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Abstract: This study was commissioned by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Afghanistan Working Group (AWG) to provide a clearer overview of the key aid modalities used by the Australian Government in Afghanistan. Particular attention was paid to aid delivered by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as part of its counterinsurgency efforts in Uruzgan Province. The study was carried out from May – July 2010.
Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan dates largely from 11 September 2001. Prior to this and dating back to 1994, the Australian aid portfolio was minimal and ADF involvement was limited to mine clearance activities through the United Nations. After 9/11, and due to its role as major non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally and an ally of the US increased significantly in 2006 with the deployment of ADF personnel to Uruzgan Province to support both military and stabilization/reconstruction efforts.
Currently Australia supports the revised Obama Administration’s strategy for Afghanistan that has seen a strategic shift in military command of NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with a changed emphasis and the direction of military operations towards a counter-insurgency (COIN) ‘clear, hold and build’ campaign. The central principle in COIN strategy is to protect the population, reverse the Talban’s momentum and create the space to develop security and governance capacity in Afghanistan.
Abstract: The international security implications of failed and failing states are profound. To achieve stability requires a commitment from the international community to rebuild the host state and avert future conflict. Thus, successful stability operations require a long-term civil-military commitment, as evidenced by lessons from events following World War II and the Korean War. Smith and Shrimpton highlight key lessons from historical and recent nationbuilding interventions in nonpermissive environments, and urge Australia to give higher priority to preemptive strategies that help prevent conflict, and to holistic approaches that build sustainable stability. The authors argue that Australia's primary efforts should remain focused on its nearer geographic region, capitalizing on the interests, relationships, and benefits that proximity offers. This strategic approach to nationbuilding would enhance international security and reduce the prospects of international conflict in the Pacific region while strengthening Australia's contribution to regional stability.
Abstract: Domestic public opinion is frequently and correctly described as a crucial battlefront in the war in Afghanistan. Commentary by media and political figures currently notes not only the falling support for the war in the United States but also in many of its key allies in Europe and elsewhere, making it all the more difficult for the Obama administration to secure the help it believes it needs to bring the war to a successful conclusion. This study is an extensive examination of the determinants of domestic support for and opposition to the war in Afghanistan in the United States and in five of its key allies--the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Tracing the trajectory of public opinion on the war from the original invasion in 2001 to the fall of 2009, this paper concludes that the combination of mounting casualties with a declining belief that the war could be won by the Coalition is the key factor driving the drop in support. Other factors, such as the deployment of numerous and shifting rationales by the political leadership in various countries, and the breakdown of elite consensus have played important but secondary roles in this process.
Abstract: In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo explores two major changes that are creating a new Middle East: the end of American hegemony; and the economic and strategic reconnection of the Middle East to Asia. Bubalo explores some of the implications of this shift for Australian international policy, against the background of continuing community ambivalence toward the Middle East and to those issues that are part of the Middle East security equation, most notably, Afghanistan. The ‘New Middle East’ is a title with an unhappy history.
In 1993, Shimon Peres, then Israeli Foreign Minister and now Israeli President, declared that
peace would be the foundation for a dramatic regional transformation. A ‘New
Middle East’, he argued, could be built upon a web of economic, cultural and scientific links
spun across the region.
His vision barely survived the scepticism of his fellow Israelis and the suspicions of the
Arabs. Ultimately, Peres’ vision of a ‘New Middle East’ perished where it began. The
demise of IsraeliPalestinian
put an end to any dreams of IsraeliArab
In 2006, then US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, used the term in reference to another
project for regional transformation. Defending charges of American inaction in the IsraeliLebanon
war of that year, she argued that the United States was not interested preserving an
unhappy status quo. What the world was witnessing in the Lebanon war, Rice promised, was
‘the birth pangs of a New Middle East’. She was, of course, referring to the Bush Administration’s ambitious project for a democratic
revolution in the region, which it kicked off by invading Iraq. But Bush’s vision proved as
stillborn as Peres’. In coming years Iraq may well emerge as a reasonably stable and
relatively democratic state, but not in any way that people in the region will be clamouring to
emulate. Even if one does not have a grand scheme of change in mind it is wise, therefore, to be
cautious about predicting change in the Middle East. Nevertheless, I do believe we are on the
threshold of two major, closely related changes in the region: the end of US hegemony and
the Middle East’s reconnection with the rest of Asia.
