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Old 11-26-2005   #1
SWJED
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Default Australia: Forward Defence

26 Nov. editorial in The Australian: Forward Defence.

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... 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.
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Old 12-17-2005   #2
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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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Old 05-27-2006   #3
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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.
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Old 05-28-2006   #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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Old 07-25-2007   #5
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Default AFP to Form Paramilitary Wing

26 July The Australian - AFP to Form Paramilitary Wing by Mark Dodd.

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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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Old 08-03-2007   #6
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Default

Can we get some more info on this one? Who are our folks from down under?

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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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Old 08-03-2007   #7
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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.
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Old 08-03-2007   #8
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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.
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Old 08-03-2007   #9
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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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Old 08-04-2007   #10
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Default Some explanatory points

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.

Last edited by Mark O'Neill; 08-04-2007 at 01:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-04-2007   #11
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Default

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:
Quote:
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
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Old 08-04-2007   #12
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
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.

Best,

Mark

Last edited by Mark O'Neill; 08-04-2007 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spelling check
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Old 08-04-2007   #13
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Default

Mark,
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 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
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Old 09-23-2007   #14
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Default Canberra to Sign Security Pact with NATO

Canberra to Sign Security Pact with NATO - David Nason, The Australian

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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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Old 05-28-2008   #15
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Default Australian Troops Want to See Real Action in Iraq

Australian Troops Want to See Real Action in Iraq - Reuters.

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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

Quote:
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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Old 05-29-2008   #16
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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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Old 05-29-2008   #17
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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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Old 05-30-2008   #18
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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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Old 08-29-2008   #19
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Default ADF Capability Review: C4ISR(EW)

ASPI, 28 Aug 08: ADF Capability Review: C4ISR(EW)
Quote:
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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Old 09-01-2008   #20
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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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