The ADF: After Afghanistan, where to now?

By Staff Writer Harvey Fewings

As we did in Vietnam so we have done in Afghanistan. When the Americans are sick of it and decide to get out of the kitchen because it has become too hot…so do we!

Australia and Australia's magnificent fighting men and women have no control over these events; they just have to go with the flow. Come back to Australian bases, pick up the pieces and prepare for the next adventure or the next threatening and strategic environment.

We expect our Navy, Army and Air Force to do that; it is their role in our Nation’s destiny.

And they, the Navy, Army and Air Force, in turn, have every right to expect that Australia will give them the weapons they need to defend our Nation and place us in the right strategic position.

So, after Afghanistan, Australia needs to have a hard and merciless stare at what we are doing with our defence machine:

  • What is its purpose now?

  • What weapons and combat systems do we need?

  • Where are we going to get them from?

  • How are we going to use them?

  • Who or what constitutes a major strategic threat to our nation?

  • With what weapons systems do we challenge or neutralize our perceived threats?

I’m of the opinion that there is a fundamental problem in our defence procurement system.

We have sheds full of attack helicopters that cannot fly – they came from Europe and are called Tigers. Well, this breed can fly but they can’t fight!

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