic high standards of their predecessors.
Dr Joel Hayward is a Senior Lecturer within the Centre for Defence Studies at Massey University in New Zealand.
With a particular interest in joint doctrine and operational art, he has published widely on military and strategic
matters and lectures at New Zealand’s RNZAF Command and Staff College and the RNZN Naval College.
GALLIPOLI 1915 by Richard Reid, ABC caption for an illustration being adjacent to it,
Books 2002, hardcover, dust jacket, 154 almost invariably the captions are on another
pages, $39.95 page, sometimes in a block of captions,
Reviewed by Lex McAulay sometimes above or below a piece of text, and
this is compounded by the fact that there is no
This book is timely,
standard presentation, so one is continually
in that our last
searching for the correct piece of information
veteran of Gallipoli,
relating to an image.
THE ELEVEN DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
away. It is sad to
AMERICA’S LAST VIETNAM BATTLE by
read this book with
Marshall L. Michel III, Encounter Books, USA;
the certain knowledge that no one in any
ISBN 1-893554-24-4 hardcover, dust jacket,
photo is alive. Richard Reid, has created a
324pp, 20 photos, 4 appendices, notes.
book with a different aspect on the Gallipoli
campaign. The illustrations are selected from Reviewed by Lex McAulay
those taken by the soldiers themselves, and This book will be painful
from those published by the newspapers of the reading for those veterans of
time. Richard Reid’s text provides a general the USAF B-52 bombing
background to the photos and drawings, which campaign against Hanoi in
are accompanied by good captions. December 1972, for the
Dr. Reid has widened the horizons, as it families of those killed or
were, of this book, by reminding the Australian badly injured in the strikes,
reader that as well as Australians and New and presumably, also, for the
Zealanders, there were British, French and families of the senior officers concerned, as
Indian forces involved, and the Turks and their incompetence, arrogance and sheer lack
Germans. of understanding of leadership in war are
The book is well structured, and in described in detail.
sequence covers The Allied Navies, The President Richard M. Nixon had become
Landing, Battle, Daily Warfare, Medical fed up with the North Vietnamese attitude to
Services, Beaches and Harbours, Daily Life, serious discussions about ending the war in
Dwellings, Evacuation, Gallipoli Portraits, The Vietnam. Though the Vietcong had been
Gallipoli Drawings of Captain Leslie Hore, and annihilated and the North Vietnamese forces
Remembering Gallipoli 1915-1930. defeated everywhere, the Politburo in Hanoi
It’s all there – the ships, the men, the tried to achieve maximum advantage from the
terrain, the lifestyle, death and burial, and the anti-war attitude of the US Congress. Nixon
aftermath. Hopefully, this book will be a wanted an end to the war before Congress
success and so will be followed by others using convened for the 1973 year. He decided to use
personal photos taken in France and Palestine. the B-52s of Strategic Air Command (SAC) to
The book does have one major irritation – attack targets in and close to Hanoi to show
to this reviewer, anyway. Instead of the the Hanoi leadership just what a fearsome
force he could send against the city, but which defences; detailed plans from SAC staff were to
had not been so used before. be followed to the finest degree, but losses
It was a close run thing. Nixon had a were the fault of the subordinate ranks and
narrow window of only a few weeks to force success due to the expertise of the commander
the Vietnamese to agree, before Congress and his staff.
would bring a halt to the bombing by refusing SAC, in existence solely to execute nuclear
funds for the war, but the Vietnamese defences retaliation in the event of such an attack by the
achieved remarkable success against the USSR, became almost a separate armed service
bombers. Today, both sides claim victory – the rather than a branch of the USAF. SAC created
USA because the bombing forced the Hanoi for itself an unassailable position – only SAC
leadership back to the peace talks, so the knew how to maintain the force of bombers
fighting ceased and the US POWs were which alone kept the USSR at bay.
returned, but the Vietnamese claim that the US Advancement in SAC was achieved by slavish
left Vietnam because the B-52s were defeated. observance of every little rule and regulation,
However, Marshall Michel points out that the and instant unquestioning obedience to
North Vietnamese did not begin their final procedures and decisions from SAC itself –
offensive in 1975 until Nixon was no longer in even an aircraft captain with a problem was
office, and not able to deploy US air power to told by direct radio link with Omaha what to do
support South Vietnam, as had happened in in an inflight emergency; his unit commander
the April 1972 offensive. was a mere listener to the transmissions.
