View Full Version : Australia: catch all

11-26-2005, 11:59 AM
26 Nov. editorial in The Australian: Forward Defence (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17362830%255E7583,00.html).

... But they both also indicated the way Australian defence and foreign policy has changed over the past few years, as we break away from the old paradigms of Cold War conflict. When Mr Howard meets leaders of Commonwealth countries at the CHOGM talks in Malta this weekend, he will be seen not as a satrap of the Americans, as the Left like to present him, but as the head of a major regional power, capable and committed to supporting the cause of democracy in its own right. While the US alliance remains the foundation of our national defence, we are projecting power into areas of Asia independent of the Americans. This is particularly puzzling for advocates of the old-fashioned orthodoxy that interprets everything through the prism of their hatred of the US alliance. But what they miss is that the alliance against terror is much broader than the Anglosphere, and that when Australia assists Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, we are acting in specifically Australian interests. And when Canberra strengthens ties with Indonesia and The Philippines, it is working to make this country safer from terror attack.

12-17-2005, 03:04 PM
16 Dec. The Australian editorial - A Bigger, Better Army (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17580259%255E7583,00.html).

While the world is a much more peaceful place than it was 20 years ago, when the risk of an all-engulfing global nuclear war was real, the paradox for Australian defence planners is that demands on our forces are larger and more diverse than they used to be. And over the past few years, the Government has rightly recognised that while we were well prepared for yesterday's conflict, the end of the Cold War and the start of the campaign against terror have changed Australia's strategic circumstances, and the obligations they impose on our defence forces. Yesterday's defence update will be debated in detail, with experts arguing about the appropriate configuration of personnel and equipment, where to base them and how to pay for them. But it is hard to make any case against the announcement of a bigger, and better armoured, army. The doctrine that dated from the era when there were Soviet submarines in the Pacific defined the big job of the Australian Defence Force as defending the skies and seas surrounding the continent. This meant the navy and air force needed, and got, state of the art assets, fighters, frigates and submarines, capable of sinking and shooting down anything an enemy could deploy. As for the army, it was left to soldier on as best as it could, as a light infantry force away from the front line of continental defence.

But today the challenge has changed...

05-27-2006, 10:23 AM
As part of my day job I've had the opportunity to interact with officers of the Australian armed forces through several venues - the Australian Army's liaison officers to the USMC at Quantico, an Australian Army major who was an integral part of the Marine Corps' Project Metropolis (urban operations) program, and the Australian delegation to Joint Urban Warrior 04, 05 and 06. To a man, I have been extremely impressed by these officers - especially concerning issues associated with stability and security operations, civil-military operations and cultural intelligence.

That said, I will be posting updates on Australia's ongoing operations in East Timor to the board and following the same with interest…

Reporting from today's The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/)follows...

Aussie Troops Take Control in Dili (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19270431-601,00.html)

Aussie Troops Lock Down Flashpoints (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19274579-601,00.html)

Rebels: Once More Into the Hills (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19270422-601,00.html)

Army to Use Lethal Force if Attacked (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19270470-601,00.html)

Complex Task to Restore Stability (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19269754-601,00.html)

A Tough Task, and It'll Take Time (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19271444-601,00.html)

Back for Good (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19267564-601,00.html)

On Edit: Here are some official links:

Australia Department of Defence (http://www.defence.gov.au/index.cfm)

Australian Army (http://www.defence.gov.au/army/)

Royal Australian Navy (http://www.navy.gov.au/)

Royal Australian Air Force (http://www.defence.gov.au/raaf/intro.htm)

Australian Defence Force Peacekeeping Centre (http://www.defence.gov.au/adfwc/peacekeeping/index.htm)

05-28-2006, 09:58 PM
The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/index/0,,31477,00.html) (newspaper) Defence page has extensive coverage of operations in East Timor as well as other Australian defense / defence issues. Includes news articles, commentary and videos.

07-25-2007, 10:03 PM
26 July The Australian - AFP to Form Paramilitary Wing (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22134638-31477,00.html) by Mark Dodd.

The Australian Federal Police will form a 1200-strong paramilitary-style International Deployment Group to be equipped with the latest weaponry including armoured personnel carriers.

Tenders are now being called for the vehicles designed to provide maximum protection for the specialised police unit, which will be capable of being deployed alongside the army on peacekeeping operations.

The force is expected to be at full strength next year, AFP officers told a Senate inquiry yesterday. The IDG will be equipped with a formidable arsenal and structured along similar lines to the crack Portuguese National Republican Guard with which the AFP has worked closely in East Timor, said Commander Steve Lancaster.

Both the AFP and the Australian Defence Force are having to adapt more frequently to non-traditional missions, whether in Afghanistan or the immediate neighbourhood, an area dubbed the "arc of instability".

The government-backed Australian Strategic Policy Institute recently released a report saying Defence was becoming increasingly involved in non-war fighting roles such as civil border protection, while police and public servants were in the front line of security in areas as diverse as Baghdad and Bougainville.

Mr Lancaster told the inquiry this meant the IDG would be equipped to deal with a wide range of security challenges and would need to be able to dispense lethal and non-lethal force to restore order in hot spots such as the Solomons and East Timor...

Rob Thornton
08-03-2007, 06:40 PM
Can we get some more info on this one? Who are our folks from down under?

Mr Lancaster told the inquiry this meant the IDG would be equipped to deal with a wide range of security challenges and would need to be able to dispense lethal and non-lethal force to restore order in hot spots such as the Solomons and East Timor

I think we can say the Aussies understand the 21st COE and are organizing to meet it. So, how is it a state with a considerably smaller budget can/would do it and we ..................?

Steve Blair
08-03-2007, 06:49 PM
Can we get some more info on this one? Who are our folks from down under?

