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  • The world’s youngest nation falters: keeping the peace in South Sudan

    Posted 24/12/2013 by Nic Brangwin
    Two and a half years after gaining independence from Sudan, the newly formed nation of South Sudan has erupted into violence that could potentially lead to civil war.

    Tensions among the ethnic Nuer and Dinka groups have recently escalated and there have been reports of widespread violence and killing across the country. Ongoing political disputes are at the root of the current unrest. Media reports indicate the former Vice President, Riek Machar (an ethnic Nuer who was dismissed in July 2013), attempted a coup against President Salva Kiir (an ethnic Dinka) and has allegedly taken control of key parts of the country. Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, Australian foreign policy, European Union, peace keeping

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  • Lost in translation: resettling locally engaged Afghan staff

    Posted 20/12/2013 by David Watt
    Image source: Department of Defence
    Recent media reports indicate that the Taliban have killed an Afghan man who had worked as an interpreter for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan. With the bulk of ADF personnel being withdrawn from Uruzgan, this provides a reminder of the dangers to Afghan nationals who have worked for Australian government agencies as locally engaged staff and again raises the question of what the Government is doing to assist.What Australia should and could do for such people has been discussed ... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, immigration

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  • Ballistic missile defence and Australia

    Posted 19/12/2013 by Nathan Church
    Image source: Wikimedia commons
    During the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Washington DC on 20 November, ballistic missile defence (BMD) was again raised as a specific area of potential further cooperation, having also been discussed at the preceding three meetings. The concept of BMD is not new, with initial research and development by the US Army beginning as early as 1945. Since then, Australia has increasingly become well-positioned to actively support the US-led BMD program, in concert with other region... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability, united states

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  • Littoral combat ships - lessons learnt from the US

    Posted 18/11/2013 by Nathan Church
    
    Image source: Wikimedia commons
    Less than a fortnight after the 2013 federal election, the new Defence Minister David Johnston indicated that the protection of Australia’s exports through maritime security would be a major Defence priority. In order to achieve this, the Minister claimed that ‘our navy needs a suitable mix of high-end war-fighting capabilities’ and accordingly, consideration should be given to acquiring littoral combat ships (LCS). This article summarises the US experience of acquiring LCS and outlines some key... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability

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  • Getting the balance right: U.S. perspectives on Defence reform

    Posted 3/10/2013 by Nathan Church
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    Australia and the United States share significant defence interests, especially regarding regional security across the Indo-Pacific. However, both nations also share a similar defence dilemma: the need to maintain appropriate defence capabilities despite facing increased financial constraints. A recent report by the U.S.-based Stimson Center provided almost 30 recommendations to reduce the U.S. Defense Department’s heavy financial burden, without (theoretically) jeopardising required capability.... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence budget, defence capability

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  • Reviews of allegations of abuse in the Defence Force

    Posted 26/09/2013 by Moira Coombs
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    In March 2011, an incident occurred at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in which it was alleged that an 18 year old female cadet was filmed without her consent while having sex with a male colleague, with the footage then sent using Skype to six other cadets watching in a nearby room. The ‘Skype incident’ at ADFA was the catalyst which generated a number of inquiries and various cultural reviews dealing with the management of ADFA.  Kirkham ReviewThe first review was conducted by Andr... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force

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  • UAVs: a vital part of Australia's future?

    Posted 11/07/2013 by Noemi Murphy
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    The increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in recent years has greatly heightened their public profile but also generated controversy because of their ability to attack military targets remotely and conduct covert surveillance. Nevertheless, a recent seminar, Drone Power: protecting Australia with drones, suggested that these controversial aircraft are set to play a key role in Australia’s civilian and military future. Despite a somewhat rough inception, UAVs are assuming an increasing... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force

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  • Streamlining Defence Acquisitions: the UK experiment

    Posted 28/06/2013 by Noemi Murphy
    Image source: Wikimedia commons
    The struggle to control the cost and improve the effectiveness of acquiring defence capability has taxed successive Australian governments—but Australia is not alone. A new UK Government white paper outlines a plan to manage the purchasing of defence capability very differently to most other countries by stating its intention to move to a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for running the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation (DE&S).It sets out the major reasons the DE&am... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability, UK Parliament

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  • New naval aviation combat helicopters

    Posted 25/06/2011 by David Watt
    The announcement on 16 June 2011 by the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare, that Australia would acquire twenty four MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters at a cost of over $3 billion brings to a close a period of uncertainty in Australian naval aviation.For some time now the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has suffered from a serious gap in combat aviation, and in particular anti-submarine warfare. In his 2010 Navy Capability Review Andrew... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability

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  • Australia's military involvement in Afghanistan - update

    Posted 10/06/2011 by Nicole Brangwin
    This FlagPost entry updates material previously posted for the Parliamentary debate on Afghanistan (see Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan – frequently asked questions, 15 October 2010). The following information has been compiled to assist Members and Senators prepare condolence motions for Australian Defence Force personnel recently killed in Afghanistan and to highlight some of the issues raised in the media.In the eight months since the previous FlagPost entry on Australia’s involvement ... Read more...

    TAGS: Afghanistan, Australian Defence Force

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