Career politicians who prioritize self-interest over national security: veteran

Australian soldiers were sent to the Solomon Islands after a violent riot struck part of the capital Honiara last year, and former special forces operative Heston Russell “provides safety to the Chinese.” I admitted.

“They said to me,” The people of the Solomon Islands were rioting against the government, which received money from the Chinese to recognize Taiwan as Chinese territory, so what did we do there? I didn’t know if it was there, “Russell said. He advocated veteran issues and is currently a candidate for Senator Queensland of the Australian Value Party.

“We were basically providing security for Chinese to come in and sign the agreement,” he said, which has been the subject of controversy warning the entire democratic government-Beijing- He was told referring to the Solomon Islands Security Agreement.

Russell believed that one of the major problems in Australia’s diplomatic efforts was the choice of ambassadors and diplomats who were “friends of political parties” and were not really in harmony with the population on earth.

Epoch Times Photo
Profile photo of Heston Russell, Australia’s values ​​party leader, veteran advocate, and former special forces operative. (Included)

He also warned that the rhetoric of Taiwan’s aggression went the wrong way, as adversaries found it difficult to conquer its “hardened” population. Instead, Australia is more likely to face a “Ukraine-like situation” somewhere around the Solomon Islands.

“they [Beijing] They can draw us into a “danger signal situation” where they can use the giant PR beast, and everything else in between. In short, we are trying to influence the sovereignty of those countries. “

The recently signed Beijing-Solomon Security Agreement could open the door for the Communist Party of China to station troops and weapons in Pacific countries (only 1,700 kilometers from Australia’s northern city of Cairns), a region similar to the South China Sea. Is causing tension.

South Pacific expert Cleo Pascal warned that last year’s intervention by Solomon’s forces in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea actually prolonged the reign of the unpopular Prime Minister Manase Sogavale.

“Sogavale has lost control of power. His MP has dropped out and police have gone to him. [protest] She previously told The Epoch Times.

“The announcement that Australia is sending troops saved him. Then he turned to the MP looking for a flaw and said,” Look, both China and Australia support me. So , Are you really going to stand up to me? “

Russell, who worked behind the scenes of foreign policy in the capital Honiara in the 2014 election, said Australian politicians had completely misunderstood and mishandled relations with the Pacific Ocean.

“What happened in the Solomon Islands should never have happened,” he said. “Just because you are involved with the government and spending money on it does not mean that the government actually controls or influences the population or allows aid to pass through. “

He said that more human-to-human involvement and humanitarian aid on earth to “win the heart and mind”, especially in the event of a disaster such as a cyclone or tsunami, would send millions of aid to the Pacific Ocean. He said it was more valuable than money. In addition, he said high-level visits from Australian leaders would also affect the earth and the community.

Epoch Times Photo
People clearing debris from the streets of Chinatown in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 28, 2021. (Charlie Piringi via Getty Images / AFP)

So far, the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have been advised by foreign authorities not to visit the Solomon Islands.

Russell pointed out other issues with the Defense Forces, especially the failure of a naval vessel in January that was intended to provide assistance to Tonga during a recent volcanic eruption.

“Our defense is in a dangerous position for the government to continue drawing these beautiful pictures and press statements tickling the big boxes,” Russell said. “But in reality, we are not making the most of taxpayer funds for diplomacy.”

At the same time, Beijing’s invasion of the South Pacific and Solomon Islands is a region far more culturally closer to Australia than China (in terms of religion, sports and language), and how vulnerable foreign loyalty is. Was shown.

In addition, the Defense Forces are also dealing with high exit rates, About 10 percent The number of personnel leaving each year could be exacerbated by a recommendation by Secretary of Defense Aberdeen Angus Campbell to strip 3,000 soldiers’ medals after the Breton report was published for war crimes. This decision was quickly revoked by the then newly appointed defense. Minister Peter Dutton.

Morale issues will be an additional challenge as the federal government embarks on the largest expansion of the Australian Defense Forces in 40 years.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Army crew members are preparing to carry out rescue by community member winches from MRH-90 Taipan on February 28, 2022, over Lismore, Australia. (Australian Defense Force)

Russell said the problem is a by-product of “what’s happening in recent politics” and MPs are more interested in developing their careers than promoting the best talent for each portfolio.

“Recent politicians are designed to get better in front of the camera, debate well on the parliamentary floor, talk in segs to avoid criticism, and get votes instead of doing the job right.” He said.

He argued that a similar culture developed at the top of the defense forces, a “culture of decline” was formed, and politics began to influence officers when they reached a certain position.

By stopping this issue, Russell spurred the establishment of an Australian Values ​​Party with former defense personnel (healthcare professionals, engineers, surveillance professionals, etc.).

When a team gains momentum, the main focus of the team is to “depoliticize” the army so that it can properly serve men and women throughout the chain of command.

The team will also send young Australians abroad to carry out humanitarian activities while promoting programs to build leadership skills. This is a movement that can “kill several birds with one stone”. At the same time, the country’s large veteran population (about 225,000 government-sponsored) could be diverted to an education system to rebuild the spirit and pride of its people.

“The biggest problem is that we have the spirit of ANZAC in us, but there is a risk of being further suffocated and destroyed by the people who lead us,” he said, and many of his brothers State of national leadership.

Russell wants the defense community to stand behind young Australians outside the Values ​​Party and Veteran Circle.

He remembered a favorite line from an individual who said that no politician he respected, but when he saw Russell’s team, he said, “There you are friends in other countries. Someone really wants to tell you that, “I’m our politician.”

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected]