Category Archives: Defence/Security

RICHARD TANTER and BUSINES INSIDER INDIA. Darwin, the Marines, and touring the American empire of bases

The idea of ‘US imperialism’ may be seen as a fiction of the ideological left, or as an overblown presentation of the presence of a few US bases in different countries. But the US military does indeed operate on a … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE- Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm.

Remembrance is morphing into  acceptance of conflict. The culture war about remembrance being waged by conservatives and the military is winning with little opposition.  The never ending stories of Gallipoli, the Western front and Armistice go on and on. We are … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 8 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Has the Cavalcade of Commemoration Finally Halted?

With Remembrance Day behind us we may finally have some relief from the relentless commemoration of conflict which began twenty years ago and climaxed with the centenary of the First World War. Historians of the future may well wonder where … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 6 Comments

GREG BARTON. Morrison wants Muslim leaders to do more to prevent terrorism, but what more can they do? (The Conversation)

With the simple statement “more needs to happen”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was emphatic. In the wake of the terror attack on the crowded streets of Melbourne’s CBD last Friday, it is difficult to argue against any plan to do … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

PETER STANLEY. PM Hughes said ‘I bid you go fight for White Australia in France’- WW1 as the war for White Australia

Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 Australians’ racial anxiety towards Asia in general and  Japan in particular in the decade before 1914 made Australians’ political leaders prepared to underwrite an imperial war … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. The politicisation of remembrance

In Australia there is a highly selective regime of remembrance that chooses to exclude the Frontier Wars that killed large numbers of indigenous Australians, and also the many unsavoury aspects of war such as the mistreatment of women by our … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. The Turnbull Legacy Hour

Malcolm Turnbull appeared on a special edition of the ABC’s QandA last Thursday. Charming, at times evavise and polite as ever, we didn’t learn much, but is this the end of his political career as he claims, or the beginning … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. Armistice and Remembrance Day in Australia

The signing of the armistice at 11 am on 11/11/1918 did not raise great enthusiasm among members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), because their first thought was for sleep. It then took a year for the battlefield silence to … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. For Armistice Day: Lest we forget the realities of the Armistice

Armistice Day dawns. Supposedly, it marks ‘the end of the First World War’. It was not. There was no peace. Wars and civil conflicts continued to rage across Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Moreover, the victors cruelly maintained … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has become a ‘go to’ organisation for anti Chinese commentary A repost

The important agents of influence in Australia are organisations linked ‘hip to hip’ to the US and its military/industrial complex. One of these is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which is an enthusiastic supporter of almost all things American including … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 5 Comments

DEAN ASHENDEN. Don’t mention the war (Inside Story, 05.11.18)

The Australian War Memorial and its embarrassing director Brendan Nelson are getting some of what they deserve, but only some. The AWM’s (successful) bid for half a billion public dollars to house its tribute to those who have served and … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. What are the real lessons of the First World War?

The Centenary of the Armistice of 1918 is almost upon us. There will be sincere and solemn events. But prepare also for a hurricane of media puffery, a cascade of clichés, narrow nationalism, the familiar medley of cheers and tears … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 14 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Time to pull the curtain on memorial industry (Canberra Times 3.11.2018)

A fairly safe rule of public life is that the more flag lapels one wears, and the more one speaks of love of country or national greatness, the less likely the person has served in the nation’s armed forces and … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 6 Comments

DAVID STEPHENS. A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions

There has been for some time an air of inevitability about the extensions to the Australian War Memorial, a project announced on Thursday by the Prime Minister and Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson. Serious questions remain, however, about this grandiose … Continue reading

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NICK DEANE. Armistice Day

On ‘Remembrance Day’ we should not forget that the majority of war’s casualties are actually non-combatant civilians. We should also remember that the original day was a day of great joy, as warring came to an end. Peace is the … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS. Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability? (Honest History 26.10.2018)

The Senate Hansard for 25 July 2018 contained the Australian War Memorial’s answer to Question 166from the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (FADT) Committee (question asked by then Senator Rhiannon in Estimates). The answer included a table that purported to … Continue reading

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MICHELLE FAHY. Invictus Games do nothing to remedy government failure to properly care for veterans

No amount of royal fairy dust or ministerial speech-making at the Invictus Games can hide the abject failure of successive Australian governments to fulfil their moral responsibility to veterans.

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

MICHELLE FAHY. Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths-the arms trade and the British royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived and the media frenzy has erupted, fuelled by news of the royal pregnancy. As media coverage goes, the Invictus Games team couldn’t have managed it any better. Yet, when it comes to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Sport | 18 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Whose rules? What order?

As baby diplomats we learned always to vote in good company. Countries, we understood, were judged by the company they kept. Not any more. The countries Australia rubs shoulders with now, and the hips we are joined at, make people … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 6 Comments

LOGAN PAULEY. China stakes out a role for itself in post-war Syria.

As Syria’s civil war winds down, China is looking to establish itself as an economic, and possibly military, partner for the post-war period. 

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JON STANFORD. The Future Submarine: Time for a Review

One year ago, Insight Economics, sponsored by Sydney businessman Gary Johnston, published a comprehensive, independent report on the future submarine (FSM) acquisition. Launched at the National Press Club by Professor Hugh White and Dr Michael Keating, the report highlighted the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

REG LITTLE. Rethinking Australian Strategic Thinking on China.

Disarray and confusion amongst the values, ideals, narratives and mythologies of the English-speaking peoples will increasingly press Australia to choose between a familiar past tending to decline and disarray and a challenging and daunting China-focused future.

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

AARON PATRICK. Did 41 Australian soldiers die in Afghanistan for a failed war? (AFR 27.9.2018)

Australia’s bloodiest war ended 100 years ago in melancholy victory. Australia’s most recent war may end in a delayed defeat, raising an awful question: what did 41 Australian soldiers die for?  

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DAVID STEPHENS. The Australian War Memorial admits receiving $1,271,473 over three years in donations from military and defence firms.

During Budget Estimates hearings, then Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW) asked Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, how much the Memorial had received in donations from military and defence firms. The answer covered the years 2015-16, 2016-17, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy | 1 Comment

GREG LOCKHART: Tearing down our heroes.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Dr Brendan Nelson, has inappropriately used his position to criticise Fairfax Media over its reporting of allegations that former Special Air Service (SAS) Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC has committed ‘war crimes’. The … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s nuclear options.

Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be attacked by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. The last time that an atomic weapon was used was to bomb Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. By the end of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Many happy returns of al-Qaeda.

On 11 August 2018 the members of what became al-Qaeda met in Peshawar, Pakistan to form the movement which is now 30 years old. With Osama bin Laden’s money, political vision, religious fervour, and capacity as a modern communicator, it … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 3 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. The need think more seriously about war

Government justifications for major investments in ADF new capability and assertions by defence experts that Australia should substantially expand its defence spending rarely address two important issues. The prospect for military success in a war in East Asia and the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

JUDY HEMMING. The US Marines in Darwin according to precedent: neither in the national, nor the local interest.

Australian Defence Policy, in lockstep with the US as regards “managing” the rise of China, embraces the deployment of US Marine to Darwin as being consistent with the national interest. Where the social fabric of the Northern Territory is concerned, … Continue reading

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American Imperium – Untangling truth and fiction in an age of perpetual war. (Repost from 1/1/2018)

In this article ANDREW BACEVICH says ‘Republicans and Democrats disagree today on many issues, but they are united in their resolve that the United States must remain the world’s greatest military power. This bipartisan commitment to maintaining American supremacy has … Continue reading

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