Marshall Michel, himself a USAF veteran of Qualifications and experience gained outside
320 combat missions in F-4s and RF-4s, has SAC were frowned upon – everything
provided a thoroughly researched account of necessary for an enlisted man or officer to
the “Christmas bombing”, with contributions perform any task or assigned duty was known
from participants in the White House, through and taught in SAC by SAC methods.
the USAF chain of command to the squadrons But by 1972, the commander of SAC and
and aircrews who flew the missions, and also the commander of the B-52 force deployed to
from veterans on the Vietnamese side, backed the western Pacific were fighter aces from
by official and personal documents. WWII, and in this campaign were shown to be
The faults of the British high command in out of their depth, perhaps another example of
WWI have been well researched and reported. the Peter Principle – promoted that one fatal
The hierarchy at SAC mirrored all those time above their level of competence.
shortcomings: the British generals lived and The Vietnamese, while infuriating their
planned in chateaux remote from the battle, Soviet teachers, did deduce ways to make their
and SAC planned and issued detailed orders for obsolescent SA-2 weapons system effective
operations over North Vietnam from the HQ in against the B-52s, though in this they only
the USA; the British generals had no exploited the many errors in the original SAC
experience of modern warfare, and SAC was plan.
run by generals with no or little bombing If the results of the studies by staffs at
experience, and that was gained in 1944-45; subordinate operational headquarters had been
British generals sent overloaded men across accepted by SAC, it is quite probable that no
morasses into unbroken defences, and SAC B-52s would have been lost. The campaign
orders sent formations time after time at the would have been a resounding success. As it
same height along the same single approach was, 15 B-52s were shot down, though some
route at the same time intervals to the same struggled back to base or to an area where the
unsuitable targets over the concentrated crews could be rescued.
48 A U S T R A L I A N D E F E N C E F O R C E J O U R N A L NO. 155 JULY / AUGUST 2002
The author is unbiased, but it is difficult to After the campaign, commanding generals,
find anything planned or ordered by SAC that with one exception, ordered self-adulatory
was not wrong, and then only changed after “histories” compiled. Crew members still resent
heavy losses. The first attacks were made at the lack of awards to their colleagues who
the same times; with the same long interval repeatedly faced the missiles, compared to
between waves which allowed the defences to awards to senior staff who did not fly or flew
recover and prepare; along the same approach one mission, but who went along with the
route, at the same altitude, to the same targets; headquarters version of events:
with the same exit procedure which took the “unprofessional” crews brought losses on
aircraft over the highest concentration of themselves, and SAC’s actions were beyond
defences and negated the effect of their on- reproach. The official version, produced only
board EW jammers; turned the aircraft back after thorough vetting by senior officers had
into the 100mph jetstream, and back over removed all reference to shortcomings in the
enemy territory rather than out to sea; wrong USAF, is in use at staff colleges today. This
targets were selected and wrong sub-model B- book provides the “unvarnished truth”.
52s sent to them. The funnel-neck in the air
One crumb of comfort for Australians
defence system, the missile storage and
reading this book is that Australian
assembly depots, was ignored.
commanders serving under operational
Crews were ordered not to take evasive
command of an Allied power retain the right
action under threat of court-martial; a colonel
to consult their own national defence HQ and
ordered a fuel state report from the entire
Government before joining any operation
airborne force during the approach to the
about which they have doubts. The Hanoi
target, and insisted, despite being told this
missions planned by SAC abandoned every
would inform the enemy how many aircraft
tenet of commonsense.
were coming and their location. A crew was
charged with violating a “no-fly” zone near This is an absorbing account of a military
China, but as it was deemed aircrew did not campaign which had the potential to make a
have “a need to know” these zones, the maps failure of the US policy of disengagement from
were classified too highly to issue them to Vietnam. The situation arose because of the
crews. A survivor could not understand why global responsibilities of the US Defense forces,
no one came to rescue him, and surrendered in which “side-shows” diverting attention and
only when almost dead from exposure and resources from the major aim of keeping the
starvation – HQ had decided his radio USSR in check were deeply resented. The
transmissions were a Vietnamese trap. SAC events of September 11, 2001, show that some
bombed elsewhere than Hanoi rather than things remain constant.
comply with the political aim of the campaign. (This review copy is a US edition, and in
At one stage, Nixon had to tell the most senior June the publishers advised it will be available
military officer that unless the bombing was in bookshops in Australia or direct from
conducted as ordered, that officer’s resignation Wakefield Press, Kent Town, South Australia;
was required. or www.wakefieldpress.com.au. )