What Vietnam and Iraq should teach Canberra
Reading time: 7 minutes
If we learn more from losses than wins, then the Canberra system has much to gain from examining its lousy performance in the processes that took Australia to war in Vietnam and Iraq. For Australia, both wars were all about the alliance with the United States. Both were wars of choice, although the regional implications Canberra read into Vietnam meant it was closer to a war of necessity than Iraq.
Both wars exemplify the Prime Minister’s most profound prerogative and Parliament’s lack of power. The entry to both showed the Canberra system performing below its best, revealing again the truth that artifice and farce often attend the most serious of moments of government.Read More