Friday, June 16, 2006

Australian Troops in Iraq Mystery Assignment

Hello, this is my first post on Murdoc Online and it's not only an hono(u)r to be here, but somehow I am sharing it with Instapinch, a guy eminently more qualified than me to discuss military issues! More to come soon, however I would like to kick this off with a little story plugging my country-men and reminding the Americans that read this blog (yes, Canadians included) that you have some buddies all the way across the ocean to the West.

Your allies down under, currently in Iraq, may soon find themselves a little more in the thick of things.

AUSTRALIAN troops in southern Iraq were set to embark on a potentially far more dangerous mission assisting Iraqi troops and police to provide security.


Southern Iraq has been handled mostly by British troops so far and has its share of problems. Perhaps our soldiers will bring a slightly different style and help to calm some of the violence involving death squads and other assorted nastiness. Sadly, the Australian contingent in Iraq is rather small but hopefully is both a strong symbol of our support, and an effective force despite its size.

So far our soldiers have been spending most of their time guarding Japanese engineers—a worthy task considering just how important reconstruction is in a counter-insurgency war. The Japanese constitution prevents them from sending combat troops overseas after their sailing expedition through the Pacific in the late '30s and early '40s, but I'm glad they could see fit to help out in this way. Japan is an important ally and trading partner both for the USA and Australia so their involvement generates political goodwill as well as concrete results (pun not intended).

Update: While searching for more information on the Japanese contingent, I came across this article with a couple of small, but nice photos. You gotta love the little girl holding that sign...

—cross-posted at Murdoc Online

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