The Long Road
Australia’s train, advise and assist missions
Edited by Tom Frame
Published by UNSW Press
RRP $39.99 in paperback
Helping neighbours and partners stabilise their political systems while working towards peace and prosperity is a core activity for the Australian Defence Force as well as other government departments and agencies.
This book, the outcome of The Long Road: the Future of Indigenous Capability Development conference, hosted by The Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) in 2016, analyses Australia’s ‘Train, Advise and Assist’ TAA missions over the past fifty years, including Iraq, Afghanistan, PNG and others.
It offers a comprehensive summary of the Australian experience. The book reflects upon those experiences and suggests way to enhance or improve the conduct of these missions. There is a stellar cast of contributors to the book.
In Chapter 23: Assistance Missions and Contractor Support, Aspen Medical’s Glenn Keys writes about the issues of private contractors supporting defence operations overseas. He calls for specific reforms in relation to service providers attached to deployments. He especially calls for both sides to work together more closely and to focus on collaboration rather than just contract compliance.
Verdict: Essential reading for anyone whose role encompasses the ADF’s future planning.