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Address to the Fullbright Symposium.



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Defence MEDIA RELEASE 05/07/2004 MSPA 50704/04 Address by General Peter Cosgrove, Chief of the Defence Force, to the Fullbright Symposium Monday 5 July 2004 CHIEF of the Australian Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove addresses the Fullbright Symposium on the 'Military Perspective on Civil Military Cooperation'. The symposium is hosted by University of Queensland. General Cosgrove explains the function of the Fullbright scholarship. General Cosgrove gives the Australian Defence Force's perspective on the War on Terror and the need for cooperation between the military, government and external agencies. He addresses Australia's whole of government approach, the Defence response to terrorism and the response of Defence in crises. General Peter Cosgrove AC MC GENERAL PETER COSGROVE: Professor John Hay, thank you very much for your introduction and good morning ladies and gentlemen. It's my pleasure and honour to present the keynote speech at this year's Fullbright Symposium hosted by the University of Queensland. Now, just to amplify some of the Professor's remarks about the Fullbright program, the founder of the organisation as you know was a distinguished US politician and academic who had a passion for international affairs. He was instrumental in garnering United States support for the establishment of the United Nations, and in a complementary move he convinced Congress to establish an international scholarship program which now fittingly bears his name. Today the Fullbright Program has an extraordinary impact worldwide and now exists between the United States and 140 countries, and one of these countries is Australia. Established in '49 the Australian American Fullbright Commission furthers the mutual understanding between our two countries through educational and cultural exchange.

Since then, almost 2,500 Australians and over 1700 Americans have been awarded the prestigious Fullbright Scholarship to study, research and travel in respective countries.

Each year between 15 and 20 Australians get to participate in this great initiative.

A strong bilateral relationship between Australia and the US is as important today as it was a half century ago. The work of the Fullbright Commission and Symposium makes a significant contribution to the robustness of this relationship.

Now UQ chose the topic of this year's Symposium - Civil Military Cooperation and the War on Terror. You're going to hear several speakers talk on this topic over the next few days from military and civilian organisations and from the US and Australian point of view.

This morning I want to provide you with the Australian Defence Force perspective on the war on terror and how we are working in a collaborative approach with other government departments and external agencies to address this problem.

My comments will address three key areas of the issue - Australia's whole of government approach; the Defence response to terrorism, and how we respond in crises.

My core message is a simple one. Civil military cooperation is essential to achieving enduring outcomes in conflict.

But before moving into the subject too deeply I want to spend a few moments highlighting the civil military cooperation at the heart of Defence, as expressed by the diarchic leadership construct which sees the Chief of the Australian Defence Force and the Secretary for Defence function as co-equals.

The Secretary, Rick Smith, and I work in a professional marriage. Together we are accountable and responsible for what happens in the Defence organisation.

Rick's main emphasis is on policy and finance and mine is on military operations. Together we deal with strategy and administration of one of the largest and most complex organisations in Australia.

Of course our authority is subordinate to government, to parliament and through the parliament to the people of Australia.

The primary function of the Australian Defence Force is that of an armed force acting lawfully to promote and protect Australia's interests against external threats. The ADF contributes to Australia's security policy in accordance with overall government policy.

My role in achieving this is threefold. First, I command the ADF in all of its operational activities and through the Chiefs of the Navy, Army and Air Force, for all other military aspects of providing important military capability for the nation's security.

Secondly, I'm the principal adviser to government on all aspects of military operations

and other activities of the ADF. I brief the government on the range of viable military options and capabilities available within the Defence Force to promote Australia's security policy, and that's a policy set by government.

I then execute the option chosen by government.

Finally, along with the service chiefs I represent the Australian Defence Force to the people of Australia, to our regional neighbours and our allies.

If ever those times existed and I doubt that they did, gone are the days when the ADF could work by itself doing its own thing either in planning or on operations.

