Certain local issues that have arisen in the Pacific Island region, our traditional stomping grounds, have led to our army being stretched more than it has ever been. This leaves one wondering what would happen if the country itself were to be attacked by some local threat. We may be at a point where we would no longer be able to repel such an attack. This makes one feel that our army is no longer a ‘defence’ force and is in fact being used as an ‘offence’ force. We now seem to be quietly deploying further naval assets north into the Korean peninsula region following the nuclear tests. They could be used to assist in any naval blockades that are used against the North Koreans. Or they could just be quietly deploying in time for the World War.
At any rate should the attack on Iran commence our forces will be at extreme risk. As our media and government have so far ignored that these attacks are building there has been no talk of what our planned response would be to this. The parliament has not even issued a statement condemning the US for even threatening such attacks. And we have many troops on the front lines of this conflict who would be in the firing line once the world war breaks out. We have approximately 2000 troops in Iraq. These troops will be swept up in whatever insurgent chaos is unleashed against the Coalition by both the Sunni and the Shia following the bombings. If the Coalition suddenly finds itself overrun one wonders what our plan for this is.
On the Afghan front we have been helping fill the gap as the traditional NATO countries have shied further away from sending more troops. This means we now have almost 400 troops on the ground in this theatre. They have been assisting the British and have been involved in some of the heavy fighting against the resurgent Taleban. Indeed the single largest battle to involve Australian forces since Vietnam occurred there in July during the Lebanon crisis. However our media is now so censored that nothing was mentioned of this until over a month later.
This has been one of the more atrocious crimes of the Howard regime. He will not even allow the troops the basic dignity of having the work they are doing reported on in an honest fashion. For all the negative things going on in their country at least the Americans are reporting on the war that they are directly involved in and discussing casualties. Despite many of our soldiers being severely wounded in the action they are seeing over there our media is not reporting on it correctly. The British media is showing its people front line action involving their troops in Afghanistan. And yet every engagement involving Australia’s troops is being treated like a CIA operation and kept in the utmost secrecy from our media. There is barely ever footage shot by Australian media showing our troops in combat. Whether you agree with the war or not this shows a despicable lack of care from the Howard government even for the troops that they are sending into this disaster.
The very real danger is that our troops on either flank of the Iran war could be quickly overwhelmed and slaughtered in drastic numbers in the chaos. And we could become involved in any war in Korea as it is traditionally viewed as being part of our region. Of course we do not have anywhere near the numbers needed in our army to engage in any war of this size so as with the US and the UK the draft would have to be quickly installed again in order to cope with the sudden strain on our military. Some military men have begun calling for this to be the case and a slow debate is building over whether our country will bring back conscription. At the least they intend to force some sort of limited National Service onto a percentage of the population.
Australia would also be hard hit by whatever economic disaster the war would unleash. An attack on Iran could see oil at over $100 a barrel. If the American economy tumbled due to the spiking oil prices we could be exposed to this collapse. And if interest rates were driven markedly higher by the increased energy prices it could have a devastating affect on our local economy as well. It would not be a good time to be an Australian ‘battler’ with any kind of mortgage. In short it is utterly suicidal to continue following America to their doom.