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Can’t fix ‘em, scrap ‘em – including defence!


AS THE GOVERNMENT hasn’t been too bothered about PNG’s national security for many years, why doesn’t it scrapping the entire defence and police force together with half the bloated public service.

What a great way to cut costs. The billions saved will allow more money for health, education, infrastructure and other politically attractive programs by local MPs.

Guess what would happen if we took that course? Total chaos and anarchy throughout PNG.

Thirty-five years after independence, we still have primitive people in our society who in no time would hold the country to ransom through increased gun violence and other serious crimes.

So abolishing the PNGDF and the Police may sound easy for a government thinking of making big savings. But the whole exercise would be a big false economy.

That’s a key reason why an economically strong country has a standing military force to protect its national interest.

PNG's first challenge is to enhance its sovereignty and security. The government can achieve this by bridging the gap between declared defence commitments and actual military capabilities.

Integral to a credible defence posture is a vigorous modernisation program over the next 15 years or so, including a sweeping reorganisation of our defence high command.

The second challenge is to improve defence management in all core competency areas: equipment acquisition, careers and planning.

PNG’s task, whether in the military or the whole country, is to become the master of change rather than its servant.


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Reginald Renagi

For Defence to perform its future mission well, it must plan on greatly enhance current operations.

PNG needs to develop highly responsive and mobile forces that can quickly react to low intensity contingencies, be properly supported and maintained.

To succeed, a concerted defence effort is required with closer cooperation between the military and civil communities.

The PNGDF has unfortunately reached a state of redundancy brought about by political complacency and will not deliver the outcomes expected by the taxpayers unless there is political will to support.

PNG can prosper and adequately provide a reasonable level of national security capability, given its steady economic growth.

The future defence force structure must be determined by careful analysis of credible levels of threat and geographical factors. The emphasis should be on small unit operations, timely information, and rapid response.

Economy of effort will dictate that military operations should be directed to known areas of vulnerability based on reliable information and intelligence.

To this end, a process of sound force structure planning must ensure PNG has the right level and mix of capabilities necessary for our own unique concept of a nationally sustainable Defence posture.

Moreover, despite constant changes to Defence Council members since 1997 and the best efforts of senior officers then, an effective PNGDF has not yet emerged.

There are several reasons for this, but in general; the whole exercise still requires lots of personal effort by key stakeholders, commitment and resources to really make good the inherent organizational deficiencies today.

The real challenge for the future wellbeing of PNG is what we can do to promote our country's national security in most aspects.

It is not just a question of no money as for many years now the government has not committed itself to modernize our armed force, despite the worsening security situation each year.

Reginald Renagi

In the absence of any external military threat, our security attention should be focused differently. PNG's defence efforts must give some firm priorities to deal with existing security challenges now and in future.

The lessons the PNGDF has directly learnt in several internal security contingencies in the past twenty years are most obvious. Thus, it must develop new concepts to deal with emerging threats to our stability and security.

The future challenges to national security demand a fresh new focus. An urgent review of our military's future roles, form and size is needed with new operational and tactical concepts adopted.

The Defence function must be adapted to effectively fulfill these key roles:

• effective command and control;
• intelligence and surveillance;
• border presence and patrol;
• maritime response and interdiction;
• internal security and civic action (nation – building); and
• regional stability and security.

Reginald Renagi

Having observed the manner in which Defence has been managed for over three decades, I believe the organization needs reengineer itself.

The Defence organistion is at a crossroads. It is time the government critically looks at options to chart a new course for our national security posture. The first priority for government is to ensure we have a 'minimum credible force' for the defence of PNG and its national interests.

First and foremost, the government must decide what our key national interests are and where our future security interests and requirements lie.

Secondly, work out how we are going to get there and with what resources we need to achieve future goals.

The next thing the Ministry must do is to address two basic questions: what should be the PNGDF's future role, and whether this can be adequately fulfilled.

My assessment is that the current role is inappropriate, and that our defence force is unable to effectively fulfill its stated roles on a sustained basis with the resources available to it.

Reginald Renagi

For some time now, defence has been mismanaged but the government never had the guts to fix the problem and it has now gotten worse and poses a threat to national security.

The rapid decline of the military in this country is now a serious national security liability.

The government has no excuse but must develop a basic strategy for improvement. The bottom line for the government is you don’t get defence or national security on the cheap, so my challenge to it is either fund defence or scrap it.

Robin Lillicrapp

Today, I heard Senator Bill Heffernan citing population increase stats for the period to 2070. He posed a potential world increase to over 12 billion and juxtaposed the increased demands upon world resources in terms that implied loss of sustainability re food, water etc.

By extrapolation, it is not unreasonable to expect that demands, and increasing population displacement, will engender increasing strife over access to resources.

Already, in many regions of the world, we see globalism gobbling up utilities and infrastructure at an alarming rate, with the consequent weakening of independent nation-states' future ability to retain their sovereign independence.

Thus, the means of revenue raising to perform the fundamentals of governance depend increasingly on the performance of business and its contribution to revenue.

With a decreasing proportion of manufacturing on the local scene, and increased dependence upon “cheap” imports, the likelihood of future security and stability is reduced to, essentially, who controls the means of production and supply.

In such a bleak prospect, there is little likelihood of any other than a benevolent dictator fairly apportioning the meagre rations of future, dwindling, production in the face of burgeoning overpopulation.

With Australia’s involvement in this scenario, how big a toehold on retention of sovereign ability and purpose can be exercised by our near Pacific neighbours in the future? The inexorable slide into poverty and dysfunction (failed states) is manifestly observable among many of them.

Mr Rudd's inability to achieve the establishment of an ETS and the collapse of “Copenhagen” stalled a more sinister agenda to quickly effect “world government.”

That doesn’t mean he and his fellows (on either side of politics) have given up on the idea. I think the super profits tax upon mining interests is a new attempt to revenue-raise for the globalist control ambitions of New World Order czars.

PNG Attitude bloggers have roundly pursued the best interests of PNG’s future, and I hope will continue to do so.

Keith’s editorial labours are long and arduous but I trust are in growing moderation of a productive forum of understanding of the needs and aspirations of PNG’s next generation.

Salutations to all the PNG nationals who are vocal. Keep up the good work!

May I recommend for a reliable text upon the subject of globalism and free-market economics, and the terrible consequences to nation-states subjected to its imposition: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is a 2007 book by Canadian author Naomi Klein.

The introduction sketches the history of the last thirty years where economic shock doctrine has been applied throughout the world, from South America in the 1970s to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

I believe our friends in PNG and nearby are already subject to the outcomes!

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