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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…

Defence: sub-optimal naval gazing

Rumour has it Australia is about to spend an awful lot of money buying some new submarines. This may not be the sort of thing to get the pulses of the casual reader racing, but it ought to be, not least…
Prime Minister Tony Abbot in the pilot seat of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. AAP/Alan Porritt

Take out the pilot from Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sat in the pilot seat of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the time he announced his government will buy an additional 58 planes at a cost of at least A$12.4 billion. But imagine…
The F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. Flickr/Lockheed Martin

Australia’s jump jet strike fighter option: lessons from the UK

If Australia is serious about buying the jump jet version of the Joint Strike Fighter it would be wise to look at why the UK is the only country to change its mind on which version of the aircraft to buy…
Could the jump version of the Joint Strike Fighter be heading for Australia? Flickr/Lockheed Martin

Jump jet strike fighters for Australia would come at a cost

Senior Australian Defence Force (ADF) officers confirmed during Senate estimates this week that Prime Minister Tony Abbott had ordered Defence to examine options for Australia to acquire the jump jet version…
The three variants of the F-35 Joinst Strike Fighter described as fifth-generation aircraft. Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35 JSF: what is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft?

Any conversation about Australia’s commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter refers to it as a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. But what exactly is a fifth-generation aircraft, and why is it important…
Two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in action. AAP Image/Department of Defence, Lockheed Martin

What do we need of a military fighter aircraft?

Now the Australian Government has committed to a further 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft it is time to ask whether this is a good idea, will we be getting value for money – and will the JSF…
Australia now plans to have 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin. AAP/Lockheed Martin, Matthew Short

The Joint Strike Fighter: is it the right aircraft for Australia?

The Australian Government’s mission to upgrade the defence force fleet of ageing aircraft with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been controversial since it began more than a decade ago. Australia formally…
What will defence policy under Tony Abbott and new defence minister David Johnston look like? AAP/Dean Lewins

Policy outlook: radical departure on defence or more of the same?

The Abbott government talks a good game on defence. While in opposition, new defence minister David Johnston slammed Labor for failing to fund the grand promises of the 2009 Defence White Paper. Now in…
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…
Sixties style - Mad Men characters Roger Sterling and Don Draper still show men how it’s done in business and politics. AAP

Men at the helm – mad, bad and dangerous to know

Labor may have “ditched the witch”, but does the ejection of Julia Gillard from her seat of power close the book on the debate about sexism that she championed and the role of women in leadership? Our…
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…
The risk of PTSD is determined by the frequency and severity of the potentially traumatic events. AAP

Reliving the pain of war: military deployment and PTSD

Serving on operational deployments in conflict zones carries not only the obvious physical threats, it also poses significant mental health risks. While depression and anxiety disorders are common among…
Does Australia really need 12 Joint Strike Fighters? U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago

Preparing for peace: it’s time to rethink defence spending

The most interesting question relating to the cuts in defence spending announced in the budget is whether they signify the early stages of rethinking security strategy. Of course they should, because there…
Australian troops search locals in Gizab, Oruzgan province, before attending an assembly to discuss the removal of the Taliban from their town. AAP/Australian Defence Force

Australia could be out of Afghanistan in 12 months

Australia could end combat and training operations in Afghanistan and withdraw most of its troops by the middle of next year…

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