A leading Australian military expert has called on the country to prepare for an invasion that could come with “zero” warning, by establishing a national militia.
Anthony Bergin, a senior fellow at Strategic Analysis Australia, said that in the past strategic planners believed there would be a 10-year warning against a direct attack.
But a recent Defense Strategic Review said the warning time “is now essentially zero,” he wrote.
Although Australian governments have for decades been very reluctant to show support for conscription, he said that if a conflict arises, the Australian Defense Force will have to expand rapidly and use people who do not have the required training.
Bergin said Australians are now more informed about international security risks and the idea of training a national militia has come.
A leading Australian military expert has called on the country to prepare for an invasion that could come with “zero” warning, by establishing a national militia. Australian soldier soldier Paula Pires is pictured
For decades, Australian governments have been very reluctant to show support for conscription. Young Women’s Aviation Program participant Ruby (centre) watches a military working dog show at the RAAF base in Amberley, Queensland
writing on it Sydney Morning Herald On Thursday, Bergin said the government’s goal of hiring 18,500 people by 2040 is a major ambition.
But it’s struggling to maintain its current staffing levels and will hit just 73 percent of its hiring goal this year.
“We have seen in Ukraine how valuable and effective a trained population can be to defend its homeland where, for the most part, the ranks of its armed forces are bolstered by volunteers,” he wrote.
Professor Peter Stanley, a visiting fellow at UNSW Canberra, agreed that “the Ukraine example absolutely makes sense” but with a great deal of caution about how an Australian militia would be used.
Professor Peter Stanley (pictured) said: “We now live in a society that is deeply opposed to compulsion.”
“In the context of (Australia’s) existing alliance (with the US), the citizen militia would only result in a more militarized Australia, which because of the ANZUS alliance will inevitably involve us in another American war,” he told Daily Mail. Australia.
Bergin said that his idea of a national military would require the establishment of a national training program.
“The scheme would provide basic military knowledge and training to civilians who wish to contribute to Australia’s defense if our home comes under threat, without joining the army on a permanent or part-time reservist basis.”
Overseas conscription has always been a highly contentious issue in Australia, Professor Stanley said.
‘Now we live in a society that is deeply opposed to compulsion. And we saw that during lockdown… that people don’t like to be told what to do.
I think young people, especially, are deeply annoyed by being told what to do.
But he said that’a volunteer militia… obviate that problem… a militia that serves in all sorts of ways. For, for example, in the fight against cyber warfare,’ he said.
Under Bergin’s plan, the militia would be overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs and would use ex-servicemen to conduct training.
The main qualification to be able to join the military would simply be a person’s desire to get involved and serve the country if called upon.
This would differ from the standard fitness and fitness tests currently used to recruit servicemen and women.
“This is important because, as we have seen in the Ukraine, if Australia were to be attacked, numbers and motivation are key factors in defending a country,” he wrote.
There have been calls for a new Australian national militia. Two Australian Navy officers are shown aboard a ship.
Australian Navy personnel are shown during an operation off the North Queensland coast.
Professor Stanley said “it is a great shame that term (militia) has been hijacked by right-wing extremists in the United States.”
‘Because in Australia, until 1948 the militia, the Australian military, the citizen military was the primary way Australians participated in the defense of their nation.
“Australia had a huge and very serious citizen army, and most of the Australians who served in uniform served part-time as part of the militia,” he said.
“So what (Mr. Bergin) is doing is reclaiming a word that has been hijacked and perverted by American extremists.
“The challenge is to make the new opportunities to train and operate in a national military interesting, real and rewarding…and (allow them to bring) those skill sets to our nation’s defense,” Mr. Bergin said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Defense Minister Richard Marles and defense spokesmen for the Coalition and the Greens for comment.