Australia’s defence forces to be maintained at battle-ready status

Tony Abbott In Sydney And Canberra As Campaign  Enters Final Week

Australia’s new Defence Minister, David Johnston, says he wants to keep the military battle-ready for further possible conflicts in the unstable Middle East and south Asia.

Senator Johnston said that after 14 years of involvement in overseas conflicts from East Timor to Afghanistan, the Australian Defence Force had a strong fighting momentum that should not be lost as troops return from Afghanistan.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, he said he plans to maintain and ”augment our readiness” for future fights, which will most likely be in the unstable region stretching from Pakistan to the Levant, including even fresh trouble in Afghanistan.

”It will be Pakistan across to Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan. That’s the area where there will be instability and that’s the area that we might need to go back into at some point in the future.

”I can’t foresee that right now, but … if you were to look at where the next area of instability is likely to be – and we’re seeing it unfolding in Syria today – a contribution from Australia is most likely to be in that part of the world in the future. I think Pakistan is also highly problematic.”

The West Australian Senator (pictured), a former justice and customs minister in the Howard government and Tony Abbott’s defence spokesman, stressed he did not see Australians fighting in Syria.

He said he was not preparing for any particular conflict ”in an alarmist sense” but was determined to build on the knowledge and skills the Australian Defence Force had gained running counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. That included exposure to enemy tactics such as the use of improvised explosive devices and fighting in urban areas among a civilian population ”against a very, very resourceful and callous enemy.

These are experiences that we’ve lived and breathed for 10 years and we’ve become quite expert in those things. And we’ve got to make sure those lessons are passed on to our soldiers in the future.

”Operationally, we’re starting to come down [in Afghanistan], so we’ve got to maintain some interest for the troops. They’ve got to keep training, got to keep a level of readiness.”

The bulk of Australian troops are set to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year. However, in a reminder of the continuing danger, three special forces soldiers were wounded last week in a battle with insurgents.

A Defence statement issued on Friday said the three elite soldiers had received ”minor fragmentation wounds” while helping Afghan forces fight off insurgents.

Senator Johnston’s remarks come amid a continuing international standoff over the response to Syria’s suspected use of chemical weapons.
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Author: David Wroe
Source: http://www.theage.com.au/national/australias-defence-forces-to-be-maintained-at-battleready-status-20130920-2u5he.html#ixzz2fmRJYPrs
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2 Comments on “Australia’s defence forces to be maintained at battle-ready status”

  1. September 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM #

    Reblogged this on Real News Australia and commented:
    At what point in our history have we not been battle ready? We are always called upon by the US thanks to the ANZUS Treaty to fight in overseas conflict started by them.

  2. Mick Augustus
    September 25, 2013 at 3:42 AM #

    “We’ve got to maintain some interest for the troops”….what sort of a moron wants to send our sons and daughters into a war zone “to maintain some interest” for our troops? Tell that to all my mates that died in South Vietnam…and their families….and all the wars since. All to support the most murderous regime in the history of the world….The USA. America is NOT the world police force…they start the wars at the bidding of the military/industrial complex….they fund and run Alqaeda…then go in and bring “peace” to the targeted regime by bombing the shit out of it, and it’s infrastructure, until it is back in the stone age. Big Biz then moves in and the real money starts. I’ve got an idea…send the Defence Minister to a war zone…take the BIG BANKERS with him…and BIG PHARMA…with all their poisonous vaccines…while I am on it…add.the bureaucrats who are putting fluoride in our water supplies…we could get rid of most of the human garbage…they want fighting…let them fight. NOTHING justifies the killing of innocent kids….black,white or brindle…look up the quote by Madeline Albright…when asked about the 500,000 women and children who died in Iraq…she responded..”it was worth it”. FOR WHO?

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