for Australia to be preparing troops is a quite unexpected move from this peaceful republic
Not at all. In 2003 Australia, along with New Zealand and other South Pacific nations, led a multi-national, regional peace-keeping force to the
Solomons to restore order following an official request by the Solomon Island's Governor-General
). This force consisted of some 2200 troops, most of whom were from Australia
and New Zealand. After order was restored, troop numbers were gradually lessened, to the point that there are now only about 50 Australian Defence
personnel on active duty in the Solomons, as part of Operation Anode
Australia has a good history in regional peacekeeping forces. A good example was the Australian-led
peacekeeping force in East Timor. This force was deployed to prevent pro-Indonesian
elements, supported by the Indonesian Army, from disrupting independence movements. East Timor was allowed to successfully pursue their own
self-governance, after which Australian troops were again withdrawn.
The Australian Government, under Prime Minister John Howard, has demonstrated an increasing willingness to throw its weight around and act as a
regional police officer in South-East Asia. In my personal opinion, this is a good thing. Australia is a wealthy, advanced and stable nation and, as
such, we have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of our neighbours in the South Pacific. Whilst I acknowledge that this might draw anger or
indignation from other countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, at least we are prepared to do something. We should not allow the whims of
South-East Asian governments to dictate our actions.
Prime Minister Howard has now confirmed that Australia will indeed deploy military troops to the Solomons. The PM announced that 110 soldiers of the
ADF, as well as 70 officers from the Australian Federal Police, who had been stationed in Townsville in preparation for such an eventuality, would
leave for the Solomons immediately. The deployment came following a written request for assistance by the Government of the Solomon Islands.
Hopefully the troops will see order restored quickly. I am interested in hearing what our other Australian members, as well as the thread's author,
have to say regarding this matter.
Reference - Seven News
Reference - CNN International
[edit on 18/4/06 by Jeremiah25]