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Analysis and Comment (13)

Julian Knight is one of Australia’s worst mass murderers. But how much do we know about his experience in the military? 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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…
There is a culture of abuse in the ranks of the ADF – only a Royal Commission will uncover it fully. 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. 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…
Some ADFA cadets have been through horrific abuse. It’s time for their trauma to be on the record. Some ADFA cadets have been through horrific abuse. It’s time for their trauma to be on the record. AAP/Alan Porritt

Reconciliation or Royal Commission? ADF abuse and the public record

One could be mistaken for thinking that the recent flurry of activity around Defence abuse is a recent phenomenon. The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Skype Affair of 2011 drew nation-wide attention…
How is the war in Afghanistan going? With media this tightly controlled, the picture may never be clear. How is the war in Afghanistan going? With media this tightly controlled, the picture may never be clear. Special Operations Command

Truth in war: what the ADF won’t tell us about Afghanistan

Barack Obama marked the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death with a surprise visit to Kabul this week. Obama promised to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, but seven were killed in Kabul just hours…
Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley and Minister for Defence Stephen Smith respond to reviews into Defence’s culture and the Skype scandal. Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley and Minister for Defence Stephen Smith respond to reviews into Defence’s culture and the Skype scandal. Defence media

ADFA Skype scandal: Smith’s reviews could help defence to change its culture

Defence minister Stephen Smith has released the findings of a series of reviews into last year’s ADFA sex scandal and the culture of the defence force. The scandal revolved around an incident in March…
It’s unlikely the war hero would be fazed by Styne’s comments, but the public was appalled. It’s unlikely the war hero would be fazed by Styne’s comments, but the public was appalled. AAP/Martin Philbey/Australian War Memorial

Yumi and Ben: the militarisation of Australia and the democratisation of hate

Last week the world became a very scary place for television host Yumi Stynes when she quipped that Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, looking buffed, ripped and tattooed in a public…
An Australian soldier in Afghanistan: women will now have the chance to join combat units. An Australian soldier in Afghanistan: women will now have the chance to join combat units. AAP

Women in combat: the battle is over but the war against prejudice grinds on

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has announced the Australian Defence Force will open up full employment opportunities for women. In a decision made by Cabinet on Monday night, with the full support of the…

Research and News (1)