"Defender": Summer 2005/06

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.


The dangers of uninformed public discourse: The recent poor standard of public debate on counter-terrorism measures repeated a familiar pattern for discussion of national security issues. Why is public discourse on such matters in Australia so often sub-optimal? This results from a mix of long-standing and transient causes.


Treasury Secretary Dr Ken Henry's article in the Spring 2005 Defender was based on some arguable assumptions and optimistic predictions. It also ignored the fact that recent minor increases in the defence budget were not just to handle current defence operations, but are really necessary to begin cancelling out the chronic under-investment in defence of the past three decades.

The Board of Inquiry into the Sea King crash on Nias in April indicates the root cause of the crash was inadequate funding for a very long period. The Sea King fleet should have been replaced by a modern helicopter type, as per the original life-of-type schedule, well before the crash occurred.

Those arguing for repeal of the updated sedition laws on the grounds that such laws are archaic are missing the point. The crime has continued to occur. The main reason for the lack of prosecutions is because the law needed updating not because the crimes involved were no longer committed.

Recent statements by former Prime Minister Paul Keating that Gough Whitlam should have placed the Governor-General under 'house arrest' in 1975 show a fundamental misunderstanding of the law and practice of executive authority.

The recent poll of experts conducted by the ABC television current affairs program, Lateline, on the new counter-terrorism laws used a flawed methodology and unnecessarily risked exacerbating community concerns and tensions.

Why not appoint one of the senior officer victims of recent abuses of command authority to the ADF team tasked with implementing reform of the military justice system?


Rethinking the Future: Prediction and its Perils by Senator Russell Trood

Treasury's Traditional Attack on Defence by Michael O'Connor

The Defence Budget Must be Boosted by Professor Ross Babbage

Guns or Butter by Dr Mark Thomson

Military Partnerships Not Political Pandering by Robert McClelland

Rethinking China by Professor John Fitzgerald

Rethinking Rights in the Age of Terror by Senator George Brandis

National Security Comes Before Party Politics by Michael Danby

Farewell to Our Last Dual Veteran of the World Wars by Commodore Jim Dickson, RAN (Retd)

Australia's Crude Oil Self-Sufficiency: Does it Matter? by Eriks Velins


Gallipoli: An Australian Encyclopedia of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign by Ron Austin
(reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stevenson)

Game to the Last: The 11th Australian Infantry Battalion at Gallipoli by James Hurst
(reviewed by John Donovan)

A Doctor's War by Rowley Richards
(reviewed by Professor Frank Bowden)

The Right Man for the Right Job: Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige as a Military Commander
by Major Gavin Keating
(reviewed by Dr John Connor)

Against the Odds: Escapes and Evasions by Allied Airmen, World War II edited by Murray Adams
(reviewed by Air Commodore Mark Lax)

Only One River to Cross: An Australian Soldier Behind Enemy Lines in Korea by Dr A.M. Harris
(reviewed by Brigadier Jim Shelton, Retd)

Hassett - Australian Leader: A Biography of General Sir Francis Hassett, AC, KBE, CB, DSO, LVO
by Brigadier John Essex-Clark, (Retd)
(reviewed by Brigadier Chris Appleton)

The Men Who Persevered: The AATTV – The Most Highly Decorated Australian Unit of the Viet Nam War
by Bruce Davies and Gary Mackay
(reviewed by Ian Kuring)

Through Enemy Eyes by Dave Sabben
(reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Lance Collins, (Retd))

The Navy and the Nation: The Influence of the Navy on Modern Australia edited by Dr David Stevens
and Dr John Reeve
(reviewed by Rear Admiral David Campbell, RAN (Retd))

Australian Airborne: The History and Insignia of Australian Military Parachuting by John O'Connor
(reviewed by Major David Armit)

International Terrorism: New Zealand Perspectives edited by Associate Professor James Veitch
(reviewed by Cameron Crouch)

Best Australian Political Cartoons 2005 edited by Russ Radcliffe
(reviewed by Neil James)

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