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  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Australia: catch all

    26 Nov. editorial in The Australian: Forward Defence.

    ... 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.

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Australia: A Bigger, Better Army

    16 Dec. The Australian editorial - A Bigger, Better Army.

    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...

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    Default Diggers in East Timor

    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 follows...

    Aussie Troops Take Control in Dili

    Aussie Troops Lock Down Flashpoints

    Rebels: Once More Into the Hills

    Army to Use Lethal Force if Attacked

    Complex Task to Restore Stability

    A Tough Task, and It'll Take Time

    Back for Good

    On Edit: Here are some official links:

    Australia Department of Defence

    Australian Army

    Royal Australian Navy

    Royal Australian Air Force

    Australian Defence Force Peacekeeping Centre
    Last edited by SWJED; 05-27-2006 at 11:02 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default The Australian Defence Page

    The Australian (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.

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    Default AFP to Form Paramilitary Wing

    26 July The Australian - AFP to Form Paramilitary Wing 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...

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default

    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 ..................?

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    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.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Talking I know but...

    Steve,
    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.

  9. #9
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Smile Steve, good point on service culture

    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.

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Canberra to Sign Security Pact with NATO

    Canberra to Sign Security Pact with NATO - 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...

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    Default Australian Troops Want to See Real Action in Iraq

    Australian Troops Want to See Real Action in Iraq - 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 - 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...
    Last edited by SWJED; 05-28-2008 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Added Times Quote and Link.

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    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Shame

    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.

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    Default on the other hand...

    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.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

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    Default

    There was an article about this matter in the Australian Army Journal:

    Australian Army Journal Autumn 2008

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    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...

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    Default ADF Capability Review: C4ISR(EW)

    ASPI, 28 Aug 08: ADF Capability Review: C4ISR(EW)
    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.....

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    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default Which works perfectly if the intel that you wish to

    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.

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    Default Australian Defense Buildup

    A white paper is little to get excited about, but it is Anzac day.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...10-601,00.html

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    Default US basing in Australia?

    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.

    Best

    Badmash

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