I think we can say the Aussies understand the 21st COE and are organizing to meet it. So, how is it a state with a considerably smaller budget can/would do it and we ..................?

Because since the end of World War II the major services have remained focused on large-scale conventional warfare. They do look at other things, but that was always the main focus. That focus has allowed (to a degree) smaller countries to specialize a bit more in Small Wars than we have. When they could rely on the large military maintained by the US, it's easier to branch out and undertake more specialized missions. Also, it tends to be easier to effect rapid change in a smaller organization.

Also, most nations have a rather different LE structure. Note that this is part of the AFP, not necessarily their military. In the US that would be something similar to either a US Marshals' task force or some sort of special FBI unit. LE working with the military in many countries is considered nothing unusual, and may even be normal in some cases.

Rob Thornton
08-03-2007, 08:38 PM
I know, and I'm usually the one asking the straight faced questions, but I'm still acknowledging that here is Australia with a significant, but comparably smaller budget for foreign policy matters (I'm not sure it makes a difference if its military or other - these are $$$s marked for other then domestic policy) that makes a big leap about how its going to spend its $$$ based on how it perceives its 21st Century role in the world.
We can't seem to decide on that. I know our responsibilities are broader, but we have to decide on what role we are going to play in order to make good use of our resources - how we divide them, etc.

Rob Thornton
08-03-2007, 10:15 PM
I missed it the first read, but good point about it coming out of the AFP. By building it from the AFP they side step the argument about what the military's mission should be by preserving it.

On the blog LTC Kilcullen mentioned Barnett's SYS-ADMIN approach. If the U.S. FP called for more of X (and possibly less of Y) would it be better to follow the Aussie lead?

Troufion and others have posited similiar ideas on SWC before. Presidential hopeful R.G. has proposed somethng like it too. It has some advantages and disadvantages but it potentially could be born without service loyalties, even if it had to compete for service resources.

Mark O'Neill
08-04-2007, 01:16 AM
Hi Rob,

I would not necessarily agree that we 'get' the requirements of 21st C warfare anymore than the US - we have the same excess of rhetoric regarding the nature of what we face, but by and large have maintained an almost one -eyed focus on developing capabilities that anyone looking at the pattern of development since we left Vietnam would find remarkably consistent.

The same applies to our intellectual capital. Our recently released Joint Future Operating Concept describes a 'new' world, then proceeds to describe how the same old structures, conventional equipment and training regimes will 'win' in them through networking the inherent power of trite buzzwords and meaningless phrases that successive Australian exchange officers and visitors to the US have plagarised from the US transformation lexicon....

The IDG is really a case of necessity being the mother of invention. We have been engaged in wide range of stabilisation missions in our immediate region over the last eight years or so that have been demanding on resources -and even a casual scan of the issues would reveal that our requirements to be engaged would appear to be enduring. Quite simply, we had been doing this in an ad hoc fashion with the AFP working the the military in these areas, it made practical sense to institutionalise the arrangements and achieve some efficiencies of planning , training and readiness.

One thing that the devlopments have highlighted to us over the last few years is the profound cultural differences between the Army and the Police. We all get on fine, but that often leads to an assumption that we are on the same page when we are doing things together. The experiences of the last few years have shown that whilst some understandings have developed, there is still a wide cultural chasm between our elements of the interagency that needs to be addressed.

Finally, your point about relative size is not insignificant. It allows us a flexibility and agility that a behemoth like the US interagency probably could not attain. I attended a 'Joint Interagency Symposium' at the NDU last year, the Americans in the seminar with me were struggling with just how 'small' our national security structures are. Your NSC alone would absorb several of our national bureaucracies. Of course, it is a case of what suits one does not suit the other.

Rob Thornton
08-04-2007, 01:45 AM
Hi Mark,
How do you think this is going to go in terms of standng it up, manning, training and equipping? What do you see as the major challenges? How is the debate shaping up at both the uniformed and political levels? Will the capability be leveraged when not deployed in a domestic capacity? Did not mean to broadside with the 1000 questions, but its of great interest

Your comment:

The IDG is really a case of necessity being the mother of invention. We have been engaged in wide range of stabilisation missions in our immediate region over the last eight years or so that have been demanding on resources -and even a casual scan of the issues would reveal that our requirements to be engaged would appear to be enduring. Quite simply, we had been doing this in an ad hoc fashion with the AFP working the the military in these areas, it made practical sense to institutionalise the arrangements and achieve some efficiencies of planning , training and readiness.

makes me wonder about the "tipping point" (can't shake Gladwell) of political risk and how that influences organizational change. I'd mentioned in the "adapt or die" thread that I thought the grass roots was sewing change with regards to SSTRO.

If as this develops you can provide insights and commentary on how this goes, I for one would really appreciate it. I honestly see this as a key capability in the area of security cooperation based on the threats of non-state types, and sponsors of non-state types - which I think translates well to conflict prevention and conflict resolution.

Best regards, Rob

Mark O'Neill
08-04-2007, 12:09 PM
Hi Mark,
How do you think this is going to go in terms of standing it up, manning, training and equipping? What do you see as the major challenges? How is the debate shaping up at both the uniformed and political levels? Will the capability be leveraged when not deployed in a domestic capacity? Did not mean to broadside with the 1000 questions, but its of great interest

Your comment:

makes me wonder about the "tipping point" (can't shake Gladwell) of political risk and how that influences organizational change. I'd mentioned in the "adapt or die" thread that I thought the grass roots was sewing change with regards to SSTRO.

If as this develops you can provide insights and commentary on how this goes, I for one would really appreciate it. I honestly see this as a key capability in the area of security cooperation based on the threats of non-state types, and sponsors of non-state types - which I think translates well to conflict prevention and conflict resolution.

