An “absolute debacle.”

Richard Marles and Pat Conroy are currently under intense scrutiny for their perceived mishandling of Australia’s defence affairs, with The Australian’s Foreign Editor, Greg Sheridan, characterizing their stewardship as an “absolute debacle.” Sheridan contends that both Marles, serving as Defence Minister, and Conroy, as Defence Industry Minister, bear responsibility for the current state of affairs.

In a recent discussion with Sky News host Andrew Bolt, Sheridan delved into the contentious issues plaguing the relationship between the defence department and the government. He highlighted the fundamental grievances from both sides, illustrating a deep-seated rift.

According to Sheridan, the defence establishment holds Marles accountable for failing to secure additional funding, leaving them without the resources necessary to fulfill their expanding array of responsibilities. Conversely, Marles believes the defence establishment is out of touch with the evolving strategic landscape, clinging to outdated programs and disregarding the findings of the Defence Strategic Review.

This discord has created a stalemate, with neither party effectively advancing the interests of the Australian Defence Force. Sheridan concludes that the current trajectory falls short of establishing a robust and autonomous military force capable of wielding significant strategic influence or serving as a credible deterrent.


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