In this paper I consider the implications of resource peaks and climate change, their possible effect on the character of war and the challenge these developments pose for the future of Australian security. The analytical approach I use is one that will be familiar to most military and security professionals, the idea that periodic Military Revolutions are responsible for discontinuous shifts in the nature of society which have a cascading effect on the parameters of what is possible (and not possible) in the art of war. I explain why conditions are becoming likely for the onset of another Military Revolution; perhaps one that has already begun but whose effect is not yet being felt. The paper will highlight that the guiding force of the coming Military Revolution will be global limits on the availability of resources, particularly food, water and energy. In making the case for the Military Revolution of Limits I will outline possible repercussions on Australian society that will effect the Army and suggest ways forward in order to adjust to coming changes.
Dr. Albert Palazzo is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre in Canberra. His Ph.D. is from The Ohio State University and his thesis was published as Seeking Victory on The Western Front: The British Army & Chemical Warfare in World War I. He has written widely on warfare in the modern age and on the Australian Army in particular. His many publications include: The Australian Army: A History of its Organisation, 1901-2001; Battle of Crete; Australian Military Operations in Vietnam; Moltke to bin Laden: The Relevance of Doctrine in Contemporary Military Environment and The Future of War Debate in Australia. His current research concerns the implications resource shortages to lead to conflict and the waging of war in an age of mutually assured precision.