Dr Alan Stephens is a visiting fellow at UNSW Canberra. He has lectured and published extensively, and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He is a former RAAF pilot.
Monument of shame
Anzac Parade in Canberra is Australia’s major ceremonial avenue, a grand boulevard commemorating (heroic) service and sacrifice. Yet at least one of its monuments represents war crimes, racism, torture and murder. Continue reading »
‘The standard you walk past’
The Australian Army has failed its own leadership test. Where does the buck stop? Continue reading »
Deputy sheriffs, deluded diggers and ‘the dirty work of empire’.
Few peoples define themselves through their military history more stridently than Australians. The truth, though, is that our military history primarily is one of imperial subservience, self-delusion and denial. Continue reading »
Another bright shining lie: the ADF and Afghanistan
It was the celebrated American war correspondent Neil Sheehan who used the term “a bright shining lie” to characterise the profoundly corrupt nature – moral, political, social, intellectual, strategic, military, religious – of the US’s (and, by association, Australia’s) disastrous invasion of Vietnam. Continue reading »
The unsustainable theory of ‘counter- insurgency warfare’ in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Australia’s disastrous military campaign in Afghanistan has been based on the so-called strategy of ‘counter-insurgency warfare’ – COIN in the military vernacular. Yet for decades, COIN demonstrably has been an intellectually unsustainable theory. Continue reading »
‘Here was their spirit’ – the corruption of the Australian War Memorial
Rather than embodying Charles Bean’s vision of a solemn temple of reflection honouring service and sacrifice – ‘Here is their spirit’- over time, the Australian War Memorial has morphed into a theme park of war souvenirs, half-truths and omissions. Continue reading »