Australian army will get 2,600 more troops

August 24th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Australian army will get 2,600 more troops

Australian army will get 2,600 more troops to help cope with security
demands in Iraq, Afghanstan

Media: The Associated Press
Byline: n/a
Date: 24 August 2006

CANBERRA, Australia_Australian army will get 2,600 more troops to help cope
with security demands in Iraq, Afghanstan, the Asia-Pacific, prime minister

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
August 24th, 2006  
According to Channel 9, we are getting two more Battalion Groups.

If thats true, it's the biggest the RAR has been since the Vietnam War
August 24th, 2006  
Team Infidel
That is a pretty big contingent. More and more hot spots around the world are forcing this.. Thank you all for helping out.
August 25th, 2006  
It's all good news for us. A lot is going to change over the next 4 years.

The question that everyone wants answered though is will they re-raise 8 and 9 battalion, or unlink 5/7 Battalion and add another one.

This is just the start. There have been calls from both the coalition and the opposition to increase the army by another 20% on top of that... and to increase army funding to be equal to or greater than the RAN and RAAF.
August 25th, 2006  
Thanks, Aussies.
August 25th, 2006  
There you go a bit more of a break down on what's happening.

Australia reinforces defence services

Friday August 25, 2006

CANBERRA - Australia yesterday announced it would add two battalions to its Army in a further major boost to the size and capability of its already formidable armed forces.
Pressured by commitments to United-States led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and expectations of further upheaval in the Pacific, Prime Minister John Howard said 2600 more troops would be recruited for new light infantry and mechanised units.
Combined with an earlier decision to add 1500 soldiers to its existing 25,000 troops, the move will expand the Army to its largest since Labor ran down its Vietnam War level of 30,000 in the early 1990s.
The move reflects Australia's determination to simultaneously support US expeditionary forces in the war on terror and other foreign campaigns considered to be in the broader national interest, and to control events in the neighbouring Pacific.
Successive crises in the Solomons and East Timor had created serious pressures for the Defence Force, and Howard said Australia could expect further, similar, emergencies in countries such as Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
Even with support from nations such as New Zealand, Howard said, Australia considered the Pacific its patch and was "overwhelmingly expected to carry the bulk of the load".
Canberra is also doubling the Australian Federal Police's international deployment group to about 1000 members, training with the Army to enable police to relieve soldiers of policing duties in crises such as East Timor once military control was gained.
But the plan to increase the size and capability of the Army will run against many practical and economic difficulties, and if not managed well diplomatically could increase tensions with its Asian neighbours.
Southeast Asian governments have been concerned by Howard's advocacy of pre-emptive strikes against terror bases on foreign soil, and by massive increases to the range and firepower of Australian forces - by far the biggest in the region. These include cruise missiles for Air Force strike jets - the first in the region - and new air warfare destroyers.
It will also add an estimated A$10 billion ($12 billion) to the defence budget over the next decade. In the May budget defence spending for 2006-07 was set at A$19.6 billion, rising by a real annual growth of 3 per cent for the next nine years - an extra A$10.7 billion before yesterday's announcement.
Canberra also has a massive shopping list including four giant C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft, an entire fleet of strike jets, new tanks, new warships, helicopters, satellites and electronic warfare systems.
Defence analysts note that previous funding has fallen well short of demand, and doubt Canberra will be able to fund its ambitions.
The Government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute said in an analysis of the May defence budget that there was a serious mismatch between plans and funding that meant not enough money had been set aside in the future to operate the present equipment, let alone the hardware now being purchased.
"More money will be required or capabilities will have to be cut," it said.
Increasing the size of the Army will also face problems of recruitment and retention of troops, already the target of proposed campaign likely to cost more than A$100 million.
Despite spending A$500 million over the past five years to retain soldiers and boost recruitment, plans to increase the Defence Force's size had gone "backwards", the institute said.
Conceding the difficulties, Howard said defence spending would have to go up and to ensure pay rates were competitive with the private sector, erring on the side of generous.
The moves were necessary, with Australia likely to shoulder more responsibilities in the region over the next 10 to 20 years.
"The reason why we need a bigger Australian Army is self-evident. This country faces ongoing, and in my opinion increasing, instances of destabilised and failing states in our own region," Howard said.

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