"Defender": Spring 2006


A pdf of the journal may be downloaded here.  


Are we at war or not and why this matters: Many contemporary debates in Australia have a common underlying theme – differing basic assumptions by the protagonists as to whether Australia is at war or not.


Whether Australia's commitment to Iraq should be continued or wound down is a very complex and nuanced subject. This complexity is not reflected in much of the public debate.

For a range of strategic, diplomatic, military and economic reasons solving the many problems posed by North Korea is not possible without the co-operation of China and South Korea.

Australia has little alternative but to grin and bear it when accused of "neo-colonialism" by crooked and/or incompetent South Pacific leaders.

The Victorian Court of Appeal's reasoning behind its quashing of the terrorist conviction recorded against "Jihad Jack" Thomas poses significant difficulties for Australian police interviewing Australian terrorist suspects detained in foreign countries.

Much of the public condemnation of the control order imposed on Jack Thomas has missed the point.

Will the latest review of management within the Department of Defence be any more successful than all the many other ones over the last 35 years?

Inappropriate video clips posted on the Internet by Australian soldiers returned from Iraq pale into insignificance compared to the video clips posted by the Islamist extremists fighting the forces of the new Iraqi government and its coalition allies.

The report of the Board of Inquiry into the death of Private Jake Kovco should include recommendations about the disgraceful and hurtful reporting of some supposed "defence correspondents", and about the poor standard of weapon handling in the rifle company concerned.

The impending collapse of the Armed Forces Federation of Australia will be a sad day for the ADF. A mix of blind ideology by Ministers and complacency by ADF personnel are the prime causes.


Australia's Security Agenda by John Howard

Reflections and the Path Forward for Defence by Brendan Nelson

Fighting for Talent on a Global Stage: A Five-Point Strategy to Improve Recruitment and Retention
by Dr Nick Jans and Judy Frazer-Jans

Crisis Contingency Plans: The Lebanon Experience by Ian Dudgeon

New Zealand and the 2006 East Timor Crisis by Zhivan Alach

A State of Denial: A Sad Legacy for Future Generations by Air Vice Marshal Peter Criss (Retd)

New Task Force Faces Biggest Killer by Berthold Schwarz


Somme Mud: The War Experiences of an Australian Infantryman in France 1916-1919
by E.F.P. Lynch (edited by Will Davies)
(reviewed by Dr Peter Stanley)

Return to Gallipoli: Walking the Battlefields of the Great War by Bruce Scates
(reviewed by Dr Karl James)

Pilgrimage: A Traveller's Guide to Australia's Battlefields
by Garrie Hutchinson
(reviewed by Dr Karl James)

Clive Caldwell, Air Ace by Kristen Alexander
(reviewed by Air Commodore Mark Lax)

Possums & Bird Dogs: Australian Army Aviation's 161 Reconnaissance Flight in South Vietnam
by Peter Nolan
(reviewed by Major General Mike O 'Brien (Retd))

Essays on Australian Defence by Professor Paul Dibb
(reviewed by Michael O'Connor)

Cosgrove: Portrait of a Leader by Patrick Lindsay
(reviewed by Neil James)

House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power by James Carroll
(reviewed by Dr Tom Frame)

Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the
A.Q. Khan Network
by Gordon Corera
(reviewed by Dr Ron Huisken)

The Partnership: The Inside Story of the US-Australian Alliance Under Bush and Howard
by Greg Sheridan
(reviewed by Michael O'Connor)


Dorothy Joan Dowson, MBE, OAM

Captain W.F. (Bill) Carpenter, USN (Retd)