How to Build a Brilliant Military Career

anzac gayIn theory, the best and the brightest advance through an organisation over a couple of decades and end up running it. Reality is somewhat different. Even in commercial operations that face the winnowing effects of competition on a daily basis, those who end up running an operation are often that company’s champions at backstabbing. Once ensconced in the corner office, they spend their days plotting against anyone whose competence might come to the attention of higher-ups. It will be ever thus and this observation is not remarkable to readers of Quadrant Online.

But at least nobody dies. It is a different matter in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).  The ADF hasn’t conducted a ground operation at greater than two-battalion strength against an opposing enemy since World War II. It had trouble investing East Timor unopposed in 1999 and had to be helped out with logistics by the US Marines. Our Canberra-class LHDs are one of the fruits of the Timor Leste lesson in logistics, and in turn they are getting the Navy to relearn lessons in maintenance.

Apart from the SAS, which has been hard-worked in small scale operations for decades, the ADF has had nothing to test itself against and the leadership has drifted off to become social justice warriors. From the Townsville Bulletin comes the news that ‘army chief Lieutenant General Angus Campbell is concerned only 12.7 per cent of his ranks are filled by female soldiers. He has insisted that number double to 25 per cent by 2023.’ It is worse than that of course.  This document, the ADF’s diversity and inclusion strategy, states on page 12 that ‘the employment of identified diverse groups that require immediate priority attention’ includes ‘intersex’ people.

There are probably not enough intersex people to cause too much disruption. But on the subject of women in combat, there is one Western liberal democracy that remains in constant danger of being overrun by its neighbours — neighbours who are taught to hate it with their mother’s milk. That nation is Israel. Israel has an interest in maximising the number of people who can be applied to front line combat, so it trialled the application of women in combat. That wasn’t successful for two reasons.

Firstly, troops are trained to keep advancing despite the injuries and screams of their comrades hit by enemy fire. If they don’t, the attack might break and you end up with a worse situation – troops held down in exposed positions and the wounded and dying needing attention. While male troops can be trained to ignore fellow males screaming in pain, it seems men are conditioned by evolution to go to the help of females in distress. This breaks their fighting cohesion and makes such mixed units useless on the battlefield. Secondly, troops react to female comrades being wounded or killed by conducting reprisals against anyone to hand, enemy combatants or civilians. This isn’t good for discipline. So Israel abandoned using women in combat because it just didn’t work out.

It is evident that leadership of the ADF has been captured by a self-perpetuating leftie claque. It is apparent that promotion beyond the rank of captain requires having the correct views on things like global warming. The Army has lately brought in professionals to aid in this screening and indoctrination process. It has commissioned psychometric and psychological testing of its senior officers with respect to ‘personal beliefs, attitudes and associations’. A desire to maim and kill the enemies of Australia (in the style of General Mattis) is likely to be a career ending view.  In 2016 the Army increased its rationing costs by mandating that one-third of all combat ration pack configurations must now be halal.  This means paying halal certifiers, yet there are less than 100 Muslims in the 28,000 strong Australian Army.

Normally –, but these are not normal times — the defence minister would see through the nonsense perpetrated by the military bureaucracy and set things to rights. No such luck. Our current minister opined in her maiden speech to Parliament nearly 20 years ago:

Discrimination against people based on their gender, their race, their sexuality, their religion, their HIV status or their education does not belong in our democracy. Before I hear the clamouring cries of right-wing media commentators about political correctness: this is not a statement about women’s rights, gay rights or minority rights; rather, it is about human rights.

None of this would matter too much if our ADF were never put to the test. But even one of the ADF’s global-warming bedwetters , retired Admiral Chris Barrie, has seen a slight glimmer of light regarding the deteriorating world security situation. To paraphrase a quote attributed to George Orwell, good people sleep peaceably at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. The lesson from that: no rough men (as per General Campbell’s diktat), no sleep.

