Dec 17, 2013

Ex-ADF chief: asylum seeker solution can’t be an Indonesian problem

In a new Australia21 essay on Australia's asylum seeker debate, former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie argues for a more strategic approach with Indonesia to stop the boats.

asylum seekers

Since the institution of Operation RELEX in 2001, in which the federal government decided to make a concerted effort to locate and interdict boats containing asylum seekers on their way to Australia, the media has had a field day. Up to this point we mounted sporadic efforts to find these boat people — often unsuccessfully. Thereafter the statistics on boat arrivals have varied significantly, but analysis should be telling us that there is almost no chance that desperate people will give up the effort to get to Australia by whatever means they can.

In July 2011, Dr Timothy J. Hatton of the Australian National University and the University of Essex delivered a paper on this subject to the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. In 155 pages, Asylum Seeking: Trends and Policies in the OECD dissects the available data and looks at where we should go next. It concludes with the rather obvious points that something needs to be done. Hatton’s recommendations, inter alia, are:

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3 thoughts on “Ex-ADF chief: asylum seeker solution can’t be an Indonesian problem

  1. shepherdmarilyn

    Another one, why do all these scabs write about other nations doing the job of caring for refugees while we skive off and do very little.

    ASylum seekers are allowed to come here by boat why do they incessantly whinge about it.

  2. John Highfield

    Another former warrior offers a solution ! It’s notable that as our troops leave the theatre of Afghanistan, it seems the prospect of under-employment has so worried many senior Defence people that a new front has to be opened in the form of a war against asylum seekers. The Defence Department occupation of the re-coded Department of Immigration and Border Protection is almost complete with the news that a senior military GP rather than the expert IHAG committee made up of Australia’s foremost multi-disciplinary clinicians is henceforth to be the sole advisor on Immigration Detention health issues. The testimony from Major General John Cantwell in Exit Wounds shows only too well the Defence Department’s incapacity to deal with mental health – and the bereft nature of the warrior policies when dealing with human concerns. The military takeover includes the implementation of several secret committees which take no minutes of their meetings and are unaccountable to the Parliament. Apparently the much-favoured sparse decorations in the offices of the new Immigration detention strategists – portraits of Queen Elizabeth 11 and copies of Sun Tzu’s ancient tactical treatise “The Art of War”. Tony Abbott appears to have missed the lessons about compassion and human rights during his recent brief attendance at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service.

  3. AR

    Could the withdrawal from Afghanistan be used as a cunning Baldrick-type plan for Morriscum to claim that, as we are no longer killing them there, ipso fact peace has returned and they’ve no need to flee? Both the Rodent & Cadaver tried that with Iraq.

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