Articles on ADF

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Climate change is expected to increase the severity of natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, straining Australia’s ability to respond through humanitarian missions and fuelling more climate migration. Vlad Sokhin/UNICEF handout

Climate change poses a ‘direct threat’ to Australia’s national security. It must be a political priority

A Senate report recommended several measures the government should take to prepare for climate-fuelled migration, natural disasters and conflicts. The response so far has been underwhelming.
Under proposed changes, the war crime of murder would not apply to collateral civilian deaths resulting from an otherwise lawful attack. EPA/Zouhir Al Shimale

Australia’s proposed war crimes amendments demand careful scrutiny

Under proposed changes, the war crime offence of murder, in a non-international armed conflict, would not apply to collateral civilian deaths resulting from an otherwise lawful attack.
Climate change will affect defence personnel themselves, as well as the kind of situations they find themselves deployed in. AAP Image/Australian Department of Defence, Corporal Ricky Fuller

Political warfare on climate could leave national security at risk

Nations such as the United States have treated climate change as a major security threat for years. The Australian government's forthcoming Defence White Paper cannot afford to ignore the issue.
Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel marched in record numbers at the 2015 Mardi Gras, led by senior Defence officers – a stark contrast to the way gay veterans were treated in the past. Department of Defence

Laying wreaths for Australians who once served in silence

On Anzac Day 1982, five gay veterans tried to lay a wreath at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, but were turned away by the Shrine Guard and the state RSL president. This year, that won't happen.
Tony Abbott’s latest “Captain’s call” comes as the government commits more troops to Iraq. Lukas Coch/AAP

ADF pay deal sets dangerous precedent

Tony Abbott's decision to grant the defence forces a 2% pay rise could come back to bite him as the public service sees a double standard.
A mechanism of independent scrutiny – such as a royal commission – remains the best way forward for alleviating defence abuse. AAP/Alan Porritt

Royal commission could shine an independent light on defence abuse

As I was showering five or six senior [others] attacked me – they turned off the lights, tied my hands behind my back and proceeded to do things to me. I was held down whilst one of them put his penis…
Julian Knight is one of Australia’s worst mass murderers. But how much do we know about his experience in the military? AAP/Julian Smith

The ADF and Julian Knight: a lesson on defence’s culture reform

In February, Victorian premier Denis Napthine locked the door and threw away the key for Hoddle Street mass killer Julian Knight. Despite being eligible for parole in May after serving a 27-year minimum…
Australians have become very aware of the negative cultural tendencies of the ADF. AAP/Scott Fisher

With Navy’s record of abuse, asylum boat claims can’t be ignored

Prime minister Tony Abbott’s three-word slogan “stop the boats” may be meeting its promise. Last Friday, Abbott was “very pleased” to point out that it was the “50th day without an illegal boat arriving…
Where does the ADF’s deep-seated resentment of the media come from, and how did it manifest in Afghanistan? AAP/Department of Defence

Don’t mention the war: lessons for the media from Afghanistan

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has long been wary of the media’s power to derail its promotional narratives and damage careers in the process. But there was nothing irrational about its members’ determination…
Since 1999, around 45,000 Australians have served on overseas operations with the Australian Defence Force. Department of Defence

Tidal wave or trickle: treating returning veterans trauma

While many people are relieved Australia is concluding its operations in Afghanistan, the effects of our involvement have, in many ways, only just begun. Retired Major General John Cantwell, the author…
The ADF wants to fashion its own narratives about what its troops have achieved in Afghanistan. Department of Defence

Looking for failure? Why the ADF hates the Australian media

Last week, prime minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott opened the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition, Afghanistan: the Australian Story. That public attention on the war is now shifting…
Afghan civilians point to bullet holes in a wall after a raid by Allied special forces. EPA/Naweed Haqjoo

Better jaw jaw than war war: Australia should seek peace first

Our Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, has told Australia, “The idea that we can will away war because we are about to withdraw from one that went longer and ended less conclusively than…
The Human Rights Commission has recommended gender diversity targets to increase female representation in the Australian Defence Force. AAP

Human Rights Commission recommends quotas to encourage women in defence

Gender diversity targets are required to ensure women have the same opportunities as men in the Australian Defence Force…
There is a culture of abuse in the ranks of the ADF – only a Royal Commission will uncover it fully. AAP/Alex Coppel

Paying the Piper: the ADF must finally face its culture of abuse

How does one establish a plan to lure one of your female colleagues into a dormitory room for consensual sex, but unwittingly into the scope of a webcam for broadcast? How does it come to fruition? What…
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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