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By John Blaxland

The Australian military from Whitlam to Howard is the 1st serious exam of Australia's post-Vietnam army operations, spanning the 35 years among the election of Gough Whitlam and the defeat of John Howard. John Blaxland explores the 'casualty draw back' felt via political leaders following the struggle and the way this impacted next operations. He contends that the Australian Army's rehabilitation concerned universal person and collective education and reaffirmation of the Army's regimental and corps identities. He exhibits how the military regained its self belief to play prime roles in East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, and to give a contribution to strive against operations extra afield. At a time whilst the Australian Army's destiny strategic function are the topic of a lot debate, and because the 'Asian Century' gathers velocity and dedication in Afghanistan attracts to an finish, this paintings is vital analyzing for a person attracted to realizing the fashionable context of Australia's army land strength.

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Extra resources for The Australian Army from Whitlam to Howard

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The Australian Government felt the best way to bolster further alliance credentials while enabling its troops to operate according to their own procedures was to increase the force size and take responsibility for a discrete area. By 1966, therefore, Australia increased its land force commitment in Vietnam to a combined-arms (light infantry-based) brigade-sized force called the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). 1ATF was tasked with operating principally in its own province, Phuoc Tuy, south-east of Saigon.

30 The ABCA Armies usually took turns to host standardisation discussions, which tended to focus on ways to achieve economies wherever possible by combining resources and efforts. Such discussions were scheduled routinely, addressing capability-related issues of mutual concern. Personnel exchanges and interaction provided critical infusions of experience and innovation. Many notable soldiers served on such exchanges and gained considerable professional benefit, which they brought back to Australia.

It was not Tange’s fault that the military did not take the opportunity that was there for them. ’34 To Baker, the service chiefs were resisting the nature of the changes that were coming. Tange’s reorganisation removed a lot of their independence and power, and they reacted poorly to it. 35 It would not be long before an T H E L A S T Y E A R S O F T H E C O L D WA R , 1 9 7 2 – 8 9 29 opportunity presented itself for the three services to work closely together in the national interest, this time in response to a natural disaster in Darwin.

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