This is also true of Defence more generally. A collaborative whole of government approach has been critical to achieving our recent operational successes in which the ADF may have been the most prominent but not always the most important player. It's a matter of working as a team.

Since the end of the Cold War we have faced a new security paradigm that includes many non-state players. Our environment is now characterised by a complicated web of interconnected threats and vulnerabilities, including traditional state-on-state tensions. Also including amorphous groups of rogue states, terrorist organisations and trans-national criminals.

We see a world where WMD materials and the technological know-how to make them are increasingly available. We see countries whose weak government institutions allow for the emergence of lawless regions and weak borders which may be exploited by those who threaten us.

And we have a global 24/7 environment of information, comment, and ideas available to both friend and foe. In particular, the tumultuous opening events of the twenty-first century - September the 11th, Afghanistan, Bali, Iraq and Madrid have well and truly

focused us on the unconventional threats and uncertainties the future may hold.

How do you respond to these sorts of threats? Well superficially and wrongly it may be tempting to think that these threats can be resolved by the sledge hammer of military force. Defending Australia, particularly from terrorism, is not a task in which Defence or the ADF has the lead or primary role. It involves many others working together to provide a sophisticated and appropriate response to build long term success.

If necessary, military forces have a clear role to play at what I call the hard end of the spectrum of response. Military forces quite rightly provide capability to kill and destroy an enemy on behalf of our nation if required. That is part of our professional job. However that part itself should be the option of last recourse for our forces.

In my view, the employment of the military option in any situation has to be carefully considered and calibrated to achieve the actual outcomes that our nation requires.

And having a very capable, respected Defence force is itself a deterrent. Parenthetically I note to you it is the quality of our training and our junior leadership

that is largely the secret of the ADF's recent successes.

So the Australian Defence Force can be used to achieve a particular aim but it cannot be a panacea. We'll work from a whole of government approach and often in coalition with other countries and militaries to provide the outcomes that are needed to meet modern security challenges.

Many other agencies are intimately involved in preserving our security, be they in law enforcement, border protection, intelligence or other civil authorities and a comprehensive, that is, an enduring solution to global terrorism requires using all aspects of national power, including legal, economic, diplomatic, intelligence and military capability.

Of course the integration of traditional Defence functions with law enforcement and civil authorities brings new pressures to the operating environment requiring a good understanding of the different cultures that operate in Defence and civilian agencies.

To take one example: military forces need good intelligence but law enforcement agencies need information that meets an evidentiary standard, and these requirements are not necessarily the same.

Military forces seek to simplify and clarify issues as they move down the chain of command to the troops in the front line, whereas in a civil law enforcement context complexity and nuance must be appreciated at every level.

Appropriate frameworks need to be developed and responsibilities clearly defined in order to ensure the effective combination of these differing roles.

Let me now talk about our specific responses to terrorism.

We have recognised that it is no longer adequate to focus purely on security in the conventional sense of state versus state aggression. We must address the new threats we face and we must confront them aggressively.

Australia, like many countries, is taking action to bolster the traditional capabilities employed to defend its people against the threat of terrorism. Over the last couple of years the Australian Defence Force’s counter terrorism elements have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with state and territory security agencies. This is based on shared experiences in the Sydney Olympics, the Commonwealth Heads of

Government Meeting, the Rugby World Cup last year, and routine national and state level training activities.

We are involved and are working actively with our friends and partners in the region. Last month, the ADF hosted the first Regional Special Forces Counter-Terrorism Conference. This Conference brought together senior military counter-terrorism commanders and policy officials from 13 regional countries and close allies. It established an informal network of regional Special Forces commanders, helped

them to develop strong personal contacts and created a shared understanding of the regional countries national counter-terrorism policy and response mechanisms.

There are whole of government Memoranda of Understanding on counter-terrorism between Australia and Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Fiji, Cambodia, East Timor, India and Papua New Guinea, and we're currently conducting a major bilateral counter-terrorism exercise in Thailand as part of an ongoing series of exercises with our regional friends.