A similar situation prevailed at the beginning of World War II. We went into that war with the ADF being run by idiots and things were naturally going poorly. Then on August 13, 1940, a Hudson bomber carrying the Chief of the General Staff and several other notables crashed on approach to Canberra airport. The incident is called the ‘1940 Canberra air disaster’. New people were appointed to replace the dead and Australia’s conduct of the war improved dramatically.

No one wishes to see the ADF’s high command perish in a tangle of wreckage and flame, but if we had a defence minister worthy of that title and a federal government capable of honouring its prime responsibility, to safeguard the nation from enemies and peril, they would be swept from sight more gently but no less emphatically. Pray hard of that to happen because the current crop will lead us to defeat.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

  • Homer Sapien

    A woman breastfeeding while holding a speech in parliament was applauded, how long till we see a woman soldier at the front line attending to a baby while shooting at the enemy?

    • ian.macdougall

      Why don’t you take a trip to Israel and ask the same question? (The IDF arguably has the best women soldiers in the world.) In these days of computerised drone warfare, a whole bunch of things are possible.


      • Homer Sapien

        Yes Ian, there are always exceptions to the rule.

        • Homer Sapien

          I should add : I still sleep sounder when some “hairy arse” solders (to plagarize Peters quaint expression from a former article)are protecting me.

          • ian.macdougall

            Yes. Those back alleys round King’s Cross can get a bit rough at times.

      • whitelaughter

        Ian, your own link is long on examples of political interference to increase the number of women in service, and notably absent on examples of this actually working. For a description on *why* Israel abandoned the early attempts, here: http://www.wnd.com/2001/08/10269/

      • Jody

        My concern is what happens to them once they’re prisoners of war.

  • gardner.peter.d

    UK is almost as bad. it’s larger, so it takes longer, but the same rot and cancer are present. I’m beginning to think the emphasis on cyberwar derives from a deep wish that it never gets real so we can indulge in the nonsense of social engineering. Still at least we don’t have in Australia Mrs May’s nonsense that everyone should be able to choose their gender and sexual orientation, sort of by decree. it could actually be quite handy. Chaps could simply declare themselves women in order to apply for a waitress job, or actress role – soprano might be a tad difficult – and woe betide any employer who rejects them as being male when the advertisement clearly said ‘Women’. Our leaders find the real world truly difficult to understand. We find our leaders to be off the planet.

    • whitelaughter

      Yeah, the option to choose your gender is probably our best chance at getting out of this mess quickly. Surely soldiers are going to start declaring themselves women simply to reduce the number of push-ups they have to do?

      Army requirements are:

      For men: 15 push-ups,
      For women: 8 push-ups,

      Navy requirements are:

      For men: 15 push-ups,
      For women: 6 push-ups,

      For the Air Force the requirements are:

      For men: 10 push-ups,
      For women: 4 push-ups,
      SO a quick gender swap makes a substantial difference.

      • Jody

        Straight discrimination.

  • en passant

    David, et al (except the inane bovine resident troll)

    Good article.

    I tried to find the Orwellian/Kiplinesque quotation, but failed. I am still sure it was Kipling. I will ask some of my more literary friends for the source.

    When any defence force loses sight of its primary aim of killing their enemies, then that nation is doomed.

    Oz has reached that stage as we now have armchair legal warriors’ second-guessing every action and shot fired. Collateral damage? In their world, there is no such thing. There are still soldiers under investigation for their actions taken with split-second timing. Years afterwards that moment when they took action is still being mulled over by lawyers.

    Who would bother to fight for a nation that will try to condemn you for doing what you considered necessary at the time? I note the USA is now retrospectively prosecuting terrorist interrogators despite the proven (life-saving) results they obtained.

