Articles on War

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Famed correspondent Marie Colvin was killed while reporting the civil war in Syria last year. Should more protection be put in place for journalists in conflict zones? EPA/Ivor Prickett

Why is the media so quiet on protecting journalists and other civilians in warzones?

The news coming out of the ongoing conflict in Syria is tragic and, for many, too horrible to look at for long. While the reportage is appreciated, one can’t help but wonder whether it would be different…
Australia sends more foreign fighters to Syria than any other western nation - including suspected suicide bomber ‘Abu Asma al-Australi’. What problems does this pose? Twitter/@AbuSiqr

Is it a problem that Australia sends the most foreign fighters to Syria?

A married Queenslander using the nom de guerre “Abu Asma al-Australi” featured as a suicide bomber in a promotional video released by the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jahbat al-Nusra earlier this month. He…
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…
ANZAC Day once was a day to commemorate the sacrifices made by Australian soliders in war - but is it now being hijacked by companies with a profit motive? Australian War Memorial

Should we be consuming more than just patriotism on national days?

Australian brands are increasingly looking to exploit national holidays like ANZAC Day. Given soft retail conditions, such efforts are understandable. But is it welcome? Sure, there is no law against associating…
There are reports of up to 200 Australians joining up to fight with Syrian rebel groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, which may pose a threat to security at home. Jabhat al-Nusra

Australians fighting in Syria: what is the threat at home?

The Syrian insurgent group Jabhat al-Nusra’s recent pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda, alongside reports of Australians fighting in the insurgency, highlights a security threat to Australia. According to…
Rape as a weapon of war needs to stop – but how can local and international communities help? EPA/Nicolas Postal

Rape as a weapon of war: what the law can do

During the chaos of war, rape is used by the powerful as a deliberate strategy to destroy any opposition. The law, seemingly, has little role to play. After all, during conflict the normal rules of law…
No war was photographed like Vietnam and many of these images still speak to us today. Photographer: Michael Coleridge. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial EKN/67/0130/VN.

The photographer’s war: Vietnam through a lens

An unprecedented level of media coverage made the Vietnam war a watershed moment in the discipline of photography. The images by official military photographers, photojournalists, and individual soldiers…
We need to learn from lessons of the past when it comes to veterans’ mental health. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Vietnam and Iraq: lessons to be learned about mental health and war

Physical injury and death in war is expected. But we also now know the stories of large numbers of veterans suffering major psychological trauma. These involve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety…
Vietnam-US relations, as represented here by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, have come a long way. EPA/KHAM/POOL

Forgetting the ‘American War’: Vietnam’s friendship with its former enemy

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Australian forces arriving in Vietnam – the beginning of a war that had a huge impact on social and political life here in Australia and abroad. The Conversation will…
Al-Qaeda deputy Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed by a drone strike last week. EPA/IntelCentre

Game of drones: how UAVs changed the terms of war in the Middle East

With boots on the ground being costly politically, economically and diplomatically, it seems that week after week, drones are the most important front line weapon against Washington’s opponents in the…
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…
Analysing Anzac speech, slang and reading material gives us a better understanding of their experience. EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

From ‘Aussies’ to ‘Whizz-bangs’: the language of Anzac

Many place the Anzac legend at the heart of the Australian national identity. But some have rightly challenged this idea, opening up debate about why the Anzac story is so central to our national mythology…
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the images are an aberration, but evidence points to the contrary. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Afghan body part photos a grim reminder of how war has changed

Once again we are confronted with disturbing images coming out of a war zone, this time of American troops posing for trophy shots with the body parts of alleged Afghan suicide bombers, published by the…
Australian troops work with Afghan National Army forces in Uruzgan province in August 2011.

Mission accomplished? Australia withdraws from Afghanistan early

Prime minister Julia Gillard today announced the revised timetable for the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. Within 12 to 18 months the majority of Australian military forces will leave…
The destruction of headstones from World War II have caused outrage around the world. EPA/Mohamed Elryani

Benghazi Commonwealth grave desecration and the spectre of anti-Islam

Around 50 Australians graves from World War II in Libya’s Benghazi Commonwealth war cemetery have been desecrated, apparently by Islamist militia. Footage of this violent destruction has spread around…
Iraqi security forces inspect a taxi in the wake of a deadly attack on the city of Kirkuk last month. EPA/Khalil Al A Nei

Iraqi-Australians on life after the American war

Last week in Baghdad, 17 men were executed. Nothing special to note here in the conflict ridden, post-US withdrawal landscape of Iraq, except that this time they were executed by an Iraqi court. This was…
Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is part of a renewed push to reclaim the Falkland Islands. EPA/Leo La Valle

Bald men and combs: the Cameron-Kirchner Falklands showdown

Argentinean wordsmith Jorge Luis Borges could be cryptic. But his powers of perception were always daunting. Borges came up with an excellent description of the 10 week conflict in 1982 that took place…

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