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Howard Announces Additional Troops To Afghanistan

The Federal Government has announced that it will deploy an extra 300 personnel to Oruzgan province in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, speaking at a press conference with Defence Minister Brendan Nelson and Defence Force Chief Angus Houston, said the troop boost was designed to contribute “to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

  • Listen to the Howard, Houston and Nelson Press Conference (27m)

Text of a media statement from the Prime Minister, John Howard.

More troops for Afghanistan

As Australians will know, the Government has in recent weeks been considering providing more troops for Afghanistan. After careful examination and proper consultation, the Government has decided to boost significantly Australia’s military contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan. [Read more…]


Operation Falconer: Defence Department Daily Briefing

This is the transcript of the Daily Media Briefing conducted by the Australian Defence Force in Canberra.

The briefing on Australian operations in the Middle East was conducted by Brigadier Mike Hannan and Air Marshal Angus Houston.

  • Listen to the briefing (31m)

Transcript of Defence Force briefing.

BRIGADIER HANNAN:

Good morning everyone, and good morning to those of you watching this brief at home – welcome again to our regular update on our operations in the Middle East.

Before we start in detail, I would like to clarify two key points from yesterdays brief. Firstly, the HMAS ANZAC did not fire missiles whilst providing gunfire support, as detailed in some media reports. The ANZAC used its main armament, which is a 5″ Gun. [Read more…]


Cosgrove Appointed Chief Of Defence Force

In the aftermath of the “children overboard” affair, the government has announced a shake-up of the Australian Defence Force which promotes Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove to Chief of the Defence Force and sees the departure of two key players in the ‘children overboard’ affair.

The Australian Defence Force is headed by a Chief from one either the Army, Navy or Air Force. Each of the services also has a Chief.

Cosgrove, who first came to public prominence for his role in leading the peace-keeping mission in East Timor, is currently Chief of Army. He is to be promoted to the rank of General and become Chief of the Defence Force. He replaces Admiral Chris Barrie, who is to retire. [Read more…]


Howard Confronts Crises Over Children Overboard And Governor-General

An unprecedented political crisis confronts the Federal Government on two fronts today, threatening to severely damage its political effectiveness and hasten the departure of the Prime Minister, John Howard.

HowardThe Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, leaves today for a three-day official visit to New Zealand, leaving behind him an ongoing controversy over his handling of child sex abuse allegations in the Brisbane Anglican church diocese. There are now widespread calls for Hollingworth’s resignation. It is difficult to see how he can survive much longer, but John Howard faces an exquisite dilemma in that he probably does not want to be the first prime minister to dismiss a governor-general.

The more damaging problem for the government is the revelation by Air Marshal Angus Houston, the Acting Head of the Defence Force, to the Senate Estimates Committee that former Defence Minister Peter Reith was told on November 7 that there was uncertainty about the children overboard allegations. [Read more…]


Children Overboard: Houston On What He Told Reith; Barrie Backs Howard

Defence Department heads have spoken about the children overboard affair.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Houston spoke of what he reported to previous Defence Minister Peter Reith.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, backed Prime Minister John Howard in his remarks. [Read more…]