    Then again, just look at what our political pundits expensively provide our military to fight with:
    1. French submarines that will never be built, but kept Christopher in parliament.
    2. LHD’s that are unfit for rough seas and with design flaws that cannot be corrected.
    3. F-35 fighters that are outclassed by their Russian equivalent (flown by Indonesia to whom we give $M’s in military aid) and so faulty it will be years (if ever) before they are fully functional and operational. Buying and flying them will also send Australia (even more) broke.
    4. Tiger helicopters even the manufacturer has declared to be unsafe (two Germans were recently killed when the blades fell off their Tiger!)
    5. Abrams tanks that are too few and which are unsuitable for close infantry work and protection.
    6. A Defence leadership that believes the real enemy is climate change, not Nork, China (and its South China Sea aggression), terrorism or jihadism, but climate … Cue, the troll and the University of Colorado website.
    7. a PC military clique indoctrinated at the Orwellian impregnated RMC. These non-lethal warriors have been taught to think the soldiers they command are a laboratory petri-dish on which to test social ideas, but not to face up to harsh military standards. Making war a more caring-sharing, non-lethal, safe-space is not a recipe for success in battle.

    One result of the softening of the military mind and body has been the extraordinary rise in PTSD claims, including from people who have never been on operations, but merely found the toned down training regime too stressful.

    We have actually past the tipping point, so let’s hope we have powerful friends who will fight the battles for us that we are now incapable of fighting ourselves.

  • Warty

    If senator Brandis’s performance yesterday was anything to go by, then we’re all doomed said Hanrahan. Marise Payne is of the same mold, though she is not likely to choke up at the sight of Pauline in a Burka. But the point is the conservative side of politics has got a feeling about the Libs, who are rightfully leaking votes like the proverbial.
    We read David Archibald’s article and know it’s so, inwardly, impotently, fuming at the same time, not quite comprehending why the West is going down hill at the rate it is. One feels something has got to give, and yet worse looms just over the horizon in the shape of a Bill Shorten, with still worse in his Tanya deputy. There are whispers of ‘overreach’ but does one have to visit Dante’s inferno before someone has the brute force to stop the momentum of a driverless, out of control tram. That’s the way it feels at times.
    We read today of the High Court upholding the original decision of the ADF to sack Bernard Gaynor, partly for saying that he would not like his children to be taught by gays. And Mr Archibald reminds us of Marise Payne’s maiden speech some twenty years ago. It is not that the world has gone silly, that would be to trivialise a dire situation. Instead we need to consider very carefully where we next park our vote, and what we individually are going to do to counter the rot. For me, as with other readers, it is giving my time, my efforts and my vote towards the Australian Conservatives. There is a desperate need for the development of a viable conservative narrative to counter political correctness. I will not simply retire to my bedroom and close the door.

    • Jody

      Jordan Peterson believes that the military in peace time is a means of progressing up the socio-economic ladder and that in wartime the defense forces are “less picky”. He means that many of the people employed by the defense forces would otherwise not have the job opportunities on offer outside and that’s why it has a ‘career trajectory’ and affirmative action programs tailored to suit.

      We edge closer to tyranny on a daily basis and the court case you mention, Warty, is yet another example of that. For Google suppression of dissenting views has become a philosophical tenet. All the while, the useful idiots think that society will be the better for it! Now, that IS funny; rob the people of the ability to think for themselves and you get….literature is full of them.

    • mburke@pcug.org.au

      It does not surprise me that the High Court upheld the decision to sack Bernard Gaynor. What does surprise me is that anyone, including Gaynor, should expect otherwise. Gaynor was a serving officer of the ADF, albeit of the Army Reserve. He publicly expressed certain views about homosexuals in the military and about the ADF’s policy on such matters. He was ordered to desist. He disobeyed those orders, at one point claiming in effect that he was exercising his right to free speech as a civilian. As a member of the ADF, he has no right to disobey a lawful command not to publicly challenge what is effectively Government policy. While I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Gaynor’s objection to members of the ADF participating in the Gay Mardi Gras and similar activities while in uniform, his stubborn refusal to obey lawful commands to hold his tongue was the reason for his dismissal, and the High Court was unlikely to overturn that decision.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.