Saturday, November 30, 2013


The majority of wars don't begin with careful planning and aforethought: we blunder into the killing in an unthinking way.

(Thanks to Airpower Australia for the image)

I don't think we should necessarily stop playing in the water.

But if we wish to do so we need to consider the full implications of doing so, as this column for the Canberra Times points out . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The one great myth is that money drives everything.

It's a myth - but it becomes true because we all believe it.

The key problem, of course, is working out who gets what and what is enough.

That's the issue this Canberra Times column addresses, spurred on by the 'revelations' about ABC salaries courtesy of News Limited . . .

Monday, November 25, 2013

TO SPY, OR NOT . . .

At one time the image of the spy was straightforward . . .

(Sigourney, not Mel)

Today we dismiss the deeper understanding that comes from human interaction. We think we can read peoples minds by listening in to their phone conversations.

This column for the Canberra Times stands back and asks what it is all that spying is actually attempting to achieve . . .

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I thought everyone liked her.

What's surprised me, since this profile of Tanya Plibersek's been published, from the comments it's attracted it seems this is not necessarily the case.

As Peter Dutton might say, "Good Tanya".

As Peter Dutton might say, "Bad Tanya".

This was a profile that appeared in the Canberra Times . . .

Saturday, November 16, 2013


And this was the end of Kevin Rudd. 

Not with a bang but a whimper. 

It's the end, Labor will desperately hope, of the infighting that's marked the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd period. 

And the time since Hawke was toppled by Keating who handed over to Beazley who was followed by Crean; Latham; Beazley; Rudd; Gillard; Rudd. 

Personal ambitions above all, as I wrote in the Canberra Times today . . . 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The new coalition team's already had a couple of difficulties implementing its program. 

Responsibility for these remains with individuals. 

This is a simple portrait of one of the new government's more complex people, Brett Mason. 

It also appears in the Canberra Times . . . 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Not so long ago soldiers lined up in a mass and blasted away at one another until one line finally broke.

Today any soldier who exposes himself on a battle-field risks getting shot.

This is one of the revolutions in warfare that will make the next war, again, so different from the last.

I put some thoughts together on this concept for the Canberra Times . . .

Friday, November 8, 2013


I was asked by the Canberra Times to do a Book Review of David Kilcullen's recent, comprehensive work - Out of the Mountains.

David Kilcullen chief counter-terrorism strategist for the US State Department writer of The Accidental Guerilla fighting small wars in the midst of a big one.

This is it.

As you can read, I'm very positive . . .

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


As you're aware, I've had a head injury (or, as it now appears to be described - somewhat more accurately - a brain injury). 

One of the reasons these updates have been so chaotic lately is that I've been spending so much time on the National Brain Injury Foundation. 

This column is one, very simplified attempt to explain why the NBIF is closing its shingle. It will reopen as a part of Hartley LifeCare. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


To spy or not to spy?

I guess it really depends on whether you can get away with it or not.

At one time the West had the edge in technical spying; monitoring the communications of others. Now I don't believe we do.

Perhaps the moral is to be more transparent about what's going on, as this column in today's Canberra Times suggests . . .