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The Australian Military has been dispatched to Sydney to assist in enforcing a Covid lockdown.


Andrew Reeve
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Hundreds of Australian military have been dispatched to Sydney to assist in enforcing the Covid lockdown. Since June, a Delta outbreak has resulted in roughly 3,000 illnesses and nine deaths. Soldiers from the Australian Defence Force will train over the weekend before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday.

Many others, however, have questioned whether the military action is essential, describing it as overbearing. The lockdown, which will last until at least August 28, prevents individuals from leaving their homes except for vital activities like as exercise, shopping, and caring.

Infections in the nation's largest metropolis continue to spread despite a five-week ban. On Friday, officials reported 170 new cases. Soldiers will work with police in virus hotspots to ensure that people adhere to the guidelines, which include a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) travel limit.

 

It would assist, according to State Police Minister David Elliott, because a small number of Sydney residents believed "the rules didn't apply to them."  According to health professionals, the infection is primarily spreading through permissible travel.

The deployment, according to the Australian Lawyers Alliance, is a "concerning use" of the army in a liberal democracy.

 

In the city's poorer and ethnically diverse west and south-west districts, the outbreak has primarily hit vital employees and big family groups. It has a population of almost two million people.

Critics claim that those regions have already been subjected to "targeted" enforcement. They point out that the limitations are more stringent there than in the rest of Sydney.

"Our people are among the poorest populations, and they already feel picked on and marginalized," one local mayor, Steve Christou, said.

"They can't afford to pay their mortgage, rent, eat, or work because they can't afford it. Tossing out the army to enforce a lockdown on the streets will be a major problem for these folks "'I warned SBS,' he said.

Source:  BBC

 

 

 

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That's the sort of tactic I would expect in Thailand not Australia. I guess they don't want the military idle but using it to supress the local population is a step on a dark road indeed. 

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58 minutes ago, gazmo16 said:

That's the sort of tactic I would expect in Thailand not Australia. I guess they don't want the military idle but using it to supress the local population is a step on a dark road indeed. 

If I was an Australian I would think it very ominous, specially in view that they are vying for the title of the most incompetent country, with Thailand, when it comes to vaccination of the general population. Perhaps the electorate will voice their opinion at their next election ?

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On 7/30/2021 at 7:35 PM, gummy said:

If I was an Australian I would think it very ominous, specially in view that they are vying for the title of the most incompetent country, with Thailand, when it comes to vaccination of the general population. Perhaps the electorate will voice their opinion at their next election ?

True.  But the police are busy and not enough of them to stop the idiots partying and travelling. You may think it is only bad in Thailand, but it is bad everywhere - some people just do not accept that the rules apply to them, and there are more in the west/south. The military wont be carrying guns, but they will have the authority to stop and question and detain.  The Police will be called to take the detained person away later - much later probably ?

 

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On 7/30/2021 at 4:35 PM, gummy said:

If I was an Australian I would think it very ominous, specially in view that they are vying for the title of the most incompetent country, with Thailand, when it comes to vaccination of the general population. Perhaps the electorate will voice their opinion at their next election ?

Aussies generally take a very different view of their military to Thais, and even to Brits.

The last Governor General, for example, Peter Cosgrove, had been Chief of the Defence Force and was one of the most popular and respected Governor Generals  in recent times - I can't see Thais or Brits seeing his opposite numbers in quite the same way.

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On 7/30/2021 at 4:35 PM, gummy said:

If I was an Australian I would think it very ominous, specially in view that they are vying for the title of the most incompetent country, with Thailand, when it comes to vaccination of the general population.

Hardly.

14% of the country are fully vaccinated with either Pfizer or AZ, and 32% have had at least one dose.

 

Hardly world-leading, but way ahead of Thailand and most of Thailand's neighbours

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On 7/30/2021 at 4:33 AM, gazmo16 said:

That's the sort of tactic I would expect in Thailand not Australia. I guess they don't want the military idle but using it to supress the local population is a step on a dark road indeed. 

