Features Australia

Australia, defenceless

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

The ability of our armed forces to defend the nation is being crippled, not through any fault of theirs, but as a result of the incompetence, inaction, self-interest and ideological obsession of mainstream politicians. They have stood by when the bureaucracy has facilitated the branding of heroes like Ben Roberts-Smith VC and Matthew Locke, who gave his life for Australia, as war criminals.

They have failed in three ways. First, it is hard to believe that they have left us with only about 21 days of fuel. Having lost most of our refining capacity, we are now almost totally dependent on Singapore. If we were to be cut off, our transport system would soon be completely paralysed.

Yet back in 1920, the 7th Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, took steps to ensure we would not run out of fuel by setting up the Commonwealth Oil Refineries, a joint venture with what is now BP.

Second, the politicians have been brazenly raiding the defence acquisitions budget out of blatant self-interest for mere party political advantage. Notwithstanding that it was an absolute disaster, the Turnbull government has copied and even surpassed Labor’s Collins Class submarines project. Now they’re raiding the $80 billion defence acquisition budget to shore up support in key seats, especially Christopher Pyne’s. The approximate amount diverted is a colossal $24 to $32 billion to build here, without any allowance for the inevitable union difficulties and the increasing inability of governments, for ideological reasons, to deliver reliable energy.

The full fleet of 12 submarines, without their politically-incorrect nuclear engines, won’t all be delivered even for the naval review to celebrate the VJ centenary in 2045, probably by King William V. And why buy from a country with a record of pulling the rug on such contracts if this suits a change in their foreign policy?

Third, the politicians have decided, as former SAS officer Lt Col. Riccardo Bosi put it on Sky’s Outsiders, to emasculate the armed forces by undermining their morale. But the forces’ fundamental purpose is necessarily brutal: to kill the enemy, notwithstanding Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell’s curious and much criticised directive against icons like the skull mask and the Grim Reaper.

This purpose requires combat forces best able to achieve this: well-trained strong young men. This is not sexist, it is a fact. Yet politicians and bureaucrats, obsessed by fashionable cultural Marxist ideology, are intent on pushing young women into combat roles for which they are manifestly not suited.

Last year, it was reliably reported that recruiting officers had been directed not to process applications from males and fast-track those from females. In the meantime, taxpayers were charged with more than $1 million for sex-change operations and treatment for ‘gender dysphoria’ while Iraq war veteran, Major Bernard Gaynor, was dismissed from the reserve for daring to criticise this.

If that were not enough, authorities seem intent on repeating the serious error made in 2010 in the prosecution by the then Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP), Brigadier Lyn McDade, of soldiers over an event which occurred in  2009 when they returned fire in an operation in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. When Judge Advocate General Brigadier Ian Westwood finally dismissed the prosecutions, the DMP unusually publicly regretted not having funding to launch an appeal.

Until 2006, there was no DMP. Military justice was interrelated with line command and the discipline necessary to maintain a fighting force. Prosecutions were initiated by commanding officers and heard before courts martial. But then the politicians decided to create a highly centralised DMP cutting across and thus potentially undermining the authority commanding officers must have. This proved to be not only unfair to serving soldiers, it was militarily incoherent and not what is done in, for example, the USA.

Had such a system been adopted in World War II, and applied as in this case with independent prosecutions, our armed forces could have lost morale and been rendered impotent.

Having experienced the outrage which greeted this, Defence has once again gone outside the chain of command by referring complaints about the SAS not to the DMP but extraordinarily, to a Canberra academic and sociologist, Dr Samantha Crompvoets, recipient of millions of dollars of consultancies on changing Defence Force culture.

Her confidential report was recently leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald which then published sensationalised reports about alleged war crimes committed by Australians soldiers.

One of the Herald journalists, Chris Masters, had been given ‘unprecedented’ access to Army personnel and confidential records for his book, No Front Line, about an incident in which heroes Ben Roberts-Smith VC and Sergeant Matthew Locke, recipient of a Medal for Gallantry and killed in action in 2007, were involved. The book criticises the way they ‘neutralised’ an Afghan male who threatened to compromise their patrol’s concealment. Roberts-Smith has slammed the book as ‘inaccurate’, ‘un-Australian’, ‘bewildering’, ‘a stitched together set of memories’’ and damaging to ‘the legacy of an Australian hero killed in action’.

These facts demand an investigation in themselves. Why did Defence go out of the chain of command and refer these complaints to a sociologist? Why did they give such favourable treatment to one journalist? Who gave the Herald the secret report, particularly as it had apparently been referred to a judge for further investigation? Is there a campaign against soldiers like Ben Roberts-Smith VC and the late Sergeant Matthew Locke to undermine our soldiers’ morale?

As Lt Col. Bosi says, there are those in government who want to emasculate the armed forces, yet another target of the cultural Marxists. Only a strong leader can put a stop to this.

Unless Australians have a real choice at the next election, not the present Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but a real leader, one determined to deal firmly with the many crises created by the mainstream politicians, Australia will be locked into a spiral of economic and moral decline.

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