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The World Looking Over Their Shoulders: Australian Strategic Corporals On Operations In Somalia And East Timor

The world looks over the shoulders of corporals and holds them accountable for every time they and their soldiers pull the trigger, as well as for their behaviour towards those they encounter. Their tactical decisions and personal conduct may have significance that reaches far beyond their individual actions.

Corporals must be able to operate in troubles cities, among traumatised and displaced people, while being provoked and attacked by a range of unarmed and armed groups. Their reactions can have strategic consequences. Their patrolling stories from the lawless and damaged cities of Baidoa, Somalia 1993 and in Dili, East Timor in 1999 are relevant now and into the future.

It is hazardous business sealing poorly-marked borders after conflict, facing the armed forces of another nation. In 1999 the reactions of Australian corporals under pressure along the East Timor border had to be carefully calibrated to avoid fighting between Australian and Indonesian forces. This monograph tells the stories of some close calls that averted this strategic nightmare.

The World Looking Over Their Shoulders

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