Suppress? No.  Not likely. Have a look at the  idiots who are causing the problems. Small minority who have exploited every loophole to pursue their own personal interests. Sydney would not be in the position it is in if this group just controlled itself for a few weeks. I expect that the military will be taking some of the non interactive workload away from the police. But understood that the military is not trained for civilian type duties and it should only be an short term temporary measure to give the cops some breathing room.

On 7/30/2021 at 5:35 AM, gummy said:

If I was an Australian I would think it very ominous, specially in view that they are vying for the title of the most incompetent country, with Thailand, when it comes to vaccination of the general population. Perhaps the electorate will voice their opinion at their next election ?

Australia is doing well for a country denied access to vaccines because of the EU and US stranglehold on production. Now it has access to both the Astra Zeneca vaccine and Pfizer vaccine and if the virtue signalers don't interfere, should have access to some of the surplus in Canada and the USA. Give Australia a couple months and they will turn this around. Covid19 wasn't politicized so the rollout should be relatively fast like it was in the UK and Canada.

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I would say suppress was a reasonable word to use when they are using helicopters to track down and detain those in breach of curfews. You are right the military are not trained for the Policing of civilians they are trained to be very hands on and are unaware of many laws and entitlements the public now have as they themselves are denied these same rights when joining the military. 

In my own experience in law enforcement I found the military often see the world in black and white and their use of force was quick and often excessive as they are not trained to detain with minimum force which is understandable in their usual role. 

Maybe the Australian Army is different , I guess we will see. 

Edited by gazmo16
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LOL The super spreader force ! I hope they are all social distancing , practicing mitigation standards and wearing full PPE 

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From what a mate in Sydney has told me, they are mainly just walking the streets where there are directed by the Police to go, armed with only sunscreen, paper and pens! 

They are mainly helping out with door knocking and helping out with the Police Checkpoints. They are checking people are who are supposed to be at home and also to supplement the security for Hotel Quarantine which has been a regular thing. Same thing happened in Melbourne for their lockdown.

Effectively it is just extra bodies. They tell the police if someone is missing etc and the NSW Police and the Federal Police then do the actual enforcement in their respective jurisdictions.

Now if the PR PM Scott can stop talking and blaming everyone else, perhaps they can fix the hotel quarantine situation and actually rollout the vaccine program for those who want it and then perhaps they won't be needed and can return to their regular duties.

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9 hours ago, Stonker said:

Hardly.

14% of the country are fully vaccinated with either Pfizer or AZ, and 32% have had at least one dose.

Hardly world-leading, but way ahead of Thailand and most of Thailand's neighbours

And we started with the old and health workers first, then those over 70 and then over 60 and now into the over 50s.  Plus we have lots and lots of room so no need to crowd 30 people into a single room. And it is a 3 hour drive just to see my nearest neighbour (kidding).

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5 hours ago, gazmo16 said:

You are right the military are not trained for the Policing of civilians they are trained to be very hands on and are unaware of many laws and entitlements the public now have as they themselves are denied these same rights when joining the military. 

That's not correct, at least not in all cases.

 

Many militaries are trained extensively in policing civilians, and they have been for years - the British in NI and the Australians in East Timor, for example, both jointly with civilian police, and countless countries on UN missions and recently in Afghanistan and Iraq where, for better or worse, much of the training and mentoring of the local police was carried out by teeth arm (combat) soldiers, not military police.

 

The idea that they're "unaware of many laws and entitlements the public now have as they themselves are denied these same rights when joining the military" is a bit absurd - don't you think they spend time living a non-military life too, and have friends / spouses / families who are part of the "public"?

 

5 hours ago, gazmo16 said:

In my own experience in law enforcement I found the military often see the world in black and white and their use of force was quick and often excessive as they are not trained to detain with minimum force which is understandable in their usual role. 