Best regards, Rob

G'Day Rob,

I will try and address your questions - I must stress that I have no 'special' knowledge of how the organisation is going - I am merely an interested mil observer. That said, I have met with and discussed the groups with some senior AFP officers in my capacity at the Think Tank I am currently attached to.

Firstly, my overall sense is that the development is proceeding relatively well. Recruitment seems to be meeting its targets (they are taking folks from within the AFP, various state police forces and are also attracting some current and ex-military folk). The leadership and development is a mix of AFP hands and ex-mil staff employed for their knowledge of the mil planning, log and deployment aspects.

I have some confidence in their 'ops' training - I know the ex-mil advisers they are using. I cannot offer any competent or professional assessment of their police training as it is beyond my area of knowledge and expertise, but I would think it a reasonable assumption that it meets the standards of the wider AFP.

I believe that there is the likelihood that the capacity will be leveraged domestically - it makes sense when you consider that many of the capabilities inherent in the IDG could supplant the 'traditional' concept of using the military in what we generally refer to as the 'aid to the civil power' role. For example, in the case of a requirement for the provision of cordons etc during any possible domestic terrorism incident. It would also be a lot 'neater' legally than using the military in some circumstances.

Regarding the 'debate' in the pol and mil circles, there seems to be a fair bit of bipartisan consensus that this is a good and useful development. I would summarise the military view as being the same (you have to remember we currently only have 6 and a half infantry Battalions on a growth path back to eight. We are quite 'busy' with these 6.5 bn (Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomons - before you allow for contingencies and 'reserve'). So, as you can imagine, any extra boots that may be available to assist with some of our 'lower order' stabilisation tasks in more benign security environments are very welcome.

One important thing that needs to be kept in mind is that whilst these guys are more 'deployable' than the average police officer, ultimately they are still cops - use of lethal force will remain a last resort culturally, and even a mild form of 'non-permissive' environment will quickly see them out of their depth. That said, I believe that they will (do) provide a useful additional capability in our national response options.

I note your request for me to keep the forum posted on developments as they occur here in Oz, I will comply as best I can, although this will probably become limited as I will be deployed soon-ish on an operational tour and will necessarily lose touch with these issues (and maybe this site) for a while.



Rob Thornton
08-04-2007, 02:42 PM
Many thanks for your thoughts. You know we ought to send an observation team or two to document and embed early on. Given the US/UK/AUS/CAN special military relationship this capability not only stands as one that might possibly be emulated, but one that will be in high demand (a case for more of it??).
I made a case in the last SWJ volume that ISF needed more capabilities along the lines of para-military given the type of domestic and domestically enabled threat they face,and arguably will face for awhile - (we'll take care of deterring the neighbor's conventional forces I suspect).
A Joint/Inter-Agency LNO team could save us allot of steps down the road if through persistant experience our view of the world accomodates:wry: constructing a similiar capability - or even to note how they augment and enhance domestic Civil Response crises. It would also serve as the bridge to resourcing the AFP IDP right and smooth over C2 issues if they become part of a coalition.
I was thinking about how their education might go and wondering if it will be a combination of AFP and Mil type service schools? Not so much about idividual development, but how the inter-action and sharing will benefit both sides of the coin.
If you drop off the net before long, be safe and have a good deployment.
Best Regards, Rob

09-23-2007, 08:50 AM
Canberra to Sign Security Pact with NATO (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22460958-31477,00.html)- David Nason, The Australian

Australia will sign a treaty with NATO in a move that will boost security and intelligence ties and assist the evolution of the 60-year-old Cold War alliance of democracies into a global force.

The treaty is due to be signed in New York next week by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Australia is officially a NATO "contact country", but the expression does not cover the depth of the relationship, which has strengthened considerably since Diggers deployed in Afghanistan began operating under NATO command two years ago...

05-28-2008, 03:22 AM
Australian Troops Want to See Real Action in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/26/AR2008052602533.html) - Reuters.

Australian infantry troops are ashamed of their "second rate" role in Iraq and Afghanistan and want to see combat as well as protection and reconstruction roles, according to an army major who served in Iraq.

In an article titled "We Were Soldiers Once" in the latest edition of the Australian Army Journal, Major Jim Hammett, who served in Iraq, Somalia, East Timor, and Tonga, said some infantry soldiers were ashamed of wearing the Australian uniform.

"The restrictions placed on deployed elements as a result of force protection and national policies have, at times, made infantrymen ashamed of wearing their Australian uniform and regimental badge," Hammett wrote.

"(They) have resulted in the widespread perception that our army is plagued by institutional cowardice." ...

Australian Soldiers 'Ashamed' at Lack of Action (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4016186.ece) - Paul Larter, London Times

Australia’s soldiers won praise for their skills from the Boer War to Vietnam but now their exclusion from frontline conflicts has left many “ashamed of wearing their uniform”, a senior army official said.

The nation’s much vaunted reputation for battlefield courage has been cast into doubt by its own army officers, who have complained that troops are being deliberately kept out of combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under the headline “We were soldiers once”, Major Jim Hammett, who has served in Iraq, East Timor and Somalia, launched a scathing critique of the restrictions placed on foot soldiers. He wrote, in the Australian Army Journal, that the infantry were trained to fight, equipped to fight and expected to fight — in short, to do everything but actually fight on the front line. This had fostered an international perception of institutional cowardice.

“Many within its ranks suspect that the role of the infantry has already been consigned to history . . . the on going inaction [in Iraq] . . . has resulted in collective disdain and at times near contempt by personnel from other contributing nations,” he said...

05-29-2008, 04:50 AM
What a shame. No, the troops do not need to be ashamed. Their leadership does, similar to the UK leadership.

My understanding is that the Aussies are great troopers. They, in fact, were inside of Afghanistan before U.S. troops were following 9/11, seeing the importance for our future of early and decisive action.