Abstract: The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (NL MOD) commissioned RAND Europe to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Netherlands armed forces, asking RAND to focus on recent deployments of the Netherlands armed forces relative to the deployments of other countries' armed forces. This study is therefore not a root and branch consideration of the Netherlands armed forces, but a comparative study of several different armed forces to illustrate contrasts and similarities with those of the Netherlands. This study was conducted within the context of the NL MOD's Future Policy Survey, which is a review of the Netherlands' future defence ambition, required capabilities and associated levels of defence expenditure. The Future Policy Survey was delivered to the Netherlands Parliament in April 2010. The overarching aim of the Dutch Future Policy Survey is to provide greater insight into how to exploit and enhance the potential contribution of the Netherlands armed forces.
Abstract: Afghan civilians deserve amends from warring parties for deaths, injuries, and property
losses—that is, some form of recognition and monetary compensation. Under international
law and agreements signed with the Afghan government, the troop contributing nations
(TCNs) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are not liable for damage to
civilian property or civilian injury or death as a result of lawful operations. However, most
ISAF members now offer payments when such losses occur. This is a marked improvement
from the early days of the conflict when the US and its NATO allies declined to address civilian
harm. CIVIC’s research into the experiences of ISAF troops and Afghan civilians demonstrates that
when international military forces provide payment (henceforth called “compensation” to
indicate both monetary and in-kind help), especially combined with an apology for harm,
civilian hostility toward international forces decreases. However, the effectiveness of these
payments has been limited by the lack of uniform policies across ISAF nations, limited information
gathering about civilian harm generally and, in many cases, insensitive requirements
that civilians suffering losses take the initiative to file claims.
This report describes the policies and practices of major ISAF TCNs. It finds that soldiers as
well as civilians view amends for harm favorably. The process of investigation, negotiation
of payment, and offers of formal compensation are opportunities to strengthen relationships
with local leaders and communities, to explain what happened, and acknowledge loss.
Abstract: This is the third in a series of backgrounders the NEFA Foundation has published on extremist ideologues that take a close look at the personalities, doctrine, scope of influence, and methods of communication of some of the most influential purveyors of radical Islamist ideology to English-speaking audiences. As U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies become increasingly concerned about homegrown terrorism at a time when Al-Qaida is actively encouraging American Muslims to commit terrorist acts, understanding the sources of radicalization becomes an essential component of combating the threat. Here, we profile Feiz Muhammad (a.k.a. Feiz Mohammad, Sheik Feiz), an Australian citizen now residing in Malaysia, who has been labeled Australia’s “most dangerous sheikh” due to the number of connections he has to known and suspected terrorists.
Muhammad’s target audience is young Muslims worldwide who feel disaffected and disassociated from local Muslim communities, where mosque clerics show “a lack of interest toward the youth.” His lectures frame the United States as the enemy of all Muslims, including those living in the United States and in other Western countries. Al Qaida’s message is reinforced by radical Islamist figures like Feiz Muhammad, who continually frames the U.S. as the enemy of Muslims, including those who live in the United States. In addition, he calls on Muslims to participate in armed jihad. Muhammad is already perceived as credible by his audience. His credibility will likely rise as he continues to pursue an education in Islam in Malaysia, where he resides currently, and his following will also likely continue to grow as increasing numbers of English-speaking Muslims are exposed to his lectures via the internet.
Abstract: Australia’s current role in Afghanistan is the latest experience in a long history of involvement in counterinsurgency conflicts or ‘small wars’. Australia needs to worry a little less about the small problems it has with big wars, and address some of the big problems that it has with small wars. Small wars, such as insurgencies, became the most prevalent form of conflict globally in the middle of the 20th century. The 2009 Australian Defence White Paper predicts that intrastate conflict will remain the most common form of war in the period to 2030. Australia has a long record of involvement in such conflicts, although participation has always been a matter of choice. But the fact that these are wars of choice for Australia, and that it frequently only plays a bit part, does not mean that they are insignificant in cost and political impact. And history demonstrates that small wars of choice can become wars of necessity. Australia’s interest as a democratic middle power that chooses to engage in counterinsurgency conflicts requires the development of sound strategic policy approaches and capabilities to defeat the insurgency Hydra. Despite this, the focus of Australia’s national strategic policies has remained on conventional, interstate warfare. Examples from Australian experience highlight the difficulties that arise from adopting a primarily tactical approach to counterinsurgency and the enduring nature of counterinsurgency as a policy problem. Insurgency itself is not a tactical action — it is a holistic strategy, aimed at a political outcome. So countering insurgency must be a strategic action, irrespective of whether carried out by a host nation or a middle power acting as a member of a coalition. This paper identifies five effective ways for a democratic middle power such as Australia to conduct counterinsurgency: population focus, an indirect approach, pre-emption, information activities and the use of adaptive measures. These provide a framework for the development of an appropriate counterinsurgency strategy for Australia’s circumstances.
