Khaki is the new black

Minister for Defence Brendan Nelson has revealed the Army is planning to entice young Australians to ‘try before you buy’ the military experience during their gap year. Skeptics are already wondering if this move is a precursor to the reintroduction of national service.

Sapper Nelson of course dons his KEVLAR and boldly charges forth to qualify the national service option as a last resort, only to have to once again rethink this government’s (and his) credibility…

“It would be extremely divisive in Australia, there would be a great fault line through Australian society. The only circumstance under which any government would seriously entertain national service or conscription is if there was a direct, immediate and credible military threat to Australia.” -Brendan Nelson 14:15 15/10/06.

“The Government has absolutely no intention at all of reintroducing national service or conscription” -Brendan Nelson 19:48 15/10/06.

I wonder if the speedy change of rhetoric had anything to do with somebody reminding Brendan of Downer’s credibility howler in 2004?

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5 Responses to “Khaki is the new black”

  1. Graham Bell Says:

    Allowing students to spend their gap year doing paid military training might be a good idea for some.

    However, because of Australia’s current and worsening geopolitical blunders and because of the crash of recruiting for the Australian Defence Force due almost entirely to the ADF’s unbelievably stupid, onept, incompetent, silly, counter-productive, whimsy-driven recruitment policies and practices ….. this is indeed a precursor for the reintroduction of national service and perhaps even the introduction of general conscription.

    As I have said so many times recently, there are only four things delaying the onset of national service [1] fear of having so many fit, trained, disciplined people return to the workforce after military service and cause trouble (one reason the ‘fifties-era national service was wound up) [2] resistance by the corporate sector to the government poaching its best-and-brightest staff, [3] probable fine-tuning of a credible system of scutage and gangplank-dodging that would allow the children of the favoured to avoid hazardous service or even to avoid military service altogether (there were too many problems with the ad-hoc methods used during the Viet-Nam War – manifestly faked childhood medical records and all that). [4] the inability of the ADF to cope with the sudden influx of large numbers of recruits.

    To which units are your loved ones likely to be sent?

  2. Suki Says:

    I watched 4 corners tonight on the ABC with interest.

    Ex CDF Admiral Barrie totally dismissed national service and current Chief of Army LT GEN Peter Leahy thought it is worth considering, parroting Minister Nelson’s credible threat rhetoric.

    As an aside Graham, Leahy now supports HoWARd, rather than Houston.

    From the show’s transcript

    “CHRIS MASTERS: Photos posted on the YouTube website of soldiers in Iraq mucking about with weapons was another embarrassment.

    LT GEN PETER LEAHY (CHIEF OF ARMY): We’ve got a few louts and larrikins. That’s the way it’s always been. It’s part of the ANZAC tradition. They probably understand that we make mistakes. And if you compared that to other sections of the community, we’d probably make about the same number of mistakes. But ours tend to be pretty spectacular.”

  3. Graham Bell Says:

    That ABC 4 Corners program “@nzacs” frightened me; not the topic – which was interesting of course – but the way it was treated. Welcome to the new bland compliant ABC …. and to the new Department of Propaganda.

    Attitudes change, methods change ….. and maybe soldiers now have to be fitter than when I was in ((a view that is not shared by a lot of old soldiers)).

    Leahy? Yes, I still think Houston was ambushed – possibly even by those around him – for the benefit of the p-rhyme minister and his cronies. Nothing new in that: look at what America’s worst president did to Colin Powell..

  4. Suki Says:

    My, oh my, Graham, how obvious was it that the bulk of the talking heads had been scripted by Defence’s public relations, media and recruiting unit?

    It was just this side of a “Miss World pagaent”
    Q. What are your hopes for the world?
    A. I hope for world peace

    Q. What do you think about the idea that in 12 months time you might be in Iraq or Afghanistan?
    A. Good, oh, I’m looking forward to it. The travel and all that and seeing a lot of…a lot of things that you wouldn’t really get to see ’cause of having to save up the money and stuff. When you think about it, you’re doing your job in a different country, getting paid for it, and seeing stuff that you… most people will never ever see. So, I think…that’s the way I’m looking at it. I can’t wait to.

    I wanted to see some crusty old warrant officers 🙂
    I’m not surprised they were absent. There’s nothing quite like the blunt of one these guys!

    On many occasions, CDF Houston has been able to uphold his values and integrity despite those around him crumbling to HoWARd’s pressure for conformity in all things governmental. Conformity of course to HoWARD!

    This inspires me to have hope for Kerry O’ Brien (swoon), Barry Cassidy, Tony Jones, Fran Kelly and Monica Attard to keep their jobs while keeping their integrity.

  5. Graham Bell Says:

    What gives you the idea that, a year hence, the names of ADF’s Houston or of ABC’s O’Brien, Cassidy, Jones, Kelly or Adams can be mentioned without breaching the anti-sedition laws? Attard, given that her appearance, name, attitude and her association with Russia and other places mentioned in connection with terrrorist activities, will be managed under our new security measures. 🙁

    Yes, the comments of a few old Warrant Officers would have enlivened that ABC 4 Corners program.

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