Whether civilian or military, people take on the traits and characteristics of their leadership. Let's hope that they get some of that (leadership) in the land down under.

Rex Brynen
05-29-2008, 11:25 AM
I remember how--in the run-up to OIF--some (although by no means all) folks in the Canadian Department of National Defence were so eager to get into a "real" war that it blinded them to the probable longer-term operational challenges and strategic costs of intervention in Iraq. Indeed, I would argue in this case that cooler heads in civilian institutions (DFAIT, elsewhere) and the civilian political leadership called the situation much better.

This doesn't speak, of course, to the frustrations of Australian infantry deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan who then find their roles and potential contributions there excessively circumscribed.

05-30-2008, 05:03 AM
I heard this repeatedly from our liaison officer while down under for Talisman Saber last year. The whole matter was pissing the majority of them off to no end.

08-29-2008, 01:11 PM
ASPI, 28 Aug 08: ADF Capability Review: C4ISR(EW) (http://www.aspi.org.au/publications/publication_details.aspx?ContentID=181&pubtype=9)

Over the last few years, the concept of network centric warfare (NCW) has been at the forefront of planning for the way the Australian Defence Force will conduct warfare. The basic idea is that the ADF will use advances in communication and computer technology to take advantage of the sensors and systems of its various components, wherever they are located, and be able to draw the collective data together into common operating pictures. In the world of NCW, the ‘fog of war’ can be pierced by advanced sensors which immediately transmit their information to a network of men and machines that orient, decide, and act on that information in near real-time. Acknowledging the limits of similes, C4ISR is to the ADF what the nervous system, eyes and ears are to the human body.....

Mark O'Neill
09-01-2008, 11:10 AM
gather exists in the realm where it can be readily collected and disseminated by technical means.

Of course, you are up the proverbial if collection involves unfortunate 'low tech' frailities in the system like dependance upon HUMINT.

Good thing that Australia isn't involved in any current fights where human factors and HUMINT are central...

Well done ASPI. :rolleyes:

11-06-2008, 01:59 AM
The Australian Army Land Warfare Studies Centre, Aug 08:

The World Looking Over Their Shoulders:
Australian Strategic Corporals on Operations in Somalia and East Timor (http://www.defence.gov.au/Army/lwsc/docs/SP_314.pdf)

This book describes the work of strategic corporals and their teams in two violent and devastated cities in the developing world: Baidoa in Somalia in 1993, and Dili in East Timor in 1999. Both cities had been destroyed by conflict and their citizens traumatised and displaced. In each case, the United Nations endorsed the deployment of international troops to take control. In Baidoa, Australian troops operated under American command to strict defensive ROE, seeking to protect the distribution of humanitarian aid. In Dili, under Australian command and empowered by a UN mandate, Australian troops had the freedom to take whatever measures were required to stabilise the situation, including the use of lethal force.....

....In both situations—in Baidoa in 1993 and in Dili and along the East Timor–West Timor border in 1999–2000—junior leaders and small teams had to make decisions carefully with higher level consequences in mind. The ROE were essential decision-making tools, but also effectively increased the pressure on the soldiers to make the right decision when they anticipated danger or were faced with an immediate threat. There are numerous anecdotes illustrating the challenges they faced, many of which remain untold. Those that were recounted have been included in this book, remarkable stories that bespeak the danger and isolation in which many of the most critical decisions were made by young soldiers. The narrative adds context to these decisions and necessarily reflects on their aftermath, consequences and, most critically, the lessons they contain.
Complete 197-page paper at the link.

11-06-2008, 05:42 AM
"Getting the ROE wrong could be the difference between a charge of murder or a medal for bravery. Unlike conventional war, soldiers were not authorised to hunt, corner and kill."

No offensive operations. The end of snipers in other than conventional operations. It is a billet that is doomed to the stack heap of history, and the pressure on the enlisted ranks increases in exponential proportions. This is an interesting read. Thanks for providing it.

Jim Rodgers
04-24-2009, 09:52 PM
A white paper is little to get excited about, but it is Anzac day.


05-02-2009, 06:41 AM
Apparently 12 new subs (when we can only man 2 of the 6 we have now) and 100 JSF will let us do anything we want :confused:

As someone who wears green I guess I expected a return to the navy/air force answer to everything from this government. Seems to be lots of options still requiring development within the Army section in terms of force structure and capability etc.

Can't wait to see something beyond the UNCLAS version ... I may have a reasonable post-staff college future after all if this line is to be believed.

The Army will require a greater ability to operate in proximity to civilian populations. The Government has decided that it will further develop the ADF's capacity to deploy specialists to conduct field intelligence and information operations.


07-11-2010, 11:39 AM
There was an article about this matter in the Australian Army Journal:

Australian Army Journal Autumn 2008 (http://www.defence.gov.au/army/lwsc/Docs/AAJ_Vol_V_No_1_book_PRESS2.pdf)

07-12-2010, 06:16 AM
Ultimately, that army as with all the other land forces of the Anglosphere exists as an instrument of national policy, and not as a tool for the lads to go off and get their jollies. Should the desire for close combat be so great, there are ways and means for those individuals who desire it so greatly to gain that experience should their own nation's policies be unpalatable.

Having spent a bit of time with teams and individuals from those land forces that are more closely engaged in close combat, if there is any implication of institutional cowardice as claimed above, I would suggest that it either comes from those not worth listening to or simply exists in the minds of some of those who think their nation's policies should be more martial.

I doubt that there are many who doubt that the RAInf (or any other corps) will not hold up its end of the stick if called upon to do so...

11-07-2011, 02:52 PM
Of current interest is the US force restructure and how it would see Australia as a "place to base" and what involvement in terms of basing and training within Australia our American readers would see as likely outcomes?

