"Defender": Autumn 2006

The complete issue may be downloaded here. Individual pdf versions of key commentary, articles and reviews may be downloaded below. The Major Furphy column may be downloaded separately from the Major Furphy page.


Sifting the moral chaff from the wheat: The continuing controversy over AWB Limited's contravention of the UN sanctions on Iraq has missed an important point. At the same time as this was occurring, including when AWB was still a government instrumentality, the ADF was helping enforce the sanctions. Heads should roll and this should never be allowed to happen again. (Full editorial is available on above link).


The third anniversary of the US-led collective intervention in Iraq saw a resurgence of opinionating that the war is lost. The basic answer to the question 'is the war lost?' is that it is far too early to tell.

Some baby boomers are unfortunately forming their understanding of Australia's current strategic situation through the prism of their participation in anti-Vietnam war movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This is a triumph of nostalgia over intellectual effort and objectivity.

If Australia needs to maintain ground forces in southern Iraq after their current tasks are completed in mid 2006 then the Government needs to explain the strategic rationale for this much better than it is doing so now.

Informed public debate on which next-generation combat aircraft Australia should buy is being hamstrung by the refusal of the Department of Defence and the RAAF to contribute properly to the debate. Do they have something to hide?

The troops we have committed overseas are generally well-equipped but this is largely because there are so few of them. A major reason why there are so few of them is because we do not have enough equipment (or troops) to deploy and sustain larger numbers.

There are too many conferences being run in the defence and wider national security arena. Government departments and agencies should stop giving commercial conference organisers a free ride.

Calls for the return of national service are not justified in Australia's current strategic circumstances. There are better and cheaper ways to overcome the defence force's recruiting and retention shortfalls.


A Certain Future: Demographic Constraints on Our Defence by Simon Smith

With the Gift of Hindsight: Recruiting and Retaining the Young by Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall (Retd)

Uranium Sales to India: What Should Australia's Price Be? by Dr Ron Huisken

The Seditious Activities of Wilfred Burchett by Brigadier Phil Greville (Retd)

Australian Citizenship: Worth Promoting, Worth Defending by the Hon Peter Costello

RAMSI and State Building in Solomon Islands by Dr Michael Fullilove

Reforming Papua New Guinea's Police by Michael O'Connor


Vets at War: A History of the Australian Army Veterinary Corps 1909–1946 by Ian M. Parsonson
(reviewed by Dr Malcolm Kennedy)

A Man of Intelligence: The Life of Captain Eric Neave – Australian Codebreaker Extraordinary
by Dr Ian Pfennigwerth
(reviewed by Ron Bonighton)

Shaft of the Spear: Evolution of the RAAF Technical Services to the End of the Second World War
by Group Captain Gregory Grantham and Air Commodore Edward J. Bushell
(reviewed by Group Captain Bob Bartram (Retd))

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Captain Nathaniel Fick, USMC
(reviewed by Ian Kuring)

Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the US Army by Kayla Williams
(reviewed by Dr Kathryn Spurling)

Righteous Violence: The Ethics and Politics of Military Intervention
edited by Professor Tony Coady and Dr Michael O'Keefe
(reviewed by Dr Tom Frame)

Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response by Aaron J. Klein
(reviewed by Ted Lapkin)

Arthur Tange: Last of the Mandarins by Professor Peter Edwards
(reviewed by Neil James)

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