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Where to from here!

By norvan 19 September 2007 27

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.

Norvan Vogt
ACT Senate Candidate
Australian Democrats

[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?]

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Where to from here!
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Gungahlin Al 5:00 pm 20 Sep 07

Well it’s not often one gets to toss in their two bob worth on a national issue like this, so here goes…

The root cause of much of the problem in Iraq is that it is the US that did the invading, rather than the UN. There would have been a strong argument for the UN to go in there on purely humanitarian grounds rather than made-up WMD excuses, had the US been more patient. But given they did go in on a false premise, things will never resolve while the US remains in there.

I believe that the UN needs to step back in. They should symbolically boot the US (and the poms and us) out, and the wider international community should take over the peacekeeping role. Hopefully with the anti-American element robbed of their targets, the strife will peter away to the sectarian violence, and the Iraq government may be in a better position to cope with that.

BUT the US started this whole thing, so they should have to replace their forces on the ground with equivalent financial resources to cover the costs for all the other countries that have to go in to help clean up the US’s mess.

For what it’s worth…

Ralph 12:30 pm 20 Sep 07

This is 2007, and I can’t believe that some loonies want to argue the supposed merits, or ‘subtle ideological differences’ of communism – probably whilst sipping a cappuccino and munching a tim tam.

A failed paradigm, causing much human misery and hardship.

bonfire 12:18 pm 20 Sep 07

the long term strategy Norvan my red friend, is that iraq is stabilised, becomes democratic and independent, free from the danger of a tyrant reasserting himself (whether its a saddam or an islamofascist), and that stability comes to the region.

despite the rhetoric of handwringing softheads, i dont think the us or australia want to remain in iraq one day longer than necessary.

we do have an obligation to these people, and that requires our presence.

i note you dont seem too concerned about adf troops in the solomons, or east timor or the many other places they are located around the world.

also – they are volunteers. every soldier knows the risk when he takes the queens shilling.

and whats this nonsense about the age of rudd and howard ? churchill made better decisions the older he got. he learnt from mistakes such as gallipoli.

id rather have people with life experience even if its from the prgmatists pit of parliament, than junior ideologues who hold cuba and venezueal up as role models – who protest to stop bush coming to apec and say nothing about the chinese dictatorship.

caf 10:18 am 20 Sep 07

Press controlled by the government and rolling blackouts happen in democracies too, you know.

The real problem with Communism has been that command economies have been shown to be often unable to respond appropriately or quickly enough to changing conditions.

bonfire 10:04 am 20 Sep 07

start your own blog norvan, or will the 20 democrats members in the act merely respond with ‘i agree’ and ‘right on’ when you post this tedious, predictable leftist anti-democracy parrotting.

do you have ideas of your own act residents might be interested in ?

because this shite sounds like youve just come from a ‘resistance’ meeting at ANU.

Mr Evil 10:03 am 20 Sep 07

Mael, all of the Kiwis that I know over here certainly aren’t in any hurry to go back to New Zealand. Sure, maybe when they retire in 20-30 years, but before then – not likely!

The place has well and truly been screwed by successive Labour and National Govts.

Maelinar 9:25 am 20 Sep 07

Economics PhD is piffle when you have horse blinkers on Ralph.

I will answer your question re New Zealanders since you asked nicely.

They are forming a large contingent of the workforce that is sponsoring the current resources boom over here. Call any given mining company, and you have a one in three chance of getting a ‘hullo huw cun I hulp yuh’ at the end of the phone. Same goes with electricity companies, water, construction, engineering etc etc.

Kiwi’s go where the money flows – and it is undeniable that they can make good money here. Bet you a kiwi dollar though that once they have made their money they will return to NZ, I have already seen this process happening, although the cycle of incoming replacements is already in place which will skew statistics for a few years until ABS works out what is happening.

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