Well, that may be your experience, but many are very much "trained to detain with minimum force".

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Having served in mainland England and in Northern Ireland with the Police I can assure you first hand there is a very big difference between how the two go about policing and engaging with the public.  But maybe you are right after all I was only a serving officer for 25 years.

 

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5 hours ago, gazmo16 said:

Having served in mainland England and in Northern Ireland with the Police I can assure you first hand there is a very big difference between how the two go about policing and engaging with the public.  But maybe you are right after all I was only a serving officer for 25 years.

I'm not questioning your experience, but as I said, that may be your experience, but it's simply not universally true  -  and regardless of how much experience you have in the police, unless you were also in or trained the military in IS then you're not really in a better position to say what the military are or aren't trained to do than anyone else.

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 We shall have to agree to disagree Stonker as you obviously know better than me. I can only drawer on my training and life experience so you probably have a better knowledge of conflict management than me assuming you are either ex military or law enforcement. You win ! 

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3 hours ago, gazmo16 said:

 We shall have to agree to disagree Stonker as you obviously know better than me. I can only drawer on my training and life experience so you probably have a better knowledge of conflict management than me assuming you are either ex military or law enforcement. You win ! 

@gazmo16, I'm not suggesting I "know better", or trying to "win". ☺

 

... and I'm certainly not suggesting the military can do the police's job or are trained to do it, as they're not,  although there are some overlaps.

 

FWIW, I think some of the training and mentoring of local / foreign police forces by the West's military in the last couple of decades, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a massive mistake as is now sadly becoming very clear.  Not only were many (many of whom I know personally) totally unsuited to training and mentoring any local units because of the cultural differences which aren't always easy to understand and accept, but they had no relevant experience or training themselves at all - literally none.

It was an unmitigated and completely foreseeable and avoidable disaster.

 

All I'm saying are two things:

 

First, your statement that "their use of force was quick and often excessive as they are not trained to detain with minimum force" is simply wrong. 

 

Their use of force that you observed may well have been "quick and often excessive", and from my own experience I agree with you that it all too often is,  but it's not because "they are not trained to detain with minimum force," because they are.  Not all armies or all in those armies, but many of them.

 

I can say that with absolute certainty because ensuring that soldiers were "trained to detain with minimum force" was one of my direct responsibilities  at times, whether it was at individual level as an instructor in arrest techniques, arrest holds and aikido, or in policy at unit and sub-unit level in a number of units and in a number of different armies and for a number of different countries.

 

Whether that training was always followed is a very different matter, obviously - it's often asking a bit much of most squaddies / grunts / diggers / jundis that one minute their job is to close with and kill the enemy, nothing else, which doesn't involve much in the way of compassion, and the next minute you expect them to use minimum force and restraint to win hearts and minds.

 

I don't think we disagree there, as much as we're just taking different viewpoints of the same thing.

 

Where we disagree very strongly, though, is over your "guess they don't want the military idle but using it to supress the local population is a step on a dark road indeed."  I've trained with the Aus military (Townsville, inevitably) and also worked with them operationally and while there are similarities they're very different to the British military (who I have rather more experience with)  -  I wouldn't say better or worse (although others I've been with have definitely been worse!), just different.

 

The biggest difference, though, is in how they're seen by their countrymen.  British soldiers, despite very occasionally and briefly being " 'eroes", have been the "scum of the earth" since Wellington.  Aussie diggers,  on the other hand, have been seen by many as typifying Australia since Gallipoli when many see Australia being "born" as a nation, and, despite their faults and recent controversies and scandals, representing what's best about Australia.

 

What may apply in one country just can't be applied in another, whether it's Thailand or Australia.

 

 

 

 

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The Department of Defence has posted this video on what they are doing in Sydney. Some may see it just as propaganda, but some may find it as a guide to measure what they end up doing against what they say they will!

 

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