Look for the sickness beneath sunny skies and the walrus fat of affluence
Australian Defence Force personnel will be walking unprepared into a volatile situation at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine, a senior defence figure has warned.
Abbott’s mission to Ukraine branded ‘nuts’
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement of Australia’s intention to send 190 armed Australian Federal Police and an unknown number of ADF personnel to help recover bodies and evidence from the site has been met with incredulity in some parts of Europe, with one analyst branding it ”nuts”.
The senior defence figure, who did not wish to be named, said it was a poor idea for Australia.
”They can’t secure the site,” he said. ”It’s kilometres long and wide. They could escort Australian officials and provide close protection, but this is a civil task rather than a military task and it’s a terribly volatile area.
”We don’t have the language skills or knowledge of the area.
”For any military deployment, you have to look at a status of forces agreement with the government and, given the area the aircraft is in, I don’t think there is anyone to make that agreement with. What I’ve heard is the rebels don’t want more than 30 investigators there.”
Mr Abbott confirmed on Saturday that 230 Australian officials would be sent to help with the recovery. This, he said, would include a small number of defence personnel. …
Mr Abbott said that, despite the dangers, armed personnel are needed to secure the site.
”The last thing we want to do is to place anyone in danger,” he said. …
Some international historical context: