"Defender": Summer 2006/07

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.


Strategic guidance that works: Many reforms in the ADF's force structure and much of the equipment procurement over recent years were not forecast in the 2000 Defence White Paper. While this partly due to the requirements of post-9/11 (2001) military commitments, it has been also caused by flaws in the processes by which previous defence white papers were prepared. Future white papers should be whole-of-government efforts and should fully involve defence force inputs.

Letters to the Editor



The Appreciation on the Strategical Position of Australia prepared by the Chiefs of Staff in February 1946 was an intellectually robust analysis which has stood the tests of time and change well. The methodology of the formal strategic appreciation should be reintroduced.

In an election year in particular, the paramount consideration for any discussion of when and how Australia should withdraw its forces from Iraq should be the safety of the troops deployed on the ground in that country.

Analogies between the Vietnam and Iraq Wars are again being quoted by critics of the latter. Many of these analogies are based on what the critics want to remember happened in the Vietnam War rather than what actually occurred.

The carnage in Iraq is not a civil war in the accepted sense and describing it as such actually hampers the search for a solution.

Defence force personnel wounded in action in Australia's wars should not be disrespectfully described as merely injured. Not least because their wounds occuured as a result of enemy action and usually deliberately, rather than as an accident in a peacetime, domestic, civilian context.

The Armed Forces Federation of Australia (ArFFA), the professional body which has ably represented defence force personnel collectively since 1985, has had to cease operations for financial reasons This should not have been allowed to occur. The Government and the ADF leadership will regret their inaction to support ArFFA in due course because the defence force is unable practically and morally to be both the employer and the workforce representative regarding remuneration and conditions of service matters. Even more importantly, all those defence force personnel who ignorantly, selfishly or complacently never got around to joining ArFFA and supporting its significant efforts on their behalf will soon rue the day they did not become members.

The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is now struggling to assist in the much-needed reform of Solomon Islands governance because the corrupt and incompetent government led by Manasseh Sogavare is continually frustrating the criminal investigations and reform actions needed.


Facing Testing Times: Prospects and Perspectives on International Security by Professor Robert O'Neill

Attitude Problems Across the Ditch by Zhivan Alach

What a To Do About David Hicks by Neil James

Are the F-111s Really Stuffed? by Don Middleton

Australian Tanks: Facts Not Mythology by Dr David Kilcullen


Jacka VC: Australian Hero by Robert Macklin
(reviewed by Dr Malcolm Kennedy)

The Great War by Les Carlyon
(reviewed by Professor Jeffrey Grey)

Chased by the Sun: The Australians in Bomber Command in World War II by Professor Hank Nelson
(reviewed by Squadron Leader Alex Post)

The Strength of a Nation by Dr Michael McKernan
(reviewed by Commodore Jack McCaffrie (Retd))

Strategic Cousins: Australian and Canadian Expeditionary Forces and the British and American Empires by Dr John Blaxland
(reviewed by Neil James)

General Peter Cosgrove: My Story by General Peter Cosgrove (Retd)
(reviewed by Michael O'Connor)

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks
(reviewed by Patrick Gallagher)

The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer
(reviewed by Neil James)

Inside the Global Jihad: How I Infiltrated Al Qa'eda and was Abandoned by Western Intelligence
by Omar Nasiri
(reviewed by Tony LeRay-Meyer)

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