Abstract: The planned withdrawal of Netherlands forces
from Oruzgan in mid-2010 raises questions
about who will replace the Dutch as lead
nation in the province and about the fragile
stability that has been built there by the Dutch
and the Australians. President Obama’s
announcement raises further questions about
the number and role of Australian forces in
Afghanistan and about Australia’s civil and
diplomatic contributions to the stabilisation of
Afghanistan and its broader region. US President Obama’s decision to dispatch
30,000 additional troops to the war in
Afghanistan, announced in a speech to the
West Point military academy on 1 December,
has echoes of former President Bush’s own
surge of 20,000 troops to Iraq in 2007. Like
the surge in Iraq, Obama’s surge seeks to turn
around a losing war, or rather to demonstrate
that it is still ultimately winnable.
Abstract: In July 2009, the UN General Assembly held an Interactive Informal Dialogue and plenary session on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The dialogue provided the first opportunity for the UN membership as a whole to discuss implementation of the 2005 World Summit’s commitment to the RtoP and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the matter. Fifteen governments from the Asia-Pacific region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, DPRK, PNG and Malaysia, participated in the dialogue. This culminated in a resolution co-sponsored by, inter alia, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and New Zealand that noted the Secretary-General’s report, observed the fruitfulness of the interactive dialogue, and committed the Assembly to further consideration of the RtoP.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the dialogue was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation (with the exception of North Korea).
Abstract: Governments in the Asia-Pacific are often referred to as skeptics or spoilers in conversations about deepening and harnessing global consensus on the „Responsibility to Protect‟ (R2P). This working paper argues that, on the contrary, there exists a broad constituency within the region for moving the principle from rhetoric to reality at the United Nations (UN). Based on contributions to Security Council debates on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (POC), regional states have been both receptive to and promoters of tangible measures to operationalise institutional mechanisms to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes. Statements in the two most recent meetings are of particular significance given that they represent one of the last opportunities to gauge regional positions ahead of the forthcoming General Assembly debate on the R2P. In conclusion, I suggest that the Asia-Pacific region is much more receptive to the R2P principle than has hitherto been acknowledged. The first section of the working paper walks through the development of the R2P principle and the history of the UN Security Council's thematic interest in POC. The subsequent section unpacks and clarifies the relationship between the R2P and POC. The paper then proceeds to analyse the contributions of Asia-Pacific states to the two lattermost Council debates on POC, emphasising the significance of these statements for the institutional future of the R2P at the UN, as well as normative traction and increased ownership of the R2P in and by the region. Finally, the paper concludes by recommending the way ahead if Asia-Pacific states are to remain constructive partners in moving the principle towards praxis.
Abstract: The decision by the Australian Government on 21 August 2009 to officially
list the al-Shabaab group as a terrorist organisation highlights a subject of
growing concern in many Western governments: what is the danger posed
by the Somali-based group, and is it merely a regional actor? The question
is one of growing salience as stories increasingly surface of young Western
(or Westernised) men leaving their homes to fight and train with the Islamic
warriors in Somalia. Furthermore, the growing parallels with the 'chain of
terror' that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown highlighted, emanating
from Pakistan's lawless provinces through Europe's Muslim communities,
mean fears are growing that it might result in a terrorist attack on the scale
of the Madrid or London bombings.
This article outlines the growing sense of apparent threat in the West from
networks linked in some way to al-Shabaab. It offers some brief thoughts
on the growing links between what are herein termed 'the Shabaab
networks' and whether the threat from them is one than can be paralleled
with the threat from the similarly structured al-Qaeda networks.
Abstract: The Australian Government has stepped-up its support for President Barack Obama’s strategy
for Afghanistan and Pakistan by increasing its Operation Slipper military commitment.
Right now the main focus of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) mission in Afghanistan is to
help build a capable Afghan National Army (ANA). This effort is critical to the success of the
coalition’s new strategic approach to stabilise the volatile region and deny violent extremists
a sanctuary along its borderlands. The government’s much anticipated troop increase,
announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 29 April 2009, will see a near 50% expansion
of the ADF presence in Afghanistan by 2010, with troop numbers rising from 1,090 to
1,550 personnel. The operational goal of sending extra forces to Afghanistan is to raise the
effectiveness of an ANA infantry brigade so it can assume primary responsibility for security
in Oruzgan Province, thereby creating the conditions for the withdrawal of the ADF over
the medium term. This paper examines challenges for the ADF in ‘operationalising’ the new
strategy by conducting security sector reform (SSR)2 whilst combating the Taliban insurgency
in southern Afghanistan.
