Australia's Response to the Islamic State Threat

dmcgill

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#1
From SOFREP: http://sofrep.com/36869/australias-response-islamic-state-threat/


Australia has recently joined the U.S. and international effort in battling the Islamic State (IS) militants by transporting arms and munitions to Kurdish forces in Iraq, who are fighting the extremists in the north of the country. These deliveries have taken place in addition to Australia’s humanitarian air drops which are supplying communities with vital supplies who are being threatened by the advance of IS militants.

Australia has committed two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft as well as an undisclosed number of special forces soldiers who, at this stage, will most likely provide either a QRF capability or fly on board the RAAF transport planes in the event of an emergency landing. Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has increased his rhetoric against IS in recent days, labeling the group as nothing more than a “death cult” and comparing them to Nazis and communists. Mr. Abbott has also justified the use of “extreme force” in dealing with the IS threat, which has some questioning the real motives behind the deployment of Australia’s most elite operators to the region.


Despite the Australian Government insisting it has no intention to commit combat troops to Iraq, there are a number of important factors at play here which may see this decision change. Per capita, Australia is now one of the largest sources of foreign fighters to the Syrian conflict. Australia’s national security service, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), has assessed that there are in excess of 150 Australian citizens who have left our shores and joined the ranks of IS.

One of the most shocking photos to be passed around on social media last month was that of a 7-year-old boy who was seen holding up a severed head in Syria. He and his father, Khaled Sharrouf, are both Australian citizens. The image was brutal and graphic and earned the international condemnation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.


7-year-old boy who was seen holding up a severed head in Syria

The Australian Government has long acknowledged the danger that returning fighters will pose to our community, so there is certainly a vested interest in taking the fight to these terrorists on foreign soil. I was fortunate enough to have attended a seminar in 2012 hosted by Labor Senator The Hon. David Feeney who was, at the time, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence. Senator Feeney explicitly stated that the experience gained by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) over the course of Australia’s longest war in Afghanistan was not something the government was going to let simply fade away. His rhetoric of ‘looking for work’ in response to global challenges was clear, and is no doubt echoing through the halls of Parliament House in response to the IS threat.

Australia enjoys a long and proud history of shunning the relative safety of its geographical location and committing its military resources to dealing with global threats. Tony Abbott has taken the appropriate tough stance against IS, and has explicitly stated that our nation will not stand idly by “in the face of preventable genocide.” Whilst the government does not “envisage” committing combat troops to Iraq, none of the discourse has so far categorically denied the fact that it won’t, either. The positioning of our special operations forces in the region under the pretense of protecting RAAF aircraft and crews appears to be the first step in accustoming a war-weary public to the fact that we will most likely be engaged in combat operations to some degree.

The last 12 years of fighting in Afghanistan has provided Australia’s special forces with operational experience centered squarely on fighting a shadowy, elusive, and barbaric enemy. The seasoned veterans that fill the ranks of both the 2nd Commando Regiment and Special Air Service Regiment would have been in Iraq yesterday if the decision was theirs to make.

Rather than questioning Tony Abbott’s motives for sending our most elite soldiers to the region, there should be ubiquitous support for Australia’s response to the Islamic State threat, for the fact that we are in a position to defend the defenseless and that we have an entire community of battle-hardened, accomplished, and vicious operators who are willing to do so.
 

dmcgill

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#2
To caveat off of this, a follow up article was written by the same author, Mitchel McAlister.

US Wants Australian SOF to Fight the Islamic State

As the world awaits Obama to deliver his ISIS strategy, Australia is looking more and more likely to mobilise its special operations forces to contribute to the overall mission of destroying the extremist movement. The West Australian has reported that the US-led coalition has welcomed the offer of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighter jets, but believes that “Australia’s most valuable contribution to the mission would be the Special Air Service Regiment and the Commandos.”


As I discussed in my previous article, the positioning of our SOF elements in the region under the pretense of protecting RAAF aircraft and crews appeared to be the first step in accustoming a war-weary public to the fact that we were going to be engaged in combat operations. The initial mobilization of the 2nd Commando Regiment and the Special Air Service Regiment was a low signature and rapid way to posture our nation’s elite for what is now looking like the inevitable decision that was always going to be made.


