My analysis, commentary and news pieces have been published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Foreign PolicySydney Morning Herald, The Conversation, The Australian and The Squamish Chief (my local paper).

My ABC writer’s profile can be found here. I have also appeared on ABC News Radio, Triple J Hack and 2SER.

  • Elliott, C. 3JAN21. ‘Top brass unduly keen on the “few bad apples” theory’. The Australian. (article)
  • Elliott, C. 23NOV20. ‘The unanswered questions from Australia’s war crimes report’. Task & Purpose. (article)
  • Elliott, C. 29OCT20. ‘The reputation of Australia’s special forces is beyond repair — it’s time for them to be disbanded’. The Conversation. (article)
  • Elliott, C. 08OCT20. ‘American-Scottish team complete new route on the Emperor Face of Mt Robson’. Alpinist. (article)
  • Elliott, C. 21MAY2020. ‘BC Parks failed us when we needed them most’. Squamish Chief. (article)
  • Elliott, C. 28MAY20. ‘We are the ‘outsiders’, Squamish’. Squamish Chief. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 19JUN2019. ‘Australia is undermining the freedom of its press’. Foreign Policy. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 19JUN2018. ‘The Abuse Scandal Rocking Australia’s Special Operations Forces’. Foreign Policy. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 12JUN2018. ‘Disbanding might be the only option for Australia’s special ops’. Sydney Morning Herald. (article). 
  • Elliott, C. 16MAR2018. ‘My Lai: What we learned about ‘forever wars’ from one of America’s worst atrocities’. Sydney Morning Herald. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 27APR2018. ‘Death symbol ban is the difference between an army and a ‘death cult’. ABC News. (article).
  •  Elliott, C. 24AUG2017. ‘Trump’s strategy-free strategy raises more question than it answers’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 11JUL2017. ‘”Land, kill and leave”: High value targeting and civilian casualties in Afghanistan’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 7MAY2017. ‘Chibok schoolgirl release shows Boko Haram’s weakening position’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 14APR2017. ‘MOABs win battles but they don’t win wars’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 24JAN2017. ‘Jihadism on the move in Mali – why it matters’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 23DEC2016. ‘Melbourne terror plot: A statistically enduring anomaly’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 14JUL2016. ‘Bastille Day attack: The horror continues but so does our resolve’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 26NOV2015. ‘Why the West should consider isolation over invasion’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 5JUL2015. ‘We’re all to blame for the foreign fighter reality’. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 22MAR2015. ‘The problem with modern Lawrences of Arabia. ABC News. (article).
  • Elliott, C. 2MAR2015. ‘What drove my mate to die fighting IS’. ABC News. (article).


Magazine & Longform

My long-form writing has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and appeared in AlpinistMountain LifeOutpost, Griffith Review and Medium.

  • Elliott, C. 1DEC2019. ‘The Centurion: Conversations with a My Lai Massacrist’. Medium. (article).
  • Elliott, C. Spring 2016. ‘Fire in the Cascades’. Alpinist 53. (article).
  • Elliott, C. Spring 2017. ‘From Rock Upon Rock, A Mountain’. Alpinist 58. (article).
  • Elliott, C. Winter 2017. ‘Totality from a Mountaintop’. Alpinist 60. (article).
  • Elliott, C. Winter/Spring 2017. ‘Down and Out in Squamish and Whistler’. Mountain Life. (article).
  • Elliott, C. Winter/Spring 2018. ‘Searching for Xwechtaal’. Mountain Life. (article).
  • Elliott, C. June 2017. ‘Off the Rails in Mauritania’. Outpost Issue 117. (article).
  • Elliott, C. June 2018. ‘Return to Country: Training Warriors in the Far North’. Griffith Review 60. (article).



My writing on military, security and anthropology-related topics has featured in Small Wars Journal and the Canadian Military Journal.

  • Elliott, C. 2018. ‘Book Review: Why We Fight – The Cognitive Basis of War’. Canadian Military Journal. 19(1). pp. 66-67. (article). 
  • Elliott, C. 2017. ‘The Korea Crisis: When Human Politics Apes that of Chimps’. Small Wars Journal. (article).

4 thoughts on “Writing

  1. Thanks for your articles.. regarding your work of fiction called Mujahid about the Syrian conflict and the connection with modern Lawrences of Arabia you may well be aware of of this article written by TE Lawrence in 1915. He’d be about 20 – obviously his perspective is from a white man from the British empire but nonetheless his observations are interesting in providing some context of what is happening now in Syria? see link Anyway just thought I’d pass it along. all best with your writing Neil http://www.telstudies.org/writings/works/articles_essays/1915_syria_the_raw_material.shtml

  2. Dear Mr Elliott.

    I recently read your “Opinion” article for the ABC – “Death symbol ban is the difference between an Army and a death cult”.

    I was surprised to discover that the Chief of Army needed to issue such a directive. I served in both the Australian Army Reserve, and nine years in the RAN, and I noticed these “nut-jobs” were weeded out either by the “psyche testing” before recruitment, or during Recruit Training.

    We always sneered at the Yanks, because they appeared not to have a filter for “sicko’s” – hence their inability to win “Hearts and Minds” (and their proclivity to commit “atrocities”).

    A Professional Army represents “The Rule of Law” – upon which a civil population should be able to Trust, to protect them from the likes of “lawless vigilantes”. The Army must be “scraping the bottom of the barrel” if their filters have failed to eliminate these “crazies” before they could get their hands on a weapon.

    Or, maybe some in the Army have been “radicalised” by such as the Right Honourable Senator Pauline Hansen (AS), and the Right Honourable George Christiansen (MHR). Selfies of civilians wearing military uniforms or totin’ hand-guns, boots and black leather, and/ or death symbols, invariably evoke Freudian connotations of penis envy, or similar self-image inadequacies.

    I would urge the Chief of Army to go further than forbid the accoutrements of these pitiful freaks in the Australian Army. Remove the freaks themselves, from a professional service that is supposedly enforcing the Rule of International Law and representing this Nation to the World.

    Furthermore, re-introduce a psychiatric assessment system that will ensure that those upholding (or creating) The Law, and representing (and paid by) the Nation, are (apparently) mentally stable.

    I am not suggesting that any sort of judgement or discrimination should be laid on those who, like to dress in “action man” clothes, photograph themselves in “armed action man” poses, wear “death cult” masks, or engage in sado-masochist indulgences. Providing we don’t hurt or offend (without consent), we should all be free to express our peccadillo’s.

    I am suggesting however, that those engaged in representing Australia to the World, should not just abide by the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, (of which, we are a founding signatory nation), but also be seen to abide by the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. (Just as Cricketers should not just abide by the “Rules of Cricket”, but be seen to abide by the “Spirit of Cricket”).

    Those objecting to the Chief of Army’s directive appear to have forgotten the purpose of the Australian Defence Forces, which primarily should be, to not only enforce international law, but to be seen to do so, with Compassion.

    There is no role for Terror, Vigilantism, or Bullying, in the Military. Those so inclined, would be better employed in an outlaw bikie gang, the ku-klux-clan, or an international terror organisation. They should not be International Representatives of the Australian People.

    I enjoy and appreciate your enlightened and sober writings, and appreciate your input to public debate. Thank you.


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