Author Archives: Paul Barratt

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About Paul Barratt

Paul Barratt AO is the President, Australians for War Powers Reform; former Secretary, Department of Defence.

PAUL BARRATT.-War in Afghanistan: 18 years of lies and obfuscation.(War Powers Bulletin 68, 1.3.2020)

The real story behind the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Morrison’s Public Service “reforms” do us no favours.

The mergers of Australian Public Service Departments announced by Scott Morrison on 5 December will do nothing to advance the cause of good government. The claims of efficiency gains that invariably accompany such announcements always turn out to be illusory, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. It’s too easy to take us to war

Where we are today is that the practice of the last twenty years has purportedly taken the power to send Australia to war away from the Governor-General and placed it at the disposal of junior ministers in the Defence portfolio. … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 9 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. What are we to make of Iran’s nuclear program?

Iran’s nuclear program, never out of the news for long, is on the front pages of the world with President Trump’s insistence that his belligerence towards Iran is driven by a desire to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 3 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Australia should not participate in conflict with Iran.

Australia should not participate in any military action against Iran. The current tensions have been created by the Trump Administration, and the ANZUS Alliance creates no obligation for us to assist. President Trump may think that a war against Iran … Continue reading

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PAUL BARRATT. Ten Neglected Issues that Australia21 Believes Should be Addressed During the Election Campaign.

The 2019 election campaign having begun, I wish, on behalf of Australia21, which I chair, to draw attention to a number of issues that require proper attention and debate in order to enable Australian voters to make an informed choice … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Time for a new Royal Commission into the Australian Public Service

On 7 March Pearls and Irritations published my Are all those consultancies really necessary? This dealt with the $129 billion spent by the Commonwealth over the last five years on services the content of which no doubt include a great … Continue reading

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PAUL BARRATT: Time to involve Parliament in decisions about sending the ADF into combat.

Today 20 March is the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the so-called “Coalition of the Willing” which was led by the US and included the UK, Australia and others. Far from making the world safer, and establishing … Continue reading

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PAUL BARRATT. Are all those consultancies really necessary?

The Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit is currently conducting an inquiry based on any items, matters or circumstances connected with Auditor-General’s Report No. 19 (2017-18). This report reveals enormous expenditure on consultancy contracts, and the matters being inquired … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Growing momentum for drug law reform. Part 1 of 3.

The war on drugs has failed. There was a buzz across Australia in March 2017, when former premiers, police chiefs, prison officers and lawyers stood side-by-side with drug users and their families, to throw down the gauntlet on drug law … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Howard’s War – a continuation of politics by other means

For the discerning reader the Palazzo Report, the classified internal report on how we got into Iraq and how we fared, prepared by Army Historian Dr Albert Palazzo and now released in redacted form, is a remarkable document. Although heavily … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. A transformational foreign policy

Some of Australia’s most experienced former foreign policy and defence bureaucrats have issued an open submission to the Foreign Minister calling on her to rethink the Australian-US alliance now that president-elect Donald Trump is set to lead the US.

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PAUL BARRATT. Managing ANZUS in the age of Trump. Quo vadis series.

  Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary.  Australia should do a ‘really deep stocktake of what is in our vital national interests and what we are prepared to sign up to’ .

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

PAUL BARRATT. Would war powers reform really leave national security in the hands of the minority parties?

  During a segment on war powers reform on ABC TV’s current affairs program Lateline (25 August – see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/mps-call-for-iraq-war-inquiry/7786424 ) Australian Strategic Policy Institute Executive Director Peter Jennings expressed opposition to parliamentary involvement in decision-making about deployment of the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Faulty intelligence, or a war pre-ordained?

  In releasing his momentous report on 6 July Sir John Chilcot stated that the judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Attorney-General’s move to control access to Solicitor-General

On 4 May 2016, the last sitting day before Parliament rose for the forthcoming election, Attorney-General Senator Brandis tabled new guidelines in the Senate which ruled that no one in government, including the Prime Minister, could seek the Solicitor-General’s advice without getting … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Paul Barratt and Chris Barrie. The case for building the future submarine in Australia

When charting a trajectory to a desired end point it is as important to have an accurate fix on the starting point as it is to know where one wants to end up. So it is with SEA 1000, the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paul Barratt. Goodwill between countries matters.

In his Australia Day post Abbott’s relations with China Australia’s first Ambassador to the People’s Republic, Stephen Fitzgerald, begins ‘Can you believe the Abbott government has any idea where it’s headed on relations with China? Whatever you think of China’s … Continue reading

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