"Defender": Spring 2005

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.


Cover Page



Old lessons being relearnt ... again: Australia recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in much more fluid strategic circumstances than at any time since at least the 30th anniversary. The marked run-down in defence capabilities over the last 30 years in particular must be reversed. Further Lotus-land thinking risks us having to relearn the bitter lessons of defeat and the price of eventual victory and peace as we had to in 1939-45. Assuming of course we are not prevented from so learning as a conquered or otherwise strategically cowed people.


The key lesson of the Latham experiment is surely that no political party should again offer a candidate for national leadership so intellectually unprepared for the international dimensions of governing Australia.

Much of the controversy over new counter-terrorism measures reflects a poor knowledge of Australian history and the constitutional principles involved. Calm and rational public debate is needed not the knee-jerk claims of uninformed 'civil liberties' lobbyists and the bogus and self-serving ranting of Islamist extremists. Genuine discrimination concerns among Australia's mainstream Muslims, and unfounded popular fears that all Muslims pose a terrorist risk, are not allayed by the silly claims being aired.

The new reforms to our counter-terrorism, sedition and citizenship laws are justified, reasonable and constitutional, and do not constitute an over-reaction by the Commonwealth and State governments. Indeed, the swift agreement to the measures by the nine disparate governments involved testifies to the nature of the threat and to their confidence in the checks and balances incorporated.

Sixty years after World War II Japan's continued refusal to face its past, as Germany has long done, still affects strategic stability across the Asia-Pacific region. With the end of the Cold War and the rise of China, Japan's real acceptance in modern Asia will not advance until young Japanese are taught the truth about the many atrocities committed by Japan in the 1931-45 period and the atrocity of their continued denial.

There are sound moral, operational and equity reasons why Australia employs females so broadly in the defence force. For the same balance of reasons such employment, by necessity, is not total.


Has Australia Gone Soft on Communist China by Professor Paul Dibb

Australia's Defence to 2045: The Macro-economic Outlook by Dr Ken Henry (Secretary to the Treasury)

The Limits of Multiculturalism by Tony Parkinson

The Meaning of VJ-Day by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, Peter Ryan, Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville McNamara and Joan Dowson

Seapower and Joint-Force Synergy by Rear Admiral Mark Bonser


The Somme by Professor Robin Prior and Dr Trevor Wilson
(reviewed by Dr Peter Stanley)

Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders by Professor Gerhard L. Weinberg
(reviewed by Michael O'Connor)

Strategic Command: General Sir John Wilton and Australia's Asian Wars by Professor David Horner
(reviewed by Professor Jeffrey Grey)

The Brotherhood of Airmen: The Men and Women of the RAAF in Action, 1914–Today
by Dr Trevor Wilson
 (reviewed by Air Commodore Mark Lax)

The Amazing SAS: The Inside Story of Australia's Special Forces by Ian McPhedran
(reviewed by Stuart Ellis)

Plunging Point: Intelligence Failures, Cover-ups and Consequences by Lance Collins and Warren Reed
(reviewed by Neil James)

Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Dr Robert Pape
(reviewed by Tony LeRay-Meyer)

The Interrogators: Task Force 500 and America's Secret War Against Al Qa'eda 
by Chris Mackey and Greg Miller
(reviewed by Neil James)

Thunder From the Silent Zone: Rethinking China by Dr Paul Monk
(reviewed by Dr Brian Ridge)

Australian and US Military Co-operation: Fighting Common Enemies by Dr Christopher Hubbard 
(reviewed by Dr Hugh Smith)