Former defence minister (now irrelevant backbencher) Kevin Andrews is running his mouth again, undermining current Defence Minister Marise Payne’s decision to decline an American request last year for Australia to commit new troops to the unending, unwinnable war in Iraq. “If the Americans have made a reasonable request of us, then we should be giving it the most favourable consideration,” he said.

The World Congress of Families’ Natural Family Man of the Year 2014 thinks those additional Australian soldiers should be deployed as ground forces, because that went so well last time:

“The question always remains, and that is what is the most efficient and effective way in which those forces can be used. It’s quite clear from the advice I received, and I was aware of what the American military personnel and defence leaders were suggesting, and that was for months they were suggesting that we needed forces on the ground in order to defeat ISIL.”

And just what did the man who made that request, US President Barack Obama, say about additional ground forces in Iraq in yesterday’s State of the Union address?

“We also can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us. It’s the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq – and we should have learned it by now.”

We should have learned by now, but some of us clearly have not.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey