Articles on Military

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A MQ-9 Reaper Drone has an operational cost one-fifth of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. So should drones replace soldiers in military warfare? US Air Force

Drones are cheap, soldiers are not: a cost-benefit analysis of war

Cost is largely absent in the key debates around the use of unmanned drones in war, even though drones are a cost-effective way of achieving national security objectives. Many of the common objections…
US army ‘deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl had deep and abiding questions about the justice of the cause he signed up for. EPA/IntelCenter

Deserters aren’t born, but made: Bowe Bergdahl and moral injury

The public debate around the recent prisoner swap that saw US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl returned from five years’ imprisonment in Afghanistan in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders has had two main…
Women march on Abuja demanding the rescue of 200 schoolgirls. Deji Yake/EPA

Teaching under siege in Nigeria gripped by fear of Boko Haram

The world is waking up to Boko Haram. More than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the classes last month remain missing. A car bomb in Abuja on May 1 killed at least 19 people. I live in fear of Boko Haram…
Born in India, unlike his weapon. EPA

Why is India still the world’s largest arms importer?

India has been the world’s largest arms importer every year since 2010, as its defence industry struggles to keep up with its international ambitions. The volume of major weapons imports more than doubled…
A 12% increase in China’s military spending may sound muscular: but as a proportion to GDP it has remained constant since 2000. AAP/EPA/ADRIAN BRADSHAW

China’s military spending: is there a new arms race?

As the world’s second largest military power, China’s announcement of a 12% increase in its military budget has elicited grumbles from Taipei, Tokyo and Washington. But what does this increase signal regarding…
Hiding the government’s border control policy behind the word ‘operational’ makes the military their political pawns. AAP/Scott Fisher

Operation Sovereign Borders: dignified silence or diminishing democracy?

Recent reports that the Australian Navy has turned back two asylum seeker boats to Indonesian waters remain shrouded under a veil of secrecy. Australia remains subject to downgraded levels of co-operation…
Of all the inquiries and interventions it has taken a woman to bring deep and incisive change to the Australian Defence Force. AAP/Alan Porritt

Tinkering with tribalism: women and cultural change in the ADF

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has Elizabeth Broderick and her team to thank for recent progress in the war against sexism and perversion at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). But it is military…
Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison has once again vowed to tackle a seemingly systemic culture of indiscretion within the ADF. AAP/Lukas Coch

Defence force sex scandals: can the culture be changed?

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is again confronted by allegations of sexual humiliation and denigration of serving female members. The latest scandal involves claims that emails containing explicit…
A teddy bear bought by murdered soldier Lee Rigby for his son, Jack, sits alongside a family photograph. PA/Dave Thompson

Making soldiers safe at home is essential for mental health

The brutal killing of Drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich has raised serious questions about the safety of our soldiers at home, and how such violence could affect their recovery from the psychological…
The US remains the most militarily powerful nation on Earth - but will budget cuts bring it back to the fold? EPA/Zurab Kurtsikidze

Budget cuts: will American military power suffer?

The maelstrom surrounding budget cuts that has engulfed the United States over the last twelve months seems no nearer to reaching a satisfactory conclusion. The U.S. Congressional House and Senate currently…
Bob Carr, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Smith and Leon Panetta (Left to Right) at AUSMIN 2012, Perth. AAP/Theron Kirkman

US joint facilities are a threat to the national interest

Foreign minister Bob Carr told the Australian yesterday that his top two priorities are to ensure the US is engaged in our region, and to handle Australia’s relationship with Asia better. But the “joint…
Australia is not fulfilling its obligations to its veterans. Flickr/Another Seb

Roll call: how Australia broke the promise of remembrance

Ten years ago this month, John Howard’s Minister for Veteran Affairs, Danna Vale, launched a searchable internet database known as the World War 2 Nominal Roll. It was intended to be a virtual war memorial…
The Legged Squad Support System has been designed to accompany war fighters into battle. Boston Dynamics

Meet Boston Dynamics’ LS3 – the latest robotic war machine

On first viewing Boston Dynamics’ latest creation, the LS3 (Legged Squad Support System), I could not help but be taken back to the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) walker, as depicted in the Star…
The links between the military and disability sport are being cast anew. Corporal Jamie Osborne, Department of Defence

The military and the modern Paralympic movement

In the past five or six years there has been a marked increase in the overt use of disability sport in the rehabilitation of soldiers injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which, in a sense, is…
Australian troops with Afghan elders in Uruzgan province. AAP/Department of Defence

Friend or foe: green on blue killings in Afghanistan

Reports are coming in this morning that five* Australian troops have been killed in Uruzgan province in Afghanistan. But instead of falling victim to an IED, signature weapon of this long running conflict…
The Australian government denies a US aircraft carrier will be based near Perth. AAP/US Department of Defence

Memo Stephen Smith: there are US bases in Australia and they are expanding

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has been saying long and loud that there are no US military bases in Australia, and that anyone who says otherwise is misinformed. Last week, after Australian media reported…
The dead soldier’s funeral holds an important place in our society. (AAP Image/Australian Department of Defence, LS Andrew Dakin)

From religion to patriotism: how we see the death of a soldier

Another Australian soldier has tragically lost his life while on his seventh tour in Afghanistan. The 40 year-old special forces soldier from Perth was shot while on a counter-insurgency operation in the…
The military court system in Australia has gone through many ups and downs with more to come. AAP Image/Australian Department of Defence

The new Australian Military Court: a fair go for defence force personnel?

Last week, the Commonwealth Attorney-General Nicola Roxon introduced a bill establishing the Australian Military Court as a constitutional court. If the bill passes, it will bring Australia into line with…

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