Abstract: Operation Neath, one of the largest counterterrorism operations in Australian history, culminated in a series of early morning raids in Melbourne on August 4. The four men arrested were all Australian citizens of Lebanese or Somali descent and apparently part of a larger group of 18 individuals under observation by police. In a press conference on the day of the arrests, police laid out their central charge that the men were “planning to carry out a suicide terrorist attack” on an Australian military base using “automatic weapons” in “a sustained attack on military personnel until they themselves were killed.” According to police, some individuals in the plot had been to and presumably trained in Somalia, and had sought a “fatwa” (religious ruling) that would authorize them to carry out attacks in Australia.
Four men (Saney Aweys, 26, of North Carlton; Yacqub Khayre, 22, of Meadow Heights; Nayef El Sayed, 25, of Glenroy; and Abdirahman Ahmed, 25, of Preston) were arrested in the raids, while a fifth man (Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 33) was already in custody on unrelated charges. Police were apparently alerted to the cell late last year after individuals at a local mosque reported the increasingly extremist rhetoric of one of the plotters. Telephone wiretaps were obtained and the security services soon overheard discussions between a key plotter and individuals in Somalia. The Australian plotter appeared to be seeking assistance for individuals to go and train with al-Shabaab in Somalia. Reports indicate that two men apparently did go and train, one of whom (believed to be Walid Osman Mohamed) remains in Somalia, presumably training or fighting with the Somali Islamist fighters. The other man, Yacqub Khayre, is alleged to have returned to Australia on July 14, having obtained a “fatwa” or legal ruling from Somalia authorizing a terrorist attack in Australia.
Abstract: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is currently involved in peacebuilding operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands; Australian government agencies remain engaged in reconstruction in post-conflict Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). Peacebuilding has been and will remain a major task for the ADF in the Pacific, as part of a larger governmental and aid response. The wider context for these commitments is the view that state incapacity or even failure is in prospect in parts of Australia’s immediate Pacific region. The causes of state failure include lack of a diversified economy, a dependence on exports of natural resources, a rapidly growing population, and poor education levels; a number of Pacific countries exhibit these characteristics. The conflict on Bougainville has been the most intractable in which Australian forces have been involved. The formation of Peace Monitoring Groups (largely composed of ADF personnel, but unarmed) engaged in weapons destruction, building trust and encouraging the eventual realisation of local autonomy was a major contribution to the peace process. The ADF experience of Timor-Leste dates from INTERFET. The need to redeploy peacekeeping troops in 2006 demonstrated that the existing peacebuilding program focused especially on security sector reform, while positive was still too narrow to address governance incapacity problems. From 2003 ADF elements have been central to the RAMSI reconstruction program in Solomon Islands. Though violence has largely been eradicated, the political crisis of 2006 demonstrated the need for the closest cooperation with the host government. These regional case studies show that peacebuilding is a complex task which requires engagement across all of the institutions of order and governance as well as with the wider society. Security sector reform remains a crucial area of peacebuilding in which military forces are inextricably involved. However, effective security reform depends ultimately upon the existence of governments that welcome, support, and own such reform.
Abstract: This paper suggests ways by which the
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands
(RAMSI) and Australian policy generally might
assist in building state and nation in Solomon
Islands. The first section of our paper briefly surveys
the experience of nation and state building in
other parts of the world, and the second examines
the Solomon Islands context and how the country
came to be in its present plight. These sections
establish that there are few successful models from
which to draw lessons, and offer some guidance
on the kinds of reforms and of development
assistance required in the Solomons.
We then propose approaches RAMSI should
adopt in the Initial Phase (Phase I) and in the
Post-Stabilisation Phase (Phase II). Although we
accept Phase I – Phase II terminology, the options
and our recommendations are not necessarily
sequential. Most should be set in motion from
the outset. Our major recommendation is that
attention should be focused on helping establish
processes – robust and sustainable – by which
change in key areas of governance can be effected
in large part by Solomon Islanders.
For Phase II we recommend a focus on revisiting
(cautiously) the constitutional review
process with a view to broadening the debate
on federalism; strengthening the key decision
making institutions; encouraging civil society;
and giving sustained attention to policy on law
and justice, communications, rural development,
youth affairs and ‘flashpoints’, especially Honiara.