The view in Australia is that the most likely basing options are Darwin and Perth for the navy, with some ground based training at Bradshaw field, Cultana and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

Is any Pacific Rim engagement likely to be naval and USMC centric or is it likely to be tri-service as all three compete for the same pot of money?

Finally, does the Okinawa/Guam restructure mean that US forces are looking for training real estate?

Thanks in advance for any help.



11-11-2011, 07:55 PM

From this faraway vantage point I do recall that Australia has been for a long time the home to a range of ostensibly shared intelligence facilities - although my source is Desmond Ball's now dated book published in 1980 'A Valuable Piece of Real Estate'.

Secondly I understood the USA had made limited, temporary use of Australian bases in the last twenty years, mainly by the USN and USAF.

I noted today The Daily Telegraph ran a short story, which opens with:
President Barack Obama is expected to reveal plans to station about 500 to 1000 Marines at a barracks in Darwin and to expand the US navy's use of bases at the Northern Territory capital and in Perth in Western Australia.

It cites a former Australian official, now a professor:
In Washington and in Beijing, this will be seen as Australia aligning itself with an American strategy to contain China...In the view from Beijing, everything the US is doing in the western Pacific is designed to bolster resistance to the Chinese challenge to US primacy.


Personally I don't think the potential new facilities, not bases, have a role in the strategic equation
to bolster resistance to the Chinese challenge

11-17-2011, 11:16 AM
Two alternative Australian responses to the newly announced policy:
Yet, I wonder if future historians will see this as the moment where Australia fundamentally cast its lot in with the US.


We have been on the ride that Andrew refers to for some time; it just got a little faster.


A third article 'Why Washington wants a base here' is a succinct guide and points at the potential impact in the Indian Ocean:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2011/11/15/Why-Washington-wants-an-Australian-base.aspx

11-17-2011, 11:45 AM
A background article on the Australian-US alliance, which opens with the 1943 DoD advice for US troops going to Australia:
You're going to meet a people who like Americans and whom you will like. The Australians have much in common with us – they're a pioneer people: they believe in personal freedom: they love sports...But there are a lot of differences too – like tea, central heating, the best way to send Sunday morning, or saluting officers and such. You'll find out about all those, but the main point is they like us, and we like them.


One trusts that the USMC facilities in Darwin have central heating!

11-17-2011, 08:42 PM
Analysts say China stung by defence pact

CHINESE defence analysts have condemned what they see as Australia's contribution to the growing security rivalry between the US and China, noting that Darwin is comfortably within range of Chinese ballistic missiles.

But unofficial analysts and the media yesterday described the new Darwin base as a major step in American efforts to ''contain China'' by creating a ''net'' of defence ties stretching from Japan to Australia and India and including most of south-east Asia.


Asia Pushes Back Against China

Beijing is caught in a diplomatic bear trap of its own making. After trying to bully the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) into not discussing disputes over the South China Sea at a summit this weekend in Bali, the territorial dispute is becoming the meeting's focus. ......

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203611404577043792580820370.html?m od=googlenews_wsj

Mark O'Neill
11-18-2011, 12:11 AM
A background article on the Australian-US alliance, which opens with the 1943 DoD advice for US troops going to Australia:


One trusts that the USMC facilities in Darwin have central heating!

Darwin has 'central heating' built into the climate... it is in the Tropics. The weather there makes Miami look like Green Bay...

Backwards Observer
11-18-2011, 03:54 AM
Stone the flamin' crows China, shut yer flippin' yap!

Australia tells China not to interfere


"Number one position from us, and it's based in absolute reality, is that this enhanced set of arrangements with the United States are not directed at any one country," he said.

At the same time, Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking China expert and former prime minister, warned Beijing not to get involved in Australian policy decisions.
"Let's just be very blunt about it, we are not going to have our national security policy dictated by any other external power. That's a sovereign matter for Australia," he said.

"We don't seek to dictate to the Chinese what their national security policy should be. Therefore this must be advanced on the basis of mutual respect."

Australia Tells China Not To Interfere (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gN5hT3sTwJrm25AmJ92EYN_kPMCQ?docId=CNG.644ab b4455fc9c3e9d6a21ef0f7ee346.d1) - AFP - Nov 18, 2011.


In previous non-interference news:

Al-Qaeda 'praying for Obama win'


The man who wants to be the first black US president has pledged to withdraw US troops from Iraq by March 2008, a timetable Mr Howard believes is dangerous.

"I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for (an) Obama victory," Mr Howard told the Nine Network.

"If I was running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats."

Al-Qaeda 'Praying For Obama Win' (http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/al-qaeda-praying-for-obama-win/story-e6frfkp9-1111112976069) - news.com.au - Feb 11, 2007.


If China is sincere about Confucian values and not just engaging in rhetorical legerdemain, she should probably take this opportunity to radically recalibrate what is realistically achievable in an international scene largely characterised by vacuous egotism, shameless hypocrisy, crippling greed and a wilfully debilitating ignorance.

A measured policy of defensive disengagement coupled with an attention to the well-being of the Chinese people may be prudent for the foreseeable future, meanwhile salvaging what is left of her virtues after decades of brutal authoritarianism.

If China's rise is indeed peaceful, this should be self-evident from her political behaviour, just as it would be for any other nation. "He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few more impossible things to consider before breakfast.

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland.

Backwards Observer
11-21-2011, 08:03 AM
Pentagon Adds Military Force to Fight Cyber-Attacks

The Pentagon reports it reserves the right to use military force against cyber-attacks, taking a stronger offensive approach against the newest threats to homeland security.

Pentagon Adds Military Force to Fight Cyber-Attacks (http://www.forbes.com/sites/mobiledia/2011/11/17/pentagon-adds-military-force-to-fight-cyber-attacks/) - Forbes - Nov 17, 2011.


China using WA satellite station to track navy

A SATELLITE ground station in the West Australian desert is being used by the Chinese military to help locate Australian and US navy warships in the region, an expert has warned.