Read more: http://sofrep.com/36906/us-wants-australian-sof-fight-islamic-state/#ixzz3D0J01GXC
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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#3
Having worked with the RAAF and a few members of the RAN, I think they are a good bunch of folks and I'd gladly work with them or any ANZAC's again. I've heard nothing but excellent things about their SOF forces, so this is good news for everyone except the bad guys.

The "war weary public" line though...yeah, the public is war weary. I'd say the West is war weary and so is most of the world.

Too bad.

This war won't end anytime soon. Some days it will see daylight and some days it will be in the shadows, but it will remain with us and our children. Civilians need to accept that but politicians need to address the longevity issue. ISIL/ ISIS/ EIEIO is just another group in a long list who need killing.
 

dmcgill

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#5
Having worked with the RAAF and a few members of the RAN, I think they are a good bunch of folks and I'd gladly work with them or any ANZAC's again. I've heard nothing but excellent things about their SOF forces, so this is good news for everyone except the bad guys.

The "war weary public" line though...yeah, the public is war weary. I'd say the West is war weary and so is most of the world.

Too bad.

This war won't end anytime soon. Some days it will see daylight and some days it will be in the shadows, but it will remain with us and our children. Civilians need to accept that but politicians need to address the longevity issue. ISIL/ ISIS/ EIEIO is just another group in a long list who need killing.
I fully concur. I've been training side by side with the RAA infantrymen for the past six months in various regions. They are a professional, competent and friendly bunch. I would gladly work with them in a theater down range somewhere.

I was talking to a buddy of mine today about the very point you just brought up about the west being war weary. Fact is, we live in a different time now. Gone are the years of engaging in a conflict, fighting a war, and going a decade until the next one. Terrorism is a global entity that is not going away and must be continually suppressed. How we fight terrorism may depend on where at in the world it is. Some places, direct action force may solve the problem. However in others, brute force will not tip the odds so much in our favor as defeating them through the human terrain. Society needs to accept this fact and realize funds are going to be appropriated towards fighting terrorism for a very long time.
 

DA SWO

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#6
I am war weary
I am weary of being told we are not at war with a group, we are just bombing them (apparently bombing people is not an act of war)
I am weary of winning the battlefield, only to have the State Department give up hard won gains.
I am weary of politicians being afraid to go all in because it might impact the next election cycle.
Yeah, I am war weary.
 

CQB

Australian SOF
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#7
Our threat level has been raised today from medium to high. It's been mooted that we're on the high side of medium and the low side of high. Maybe the matrix should be rethought? It's not a big deal as life will go on as normal.
 

Ocoka

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#8
The more battle-hardened SOF assets in the AO the better and I hope 2 Commando and the SAS nail lots of jihadist fucks.

With regard to war-weariness...WTF do Western civilians who have no ties to the military know about war weariness? They've had to give up nothing, sacrifice nothing. We've fought wars on two fronts since '01 and when have those wars made life at home tough? Only warriors and the friends and families of warriors have sacrificed. For everybody else it's business as usual. Even back in my war, when we were losing 300 or 400 guys a week nobody at home was going without beer or steak.
Fuck em.
 

digrar

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#9
I fully concur. I've been training side by side with the RAA infantrymen for the past six months in various regions. They are a professional, competent and friendly bunch. I would gladly work with them in a theater down range somewhere.
You've been working with 5RAR? Hopefully you haven't been working with RAA artillery types, they're a bit weird, wouldn't want to give our visitors the wrong impression...
 

lindy

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#10
I am war weary
I am weary of being told we are not at war with a group, we are just bombing them (apparently bombing people is not an act of war)
I am weary of winning the battlefield, only to have the State Department give up hard won gains.
I am weary of politicians being afraid to go all in because it might impact the next election cycle.
Yeah, I am war weary.
Obama is trying to have a Clinton moment like in '99 when we bombed the Serbs.
 

dmcgill

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#11
You've been working with 5RAR? Hopefully you haven't been working with RAA artillery types, they're a bit weird, wouldn't want to give our visitors the wrong impression...
Yeah 5 and 2. LOL nope just the grunts and some other guys.
 
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