The Australian government joined the widely unpopular Iraq War in 2003 – deploying troops, warships, and combat aircraft – solely to boost its relationship with George W. Bush’s White House, a declassified Australian army paper has revealed.
A report, written by Dr. Albert Palazzo of the Australian Army’s Directorate of Army Research and Analysis (DARA) between 2008 and 2011, was accessed by Fairfax Media and cited by the Sydney Morning Herald. DARA is a branch of the Australian Army Headquarters and serves as the Army’s think tank
The 572-page declassified document provides enough evidence to prove that then Prime Minister John Howard joined former US President George W. Bush in invading Iraq only to strengthen Canberra’s ties with Washington.
It also gives insight into how the political decision to enter the unpopular war was made – Howard’s statements about enforcing UN resolutions, combatting global terrorism, and contributing to the post-war reconstruction of Iraq were dismissed in Palazzo’s report as “mandatory rhetoric.”
Eventually, Prime Minister Howard and the then Chief of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) General Peter Cosgrove were unwilling to accept the prospect of high casualties among the soldiers deployed to Iraq.