Ethics Under Fire: Challenges for the Australian Army

My review for The Australian of this timely and important book which unfortunately pulls its punches:

‘Despite hints in several essays that many ADF personnel do not consider that the 2003 Iraq war meets the test of a just war, the question is not raised. It would have been good to see the book explore this, and even risk statements about the ethics and legality of this war.’

Armed and Dangerous – The Australian

My review of three books on Special Operations in The Australian and the implications for further militarisation of our police forces.

‘I am a sucker for boot-camp training stories in all their heartbreak, bastardry and triumph. The first half of Stanley Kubrick’s movie Full Metal Jacket is almost perfect, only improved by the knowledge that R. Lee Ermey as the senior drill instructor was a real US Marine Corps drill sergeant. The answer to the oft-asked question, were Marine Corps drill instructors really like that? Hell yeah!

That feeling of reality is also what makes these insider stories of men with guns fascinating….’

Big Little Lies bursts the bubble

‘So, in a story like Big Little Lies, the atmosphere of beauty and wealth allows for greater focus on internal battles and flaws rather than on the struggle for survival in a hostile environment.’ – My piece for The Monthly on why the TV adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestseller Big Little Lies is not soap.