The Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan: Media strategy and operations in the age of mediatized war.
This thesis argues that the power of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in modern war is shackled because its media operations diminish its ability to communicate and perform. It contends that the ADF does not effectively embrace the media as a tool of war. This case is supported by examining the political, cultural and organisational factors that impede the ADF’s ability to make use of the media’s affordances in war. To reveal and unravel these factors, the thesis focuses on the ADF’s engagement in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2017. Through this case study, it investigates the changed character of modern war, the media’s role in it and the ADF’s media strategy for war. The thesis identifies the existence of a ‘closed-loop’ media management system, which stifles the ADF’s capacity to effectively utilise the power and properties of the media.