The explosive claim has been made by the nation's foremost expert on space-based espionage, Des Ball, who says the government may have unwittingly acted against the national interest by allowing China to use the ground station at Mingenew to track Beijing's space satellites.

``This ground station would help China's space-based listening devices to more precisely locate the electronic emissions from aircraft carriers, destroyers and other navy ships,'' Professor Ball told The Australian.

``We're talking serious stuff here . . . why was the construction of this station never announced?''

China using WA satellite station to track navy (http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/top-stories/china-using-wa-satellite-station-to-track-navy/story-e6frg12l-1226197224129) - Perth Now - Nov 16, 2011.


Does this explain the USMC presence in Darwin? They're prepping for an attack on the verdomme quislings in Western Australia? Interesting times...or something.

11-21-2011, 11:28 AM
Good to know Des Ball is still active in this field.

He is an expert, I am an observer and find this very strange. The facility in Western Australia, there are two sites at Dongara, which are part of the Swedish-owned Swedish Space Corporation's PrioraNet satellite monitoring network. There are five similar stations in the USA and of the three network control stations two are in the USA. See:http://www.sscspace.com/products-services/satellite-management-services/ground-network-prioranet-1/prioranet-sites

One site, Dongara West:
is owned, operated and maintained by SSC’s US-based subsidiary, Universal Space Network (“USN”). USN functions under a US Government Special Security Agreement (SSA) and primarily serves US-Government and commercial customers.

Whilst Dongara East is:
owned and maintained by SSC’s Australia-based subsidiary, SSC Space Australia. The station is operated from the SSC main station in northern Sweden at the Esrange Space Center. The Dongara East Satellite Station primarily serves government agencies and commercial customers.

I would assume in the event of damaging circumstances this network would be prone to "extended maintenance", if not outright cessation.

What is curious is whether the Australian government knew what was happening. Clearly the "informed public" did not.

Backwards Observer
11-22-2011, 08:50 AM
Can't. keep. up. with. events!

Joint army exercises with China 'a possibility'

Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, November 22.

AUSTRALIA and the US have embraced the idea of future joint military exercises with Chinese forces in the Top End.


In Bali during the ASEAN summit, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono raised with Julia Gillard the possibility of Australia and the US inviting China to take part in exercises as a way to reduce tension with Beijing over the presence of marines in Darwin.

US ambassador Jeffrey Bleich told The Australian yesterday that inclusion of units from the People's Liberation Army in exercises was the sort of co-operation that could ultimately emerge as the US military training presence in Australia was stepped up.

Asked if he could envisage exercises in which Chinese soldiers trained in Australia with those from the ADF and the US, Mr Bleich said that was possible.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Dr Yudhoyono's proposal of trilateral exercises involving Australia, China and the US were "interesting and a positive suggestion for possible consideration in the long term".
Mr Bleich said the US had made it very clear to China that it wanted to bolster military ties between the two countries. "The more we share information, the more we train together, the more we communicate, the less likely it is that anyone's going to misunderstand one another," Mr Bleich said.

"And if issues do arise it's much easier to pick up the phone and talk to someone who you know, who you've worked with, who you trust to resolve those issues.

"That's part of what training accomplishes. It gives you a rapport, an understanding and a trust between forces."

Joint Army Exercises With China A Possibility (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/joint-army-exercises-with-china-a-possibility/story-e6frg8yo-1226201822598) - The Australian - Nov 22, 2011.

alternate link (http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=joint%20army%20exercises&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnation al-affairs%2Fdefence%2Fjoint-army-exercises-with-china-a-possibility%2Fstory-e6frg8yo-1226201822598&ei=p2HLToTcAcL4mAXxyJzODQ&usg=AFQjCNEYCJeKF_bxJ7Xh2Juc0KPXouh9xw) - (google news)

Backwards Observer
11-23-2011, 05:22 AM
Once again, one reads with increasingly milder disbelief a measured piece of analysis in The Jakarta Post:

News analysis: Wither the Community, arise East Asia rivalry

If Indonesia and ASEAN had any pretensions that its touted East Asia Community could manage a dynamic equilibrium in avoiding a dreaded Cold War-like rivalry of alliances, then such notions were thrown halfway out the window last week.

Sandwiched between two major summits, APEC in Honolulu and the East Asia Summit in Bali, US President Barack Obama’s formal announcement of heightened military presence through a Darwin military base is a marker for what could be a drawn-out era of intra-regional rivalry.

The US, Australia, the Philippines (and more timidly Singapore and India), on the one side, versus a rising China on the other. While most of Southeast Asia caught in the middle being dragged one way or another.

Wither the Community, Arise East Asia Rivalry (http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/11/21/news-analysis-wither-community-arise-east-asia-rivalry.html) - The Jakarta Post - Nov 21, 2011.


Also relatively lucid:

The USA is here to stay

China's extraordinary economic growth in recent decades has led to considerable speculation about whether its rise will continue to be peaceful and the impact it will have on the existing world order.

Its strong performance has been contrasted in more recent times by the economic struggles of the world's super power, the United States.

This has led some pundits to theorise that the US may become a lesser force in the Asia Pacific, particularly as China's military build-up continues and it develops greater naval capability.


Commentators continue to pose the hypothetical that if there were military conflict between the US and China, Australia would have to choose between its closest military and strategic ally and its biggest economic and trading partner.

The closer integration of the US and Chinese economies makes this an unlikely scenario.

A more reasonable assessment is that Australia will continue to maintain its close historical and strategic relationship with the US and work assiduously to maintain the mutually beneficial economic relationship with China.

The Bishop's Gambit (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-bishops-gambit/the-usa-is-here-to-stay-20111123-1ntc8.html) - Sydney Morning Herald - Nov 23, 2011.

