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Articles on Operation Sovereign Borders

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Scott Morrison’s claim that Operation Sovereign Borders is the country’s great national security achievement overlooks all that has been achieved in a complex area. AAP/Lukas Coch

National security is too important to be abandoned to the politics of fear

Too often, politicians use matters of national security for nakedly political advantage. It’s a dangerous ploy, and it’s time it stopped.
The incoming head of the Australian Defence Force, Lt-Gen Angus Campbell (left), understands the importance of Australia’s relations with its nearest neighbours. AAP/Andrew Taylor

As a new defence chief comes in, Australia must focus its attention on its neighbours

The incoming Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Campbell, will need to focus his attentions on an array of conventional and non-conventional security concerns in the Indo-Pacific.
In his role overseeing Operation Sovereign Borders, Campbell was known for his tight lips in face of questions, often ruling them out as “on water” matters. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Angus Campbell to head Australian Defence Force

Campbell replaces the present chief, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, 58, who will retire from the ADF.
Most Australians are unlikely to be able to describe the doctrine of the separation of powers, but they’re quick to assert their liberties under the rubric of a ‘fair go’. AAP/Richard Milnes

Gillian Triggs: How the ‘fair go’ became the last bulwark for Australia’s freedoms

The government’s uncontested assessment of national interest and security often trumps the rule of domestic and international law, as well as Australia’s obligations under human rights treaties.
The High Court decision on 157 asylum seekers detained at sea in 2014 – as well as recent legislative changes – raises concerns about the rights of asylum seekers. AAP/Lukas Coch

Australia can detain asylum seekers on the high seas, the High Court decides

On Wednesday, the High Court handed down an important judgment on the legality of the interception of asylum seeker vessels and the detention of those onboard on the high seas. It ruled, by a 4:3 majority…
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…
It’s uncertain what effect Indonesia’s downgrading of diplomatic and military relations will have on Australia’s asylum seeker policies. EPA/Tubagus

Stopping people smuggling requires more than just Indonesia’s help

Australian-Indonesian military relations have been downgraded in recent days following Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decision to reduce military co-operation until he receives an explanation…
There are operational naval reasons behind Scott Morrison’s decision to put asylum seeker arrivals and ‘turn backs’ behind a shroud of secrecy. AAP/Scott Fisher

Should operations to turn the boats around be kept secret?

Acting opposition leader Chris Bowen said in a doorstop interview earlier this week that: There is absolutely no operational reason for the new minister of immigration not to be up front with the Australian…

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