‘Another bright shining lie: the ADF and Afghanistan‘, Pearls & Irritations, 19 August 2021
This essay is concerned with the military-strategic dimension of our latest national bright shining lie; namely, the marketing by the Australian Defence Force’s hierarchy and their chorus line of soldier-scholars of the self-serving, intellectually facile, so-called “strategy” of counter-insurgency warfare which has been used to justify our various “interventions”.
That this strategy has been an utter failure needs no elaboration: Saigon one day, Kabul the next, Baghdad en passant.
We – the “West” (whatever that might mean in these diminished times) – will be paying the price of squandered moral authority, treasure and young lives for decades. Everything’s relative of course; and our self-inflicted punishment fades when compared to the incalculable misery our armed forces have inflicted on hundreds of millions of everyday people from assorted Third World countries.
The author is a historian of the RAAF and a former RAAF pilot.