In conclusion we review long- and short-term
risks and obstacles that could undo or hinder the
recovery and regeneration of Solomon Islands.
Abstract: Internal conflict has become the predominant threat to the security and stability of many of the small island nations of the Southwest Pacific and particularly in the countries of Melanesia.
Since the late 1980s, conflicts of varying causes and degrees of intensity have occurred in Papua New Guinea (Bougainville secession attempt)i, Fiji (coups and attempted coups), Vanuatu (police rebellion) and Solomon Islands (ethnic conflict and coup).
These events have seriously debilitated the already fragile national economies and polities of all countries, so much so in the Solomon Islands that that country is now being described by many analysts as a “failing”, if not “failed”, state.ii
While most of these countries have so far been able (not without difficulty) to maintain a measure of state integrity, the situation in Solomon Islands has become so precarious that Australia and New Zealand (with the support of most Pacific Island governments and anticipating a request from the Solomons’ parliament) are preparing to intervene in an attempt to restore the rule of law and rebuild administrative institutions. The form of that intervention is not yet clear - it is thought likely to include up to 2,000 armed military and police with a large team of civilian technical personnel – nor has a mandate been determined.
In this context a host of questions arises as to how best to resolve, contain, manage and/or transform these internal conflicts in the interest of the security, stability and well-being of the peoples of the countries concerned and of the region as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to consider one form of conflict management undertaken recently in the region; that is, the peace monitoring interventions by Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in Bougainville and Solomon Islands. How useful have these exercises been in assisting peace processes and in conflict management/peace construction, and what lessons can be drawn from them for any future such operations - including perhaps for the more vigorous “co-operative intervention” currently in prospect?
Abstract: These assessments, compiled by the CSIS Transnational Threats Project, were drafted by members of the CSIS Trusted Information Network project on Southeast Asia (TIN-2). The Transnational Threats Project created and operated TIN-2 to examine extremism and transnational crime in Southeast Asia and the surrounding region. Comprising top specialists from the region and beyond, this network highlighted the immense expertise such a group could bring to bear on important national security priorities. Primary analysis and findings of the TIN-2 project were published in an April 2009 CSIS report, The Power of Outreach: Leveraging Expertise on Threats in Southeast Asia.Because the TIN-2 discussion questions focused on overarching thematic issues, the editors felt it was important to draw on the tremendous and varied knowledge of the TIN-2 team to create a regional threat assessment. To this end, the TIN members drafted a short paper on their respective areas of expertise.
The 16 assessments address terrorism and criminality in the Southeast Asia region as a whole as well as the individual countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Australia. As the essays show, the situation is improving in some counties, while violence in on the upswing in others. The authors bring to bear direct experience with local terrorist threats, painting a concise and realistic picture. They pay particular attention to the role of local governments in fighting the threats, which have succeeded when they focus not on ideology or reframing the narrative but rather on reducing local grievances and encouraging and offering opportunities for mainstream Muslims. The lessons that can be drawn from these essays in effect recalibrate the debate on terrorism in Southeast Asia and, more generally, offer insights on strategy and tactics to countering local extremist threats.
Abstract: The most commonly accepted definition of a ‘refugee’ is set out in the United Nations 1951
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (the ‘Refugees Convention’). This Convention defines
refugees as people who are outside their country of nationality and are unable or unwilling to return
because of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political
opinion or membership of a particular social group. It is the key document outlining the obligations
under international law for countries who have signed the Convention.
The Refugees Convention only applied to refugee situations known in 1951 and was therefore
limited to European countries. The United Nations 1967 Protocol (the ‘1967 Protocol’) removed
this limitation and extended the Convention to cover refugee situations occurring after 1951 in
Australia was the sixth country to ratify the Refugees Convention and ratified the 1967 Protocol in
1973. This means that the Convention and its definitions are reflected in our domestic law. Common refugee experiences include seeing their
homes and communities destroyed and spending
many years living in refugee camps or in volatile urban
situations. Mobility and opportunities for employment are
limited, and they often do not have access to health or
education services. Many have been subjected to rape
and torture, witnessed friends being murdered or been
separated from their family when fleeing their homes.
These experiences are impossible to forget, but
Australia’s Humanitarian Program offers refugees the
chance to make a better future for themselves and
Abstract: This factsheet details Australia's role in Afghanistan. Australia has approximately 1,090 defence personnel working in Afghanistan, as part of Operation SLIPPER.