Let's face it, in World War 'Nam, the gringos are inevitably going to circle the wagons and send out foragers. One can only pray they know what they're doing.:)

12-23-2011, 12:25 AM
To those "down under" maybe not a surprise. Sino-Australian defence co-operation carries on - after recent agreement on US basing - well, well. Chinese defence diplomacy has appeared elsewhere on SWC.


04-04-2012, 05:23 PM
US troops have landed in Darwin.

Await Chinese reactions!

04-04-2012, 05:49 PM
Abu M's commentary is not an April Fool's comment, but it takes a rather unusual method to deliver a critique of the USMC arriving in Darwin. A taster:
...inevitably, well-meaning U.S. Marines will offend Australians by asking awkward questions, like, "Why are all your rugby players from Fiji?"


Ken White
04-04-2012, 08:15 PM
Abu M's commentary is not an April Fool's comment...It's just a little too cute... :rolleyes:

Fortunately, most Strynes will ignore him. They tend to ignore all Pommy condescension. As they should. :wry:

Mark O'Neill
04-04-2012, 10:53 PM
There is one current Wallaby who was born in Fiji, Radike Samo..

It is a bit like asking 'Why are all the kickers in the NFL Australian...' (well, the good ones, anyway...)

He was pretty much right about the rest of it......

But he forgot to mention that after FM3-XX / MCWFP 3-33.XX Counterdingo operations is published (after a celeb launch hosted by Eliot Cohen and featuring the re-formation of the CNAS COIN expert band with Ricks on backing vocals) we will studiously ignore it... until we next send a bright up-and -coming grad student to SAMS / Quantico who will come back with a 'new' idea that will look something like it and subsequently inform our conceptual force development for the next decade. After some 'unique' grammar laundering to make it look Australian.

Move along... no cultural cringe to see here...

04-04-2012, 11:16 PM
I'm not an expert on Australia - US relationships, but apart from needlessly provoking China, what exactly is the point of this deployment?

I know China is the only justification for massive expenditures by the US Navy and Airforce, but China isn't exactly the Soviet Union. Australia's economy is heavily dependent on the Chinese and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Thousands of Chinese students study in Australia etc.

What message are the Australians and Americans trying to send to the Chinese and is it a pointless message?

Ken White
04-05-2012, 03:22 AM
Move along... no cultural cringe to see here...I'm also not an expert or even mildly knowledgeable about Australia - US relationships but my limited experience with Australians leads me to suggest to an Australian, no less, that cultural cringe with reference to Australians is perhaps an oxymoron... ;)

I cannot believe you guys are wasting time and money on SAMS... :eek:

Mark O'Neill
04-05-2012, 04:24 AM
I cannot believe you guys are wasting time and money on SAMS... :eek:

Ken, Hence my point about cringe...

It is often discussed here in Australia how we as a society have continually sought 'affirmation' or 'inspiration' from others. To some extent that has also been true of our military thinking. Until 1942 ,we looked to the UK for this, since then , more so the US. A good example of this trait was our wholesale embrace of the 'Pentomic' Division rubbish in the 60s...

Ken White
04-05-2012, 06:11 AM
...the 'Pentomic' Division rubbish in the 60s...It wasn't totally rubbish. As a plank owner in the very first Pentomic Airborne Infantry Combat Group (later to be a Battle Group), it wasn't nearly as bad as painted. The concept was not properly applicable to Mechanized or Armored organizations (a minor reason for its demise) as the US Army understood Armor. However, it was a good fit for Parachute units * and an acceptable one for other walking Infantry -- the difference being the relative quality of troops at the time.

The concept suffered from being designed and activated in the Mid '50s to use equipment that did not become available until the mid 60s. That was after the experiment was ended and we had reverted to Regiments (to be falsely renamed Brigades and which had no need for much of the equipment designed for a different type of organization...). That reversion and the demise of the concept was principally due to vociferous opposition from the Colonels of the US Army who, mostly, were not physically capable of keeping up with the required foot mobility nor tactically flexible enough to employ the units to best advantage and who really objected to being told to command a 14-15 hundred man unit instead of a 3-4,000 man regiment with three or more subordinate Lieutenant Colonels. Then Colonel Frederick C. Weyand, Commander of the 1st BG, 6th Infantry and later to be CofS, Army was one of the major players in that; he had a lot of help. There were other issues. CSS for a fairly important one, Division Staffs (pretty mujch unchanged from the old triangular Div Hq organization) unwilling to tolerate the flexibility and independence required of the Battle Groups was another...

The bottom line is that if one is going to radically restructure one's force, one should lay the foundation for proper personnel support and rules, equipment and logistics BEFORE activating the new units.

Oh -- and better training is always a plus... ;)

* Both US Airborne Divisions were reasonably successful in their employment of the concept, due primarily to much younger leaders at all levels than was the US Army norm at the time. Even they suffered from the equipment, CSS and Colonel attitude issues though. Those who then said and now say that there is no need for parachute units (but who have not yet figured out another way to move a few thousand troops over hostile territory to a very distant objective or operating area) saw that and an insured that the airborne elements were drug into the mainstream Army 'system' and that time in service and time in grade became prime promotion criteria, competence was not an issue...:rolleyes:

Bill Moore
10-28-2012, 07:08 AM

Within only a few years, Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, it will also be the world’s largest consumer of them. It is already the most populous region in the world. In the future, it will also be home to the majority of the world’s middle class.

The Asian century is an Australian opportunity. As the global centre of gravity shifts to our region, the tyranny of distance is being replaced by the prospects of proximity. Australia is located in the right place at the right time—in the Asian region in the Asian century.

Recommend reading the Executive Summary and Chapter 8 at a minimum if you are interested in strategic and defense views in the Asia-Pacific.

