Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Army chief admits morale concerns over lack of combat?

Lance Corporal Jason Marks with his two children.

Lieutenant General Leahy was responding to public criticism from two infantry officers who have written in the Australian Army Journal.

The officers claim that some soldiers are sometimes ashamed to wear the Australian uniform and have been treated with "near contempt" by allies in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are involved in such low-risk missions.

One of the authors, Major Jim Hammett, says there is a widespread perception amongst troops that the army is "plagued by institutional cowardice".

In a separate article, Captain Greg Colton says there is frustration that the infantry are getting second rate operations ad compared to the special forces.

The officers say the policy of leaving Australian combat operations to SAS and other special operations troops is having a detrimental effect on the morale of regular infantrymen.

Lieutenant General Leahy has said he is aware that some infantry soldiers are not happy about being excluded from combat action, but he says that simply reflects the changing role of the military.

"What we've seen is the changing nature of war - this is no longer infantry wearing red jackets and white cross straps, taking on the army of another king," he said.

"What we're seeing now is that we're required to work in different populations to work to protect, to support and persuade.

"And the important work that our infantry are doing in the Solomon Islands, in East Timor, and other places, gives us a clear indication of that."

The Australian Defence Association (ADA) says the infantry should be given more combat roles.

ADA executive director Neil James says Australian officers are feeling inadequate as they watch other nations' infantry in combat against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"Basically, most of their duties are predominantly protective, and this is the problem," he said.

"They have fairly severe restrictions on what they're allowed to do, not just formally but informally, in that the role they're allocated is mainly protecting the engineers in Afghanistan."

Quote: Is this propaganda? If not then why not? Jim Hammett and Greg Colton, need to check out the Memorial Day Special Winter Soldier and tell us if they still think they missed out on something. You idiots!!! The best thing Lieutenant General Leahy and Neil James could do is fully educate the two infantry officers about the real dangers of war and or send them to take the place of fallen US soldiers on the front line if they don’t shut up. There could be another tact to this propaganda and that is if the military is ‘promoting’ Jim Hammett and Greg Colton to ‘strategically convince’ other military personnel and the country that they should be put on the front line instead and at more risk because they are about to be placed there anyway??? These resource wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, for the likes of Neil James, are about stealing their oil resources and have 'nothing' do with defence of this nation. If you want to defend Australia then change the name to the Humanitarian Aid Group instead of the guise of Defence Association and start helping people out instead of stealing oil that doesn't belong to you.


Memorial Day Special…Winter Soldier on the Hill: War Vets Testify Before Congress
War veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan came to Capitol Hill this month to testify before Congress and give an eyewitness account about the horrors of war. Like the Winter Soldier hearings in March, when more than 200 service members gathered for four days in Silver Spring, Maryland to give their eyewitness accounts of the injustices occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan, “Winter Soldier on the Hill” was designed to drive home the human cost of the war and occupation—this time, to the very people in charge of doing something about it. The name, Winter Soldier, comes from a similar event in 1971, when hundreds of Vietnam veterans gathered in Detroit, and is derived from the opening line of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, “The Crisis,” published in 1776: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” In a packed public hearing this month, the soldiers testified before a panel of lawmakers from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Today we spend the hour hearing their testimony.

Slain commando's body on way home to Australia
The body of the Australian special forces commando killed in Afghanistan this week is on its way home.

US dockers strike over Iraq war
Union officials say about 10,000 longshore workers who handle cargo along the west coast of the United States have stayed away from work in a one-day protest against the war in Iraq.

Thousands take part in anti-war protests
Thousands of anti-war protesters have marched in Britain and the United States to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

Aussies hurt as bomber kills 15
TWO Australian journalists were wounded in a suicide bombing that killed about 15 people in Afghanistan yesterday, just two days after an Australian commando was killed in battle.

In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.

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