Reflecting on “who” can send us to war

WHO decides if and when Australia goes to war?

It’s a complex question made even more so by an increased US military presence in Darwin, with rotating Marine Corps deployments.

The prospect of jointly manned, leased submarines must also be vexing senior Canberra defence minds, almost as much as triumphal iconography and inappropriate unit T-shirts.

It’s not a military decision, but in a democracy senior service officers should be consulted during any process to commit troops to combat.

In September 1939 it was Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ melancholy duty to announce unilaterally that as a consequence of Britain declaring war against Germany, a state of war also existed between Australia and Germany.

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Reflecting on “who” can send us to war | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (

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