10-28-2012, 06:37 PM
Good catch Bill M., as this White paper was only unveiled on Friday afternoon by Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister.

I rely on the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, for awareness on Australian and Pacific matters. From their pre-release comment:
This White Paper will be a signature foreign policy document for Prime Minister Gillard. If it hits the mark, it could come to be seen as a milestone for Australia's relations with Asia. Or it could be just another quickly forgotten government report.


So a few selected sentences from their commentary:
The language of the speech and the White Paper is lofty and inspirational. The PM's speech is titled 'History asks great nations great questions', and the White Paper itself calls the Asian century 'a truly transformative period in our history' and 'a transformation as profound as any that have defined Australia throughout our history'.

...there is very little sense of the risks of the Asian century.

The PM's description of Asia's explosive growth and the opportunities it offers was never accompanied by any warnings about the potential downsides, particularly the fact that Australia's relative influence in the region will decline as the region's developing economies continue their explosive growth

The commentary:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/10/28/PMs-Australia-in-the-Asian-Century-White-Paper-launch-First-impressions.aspx

10-29-2012, 10:12 AM
New initiative to allow all Australian children to learn Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese or Bahasa

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/world/initiative+allow+Australian+children+learn+Mandari n+Hindi+Japanese/7459526/story.html#ixzz2AgHXDSAp

04-12-2014, 01:47 PM
Yes, another reading & film list, this one by Australia's top soldier in 2012. It is rather long at 121 pgs., partly as there are two long reprinted essays at the start, from a 'Digger' from 1965 and USMC General Paul Riper from 2006.


From the preface:
As Chief of Army my first priority is to ensure the Army’s soldiers are fully prepared to meet the challenges presented by current and future operations.

This is best achieved through appropriate force structures, equipment and
maintaining our combat skills through robust training in foundation warfighting.
This requires physical strength and fitness. Just as important, a capacity to engage in a dialogue about the future operating environment and the future of Army is also essential; this is intellectual fitness.

Intellectual fitness may be achieved in a number of ways including participation in robust debate, being open to new ideas, being creative, thinking critically and having a desire to challenge the status quo. We must question our assumptions and form opinions that will stand up to rigorous scrutiny. This is enabled by a knowledge base built on experience and study.

This reading list has been designed to provide all ranks with a guide to publications relevant to the study of the profession of arms. Many of the publications listed are historical in nature, the study of history being important in broadening perspectives and in providing a start point to understand and shape the future. As in previous reading lists this edition is divided into themes varying from culture and conflict to strategy and doctrine. A novel addition is a feature films section.

This list provides a tool to help meet the challenging needs of our profession. Take time to read, enjoy it while you are doing so, and take pride in the fact that you are improving yourself as a member of our noble profession.

In a search I found Jedburgh had posted in 2009 An Australian COIN reading list, but the link no longer works, perhaps this list has replaced it?

I have skimmed the two essays, the recommended website list and the films - of which a good number I have seen.

The only big error is that this website is absent!:(

04-16-2014, 09:52 PM
Hat tip to Kaur for locating a working link:http://web.archive.org/web/20091122154445/http://www.defence.gov.au/army/lwsc/docs/WP_135.pdf

05-24-2017, 09:39 AM
The December 2014 siege of a Sydney city centre cafe has probably disappeared from the view of readers here, but there has been a long coroner's inquest and it issued its final report yesterday. Key points being:
That said, Barnes identified deficiencies in the response, among them:

The “contain and negotiate” police response to the siege failed.
Commanders underestimated the threat Monis posed.
There was some confusion around the lines of command.
Negotiators had received little, if any, specialist training about how to deal with terrorists and did not explore options to communicate with Monis.
The consultant psychiatrist made erroneous and unrealistic assessments of what was occurring in the stronghold, and permitted to go beyond his area of expertise to give advice about Islamic terrorism
Commanders dismissal of a deliberate action strategy was based on flawed advice.

Link:https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2017/may/24/sydney-lindt-cafe-siege-inquest-coroner-delivers-his-findings-live? (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2017/may/24/sydney-lindt-cafe-siege-inquest-coroner-delivers-his-findings-live?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=227406&subid=10047113&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2)

The actual report (495 pgs) and no I have not read it:http://www.lindtinquest.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/findings-and-recommendations.pdf

SWJ Blog
07-12-2017, 07:20 PM
'Land, Kill and Leave': How Australian Special Forces Helped Lose the War in Afghanistan (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/land-kill-and-leave-how-australian-special-forces-helped-lose-the-war-in-afghanistan)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/land-kill-and-leave-how-australian-special-forces-helped-lose-the-war-in-afghanistan) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

SWJ Blog
07-17-2017, 03:03 PM
Australia’s Special Forces Deserve Respect, Not Cheap Shots (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/australia%E2%80%99s-special-forces-deserve-respect-not-cheap-shots)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/australia%E2%80%99s-special-forces-deserve-respect-not-cheap-shots) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

01-07-2018, 04:39 PM
...I grew up with. This espionage thriller serial ranks with Smiley's People in quality, conception and class. It's a slow burner to be sure, unlike US TV series (the amazing and, unfortunately, short-lived Rubicon (http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo2uckG-4j4)being the exception), and it's all the better for it. Touching on themes such as cyber security, Australian defence policy (nice faux debate over the Soryu class SSK), civil liberties vs the all encompassing surveillance state and Chinese cultural influence in Australia the mini-series never feels overly convoluted. The characters are all, bar one, pretty well fleshed out and well rounded. In all honestly I only watched it because Anna Torv :o happens to be in it...but I'm glad I did. Like the equally, if not so grounded / believable Norwegian drama Okkupert (http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfqRRHaFyJg)(roll on Series 2!), this one looks at contemporary issues with verve and, given the themes, some courage.


Advert for Secret City:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcaNPvJ4yus