Australian government agencies will continue to work with our friends and our allies in the region and beyond to reinvigorate international anti-proliferation regimes and export controls on prohibited and injurious items.

Accordingly, Australia is cooperating with a group of other nations on non-proliferation enforcement under the proliferation security initiative, or PSI. The PSI is supported by more than 60 countries and aims to impede illicit WMD related trade including through the interdiction of weapons of mass destruction in transit.

Australia hosted the first PSI exercise in 2003 and a number of exercises have been held around the world since.

It's interesting to note that prior to the first PSI exercise our Special Forces had already successfully cooperated with a number of other government agencies, both Commonwealth and State, to apprehend the commercial vessel, the Pong Su.

Police had conducted a lengthy chase up the East Coast of Australia after the vessel had allegedly dropped off illegal drugs on the coast of Victoria.

A number of Australian agencies are working together to ensure that safe havens do not exist for terrorists or others who would threaten our security. We're working with our neighbours to stop those who would threaten all of us, who would take advantage of countries who are experiencing internal strife, or countries which are still developing their national institutions.

We're doing this by helping to strengthen governments and building institutions in the Pacific and elsewhere in the region in concert with regional partners and other Australian government agencies.

We will also continue to deploy training advisory teams to countries such as Thailand, The Philippines and Brunei, as well as seeking opportunities to expand this training program into other regional countries.

However the Australian Defence Force must be adaptable and flexible to meet the disparate possible scenarios in modern conflict circumstances. Just look at some of the operations the Australian Defence Force was involved in over the last five years.

In East Timor we demonstrated our capability in an ADF led regional peace enforcement operation that was rapidly executed and then successfully transitioned from military to civil control, initially through the United Nations and now the

Government of Timor-Leste with appropriately reducing support from the global community.

In the Solomon Islands we in the ADF provided a strictly supporting role of security

and logistics to the Australian Federal Police led operation to bring law and order to that place. A great example of whole of government, whole of region cooperation and achievement with a civil lead.

In Afghanistan we contributed to a multi-national military coalition to attack al Qaeda sanctuaries and depose the regime that was supporting them. That successful effort was then handed over to a United Nations Security and Reconstruction Mission.

And in Iraq, the ADF contributed first to a war fighting coalition and now to the rehabilitation of Iraq.

The situation in Iraq continues to evolve from one characterised as a state-on-state military-led operation to foreign occupying powers exercising both civil and military authority and now a transition to civil sovereignty underpinned by foreign and domestic military and security forces.

The transition of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government is an historic milestone on the road to a democratic government. It is noteworthy in contrast to the media's concentration on military operations that there have already been significant improvements achieved in the life of ordinary Iraqis.

The Coalition has rehabilitated over 2200 schools and 240 hospitals. Health care spending has increased threefold over pre-war levels and during the last year over three million children under five were vaccinated against diseases.

Other improvements have seen the Iraqi dinar rise by 25% in value against the US dollar since being introduced twelve months ago and on a lesser but significant point today twenty Iraqis including six women have received Fullbright grants to study abroad.

Our forces are carrying out important tasks on the road to self-governance for the Iraqi people, such as helping to train the new Iraqi navy and army. Our naval personnel had the pleasure on the first of June of watching their hard work come to fruition with the commissioning of the Iraqi Umm Qasr naval base and the first of the Iraqi Coastal Defence Force recruits completed their maritime operations training.

And Major General Jim Molan has deployed to the new Multi-National Force-Iraq headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Cooperation.

These examples from East Timor to Iraq demonstrate that there is no one formula, structure, sequence or leadership style that is applicable across the board as we turn our hand to solving complex problems, hand in glove with our civilian colleagues.

It's important to note that the ADF's recent experiences have learnt from and been built upon a long history of contribution to United Nations missions in places like Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia and Rwanda to stabilise and rebuild societies.

