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Asymmetric Warfare and Australian National Asymmetric Advantages: Taking the Fight to the Enemy

Australian Army M1A1 Abrams tanks scan for 'enemy' activity near the township of Iron Knob, South Australia, during Exercise Hamel on 9 July 2016.
Asymmetric Warfare and Australian National Asymmetric Advantages: Taking the Fight to the Enemy by Colonel Chris Field
31 October 2009
Colonel Chris Field

In an era of increasing focus upon concepts such as hybrid warfare, insurgency and ‘low intensity conflict', asymmetry is often seen as a means employed by conventionally weak actors against traditional military powers. This presumption is challenged by the author in this paper.

 

Unfortunately, most of the ADF's future operating concepts inadvertently give ground to Australia's enemies by—almost exclusively—addressing asymmetric warfare as a style of fighting in the unique realm of people who will do harm to Australia and its national interests. For the ADF to fight and win in twenty-first century conflicts, this paper argues that it is necessary for the Australian Army to first recognise that asymmetry is not the sole province of the enemy: Army must take the fight to the enemy, and use Australia's asymmetric advantages to greatest effect.

 

The author warns that if the ADF does not take action, and ‘cognitively allows its enemies to gain ownership of asymmetric warfare, then eventually it will surely taste defeat.' This paper provides the Army and the ADF with the ideas it will need to ‘utilise its asymmetric advantages in order to enable Australia to fight and win against elusive, adaptive, and determined enemies.'

Last updated
5 December 2017
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