In April, 2009, the Australian Government announced an additional 450 troops would be sent to Afghanistan. When they arrive, Australia's contribution will be approximately 1,550.
Abstract: Fiji President Iloilo’s abrogation of the 1997 constitution has
entrenched a military dictatorship in Australia’s backyard.
Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s dominant leadership of the
interim government and his exclusion of dissenting voices will
exacerbate and accelerate economic decline in Fiji and cause
unprecedented hardship to Fiji’s population. The economic
implications threaten the whole Pacific Islands region and challenge
Australia’s capacity to demonstrate regional leadership.
Abstract: Many adults in Australia believe their government is wrong in boosting the country’s military presence in Afghanistan, according to a poll by Essential Research. 49 per cent of respondents oppose the commitment of another 450 troops to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden without evidence of his participation in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.
At least 1,141 soldiers—including 10 Australians—have died in the war on terrorism, either in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). There are currently about 1,100 Australian troops serving in Afghanistan, most of them involved in reconstruction efforts.
Abstract: Afghanistan is not going well. Events are not yet catastrophic but if the situation doesn't change we'll probably lose the war. The Taliban and al-Qaeda, and not the Afghan people, will control the country.
The insurgency is at least as difficult as that in Iraq. It is complex ethnically, religiously and tribally, the country is poorer, the population less skilled, the border porous but violence is still far less than it was for most of the six years of Iraq's insurgency. Iraq exemplifies the possibility of success, the need to keep our nerve, the importance of endurance and the fact that severe downturns are war's norm.
Four lines of operations give structure to counter-insurgency - security, governance, development and information - and the situation is deteriorating in all.
Attacks on security forces, the people and NGOs, are increasing and there is a reliance on local militias or warlords. The Taliban and al-Qaeda have border sanctuary in Pakistan. There is a lack of unity of effort among the foreign security forces, which is grossly understrength and limited in effectiveness by the operational restrictions placed on elements by their own governments. Protection of the population and essential services is weak. The Afghan National Army is understrength and undeveloped. The Afghan National Police faces severe problems.
Abstract: Federal government spending on
counter‑terrorism has increased substantially
since the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington in September 2001.
According to recent estimates, Australia’s
cumulative spending on terrorism-related
measures will exceed $10 billion by the end of
the decade. That spending has been allocated
across a broad and diverse range of initiatives
including overseas military operations,
intelligence collection and analysis,
international police deployments and a range
of new domestic security functions involving
both Commonwealth and state and territory
governments. The cost of national security is
high and it is growing.
Despite the increased levels of funding
there is no systematic way to examine
public expenditures on counter-terrorism in
Australia. Security and intelligence agencies
are now seeking better methods to measure
and assess individual national security
functions. As yet, however, governments have
not settled on a specific formula for assessing
the overall success or failure in the ‘war
Such a task is complicated by the fact
that the principal desired outcome, the
non‑occurrence of a terrorist attack on home soil, is difficult to attribute to a specific action
by one agency or to a government policy.
And foiled attacks are rarely made public. The
task is also challenging due to the fact that as
funding has increased the public has strongly
supported government efforts to enhance
public safety. So a stricter performance
measurement approach to national security
spending contains inherent dilemmas for both
governments and the public. But given the centrality of counter-terrorism
to national security and foreign policy
considerations, an analysis of the benefits
(or effectiveness) and costs (expenditure) of
counter-terrorism should be an increasingly
important component of public sector
management. In a period of global financial
turmoil, and growing pressure on national
budgets, hard choices will need to be made.
Governments will need better metrics to
highlight performance measurement issues
and to make the sometimes difficult choices
between individual security measures or
more broadly between national security and
other public policy goals. A more rigorous set
of assessment tools would provide a stronger
evidence-based approach to support national
security decision-making. And informed
choices can help to allay public concerns if the
risk mitigation strategy is seen to be the most
efficient and effective use of public money.
Abstract: Armed forces around the world are making increasing use of part-time personnel to sustain operational deployments and to deliver levels of capability beyond those possible with their full-time forces.
The report, written by Andrew Davies and Hugh Smith, argues that some changes could help the ADF Reserve forces to provide more capability, including reintroduction of the Ready Reserve to build on the success of the ADF ‘Gap Year’ program, placing seldom-used ADF capabilities mostly (or completely) into the Reserve, examples might include artillery and ground-based air defence, and closer interaction between the ADF and employers of reservists through a ‘sponsored reserves’ scheme.