It's critical that each situation or conflict be closely analysed. The elements to achieve success will prove to be unique in each case. But the emergence of global terrorism has meant there is an increasing need to link internal and external security. As a

result there's been a need to enhance the roles that our special forces play in counter-terrorism, whether that is externally in for example Afghanistan or internally in Australia.

The formation of Special Operations Command two years ago represents a significant increase in Australia's ability to respond to terrorist threats at home and abroad. It enhances the ADF's coordinated rapid response capability both at home if necessary

and abroad so it's able to operate with stealth, flexibility and precision as we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Within Australia the ADF could be called to resolve a domestic terrorist incident in extreme cases where state or territory police and emergency services don't have the capability to deal with it, and in cases that potentially involve the use of force.

We have well-rehearsed plans with state and territory governments and agencies in dealing with terrorist situations. Such incidents could include capturing buildings, freeing hostages, cordoning off areas or responding to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive attack.

Now the protective security coordination centre in the Attorney General's department would coordinate any such response. And let me emphasise again that state and territory police services have primacy in these domestic security situations.

These substantial increases we made to our military counter-terrorist capabilities under the Special Operations Command includes the recently raised East Coast based Tactical Assault Group and the Incident Response Regiment, capable of responding to chemical, biological and radiological incidents.

We've also contracted with our reservists that they will provide us with reserve response forces able to swing into action to perform some protective duties in big cities and places of some potential threat. I note here that any reserve capability requires another aspect of civil military cooperation. That with Australia's employers, who have been very understanding of the importance of our reservists in maintaining Australian security.

In addition the ADF maintains excellent cooperation with Australia's allies and regional partners such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Thailand to ensure our terrorism response teams have access to the most up to date

techniques, training and technology.

The true measure of our success and integrated civil military cooperation is our action in crises that require immediate reflex responses. A recent example still very fresh in our minds and hearts is the Australian response and action in the wake of the Bali bombing, and of that reaction we can be proud.

In October 2002 Australia was rocked by the news that two nightclubs in Bali were bombed, killing 88 Australians and injuring many more. It was an attack in which many Indonesians and other visitors were also killed and maimed. Australia was faced for the first time with our vulnerability to terrorism near to home, at a location

many of us have visited on holidays. A place we thought was safe.

Working as a part of a Foreign Affairs and Trade led whole of government response the ADF contributed to Australia's response to this horrific event. Called by us Operation Bali Assist, the ADF's priority throughout the operation was to provide medical assistance and aero-medical evacuation to those injured in the bomb blast. Our prime task was to get the seriously injured, once they were stabilised out of Bali to Darwin and then from Darwin to southern ports.

History shows that the response by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, by the Australian Federal Police and some other police services and by the ADF was most admirable. More importantly Australian and Indonesian bilateral cooperation was a great example of neighbours helping each other, and this despite perceptions

in some quarters of difficulties in the relationship.

Let me move to conclude. Civil military cooperation is not new. In fact as I hope I have shown elements of this cooperation permeate to almost every aspect of our societies and our lives whether people realise it or not. A strong element of cooperation is necessary, if not vital for successful resolution of conflict because it is the only way to produce an enduring peace better than the circumstances that led to war.

Our challenge today is to continually improve our whole of government mechanisms so that we can effectively provide the unique civil military cooperation required to achieve what we want in specific circumstances.

The reasons for any particular conflict and the manifestation of that conflict will never be the same, therefore each requires well considered and innovative responses from the entire government every single time. As far as terrorism is concerned we are seeing in response an unprecedented cooperation across numerous government agencies as well as through all tiers of government in Australia.

Now the war on terror can't be won in the short term. We must accept that success relies on a long-term commitment and on these excellent working partnerships between the military and civilian agencies. Broadly we play our necessary part to create a secure environment long enough for people to start building a peaceful and prosperous future, but it is civil agencies that ultimately deliver a better life in a society that has been wrecked by violence. We always need to work together.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll take questions immediately. Thank you.

[Applause]