The article ‘British pull-out triggers Iraq row’ in the Canberra Times 4/9/07, and ‘Dutch withdrawal to leave our troops exposed and job undone’ in todays Canberra times have struck me deeply. A good friend will be deployed to Iraq this week. With the majority of the Australian contingent in Iraq under 30, as I am, the short-sighted, petty squabbling by aged men like Rudd and Nelson upsets me.
Australia obviously has a long term commitment to the people of Iraq following our involvement there over the past 5 years. However, I’m deeply concerned that there seems to be no long tern strategy for the future of Iraq. Let’s move beyond talking about when we will eventually withdraw our forces. What will the cost be over the next 5 years, and the next 20 years? Our generation of Australians and Iraqis will still be dealing with the mess started by people that will be out of office, Prime Minister Howard.
Australia’s strategic planning is badly stretched. The current ‘operational tempo’ of our defence force is at an all time high and the majority of our forces are deployed overseas. Recruitment is down to a historic low and personnel retention is slipping. As we saw in the Canberra Times article ‘A too ambitious defence strategy ‘ on 7/7/07, it is unlikely that the Australian Defence Force will be able to maintain the levels of personnel needed. I want to know how the ALP and the Coalition expect to secure Australia sustainably in the future.
ACT Senate Candidate
[ED (Kramer) – We usually inisist on a more Canberra centric spin for most stories instead of getting buried in national politics, but as a ACT candidate for the Senate we’ll give you a bit of leeway to get on the soapbox. To bring the focus back to the ACT (its always about us here on RiotACT), we should ask how the ACT Liberal, Labor, Democrat, or other party candidates and their parties expect to secure Australia sustainably in the future?]