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The new defence minister

Posted September 21, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

First of some occasional pieces for SBS. I'll probably go thinky, for the most part.

The Australian military has been in the field for a long time now, the quiet decline of the post-Vietnam years nearly two generations removed from the RAAFs interdiction in Iraq and Syria, highly politicised naval contributions to border control, more conventional maritime operations in the Middle East and intense and continual special forces deployments across the globe.

Nonetheless, descriptions of new minister Marise Payne taking control of the Defence while the country is at war are breathy and overblown. Australia is not at war and has not mobilised its enormous national resources to make war on any foreign state. But tens of thousands of its war fighters and their machines have been routinely engaged in combat operations since the 9/11 attacks. Thousands more were deployed to East Timor a couple of years before that. Supporting them will indeed constitute a significant part of the responsibility Marise Payne now takes up, but it is by no means the greatest challenge awaiting her.

It's all here.

8 Responses to ‘The new defence minister’

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted September 21, 2015
It seems to me that if Vietnam and the Philippines can agree that they need to stand together against China's push into their maritime territories, then Australia should surely join in with that coalition. If I were going to increase training quantity and quality with anyone it would be with those two nations, going so far as to establish basing rights in both.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 21, 2015
A guest on RN Breakfast made positive comments about Minister Payne's experience in the dept. delivering pensions & benefits, one of the largest & most complex administrative departments.


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Therbs mumbles...

Posted September 22, 2015
I just hope that Payne has the depth of character and strength of spirit to accomplish what all of her predecessors have failed to achieve - the annexation of New Zealand.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 22, 2015
Therbs, I assume you're hoping that happens before the end of the rugby world cup, so that we can claim the near-inevitable All Blacks win as our own.

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted September 22, 2015
Surely it's all about the sheep.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted September 22, 2015
I await havoc's learned, balanced nuanced discourse on this issue

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted September 22, 2015
FUCKIN' CAP DA MUTHAFUCKAHS!!!!

You know, I just can't sustain it.

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