Prime Minister John Howard announced today (24 Aug 06) 2 new Army Battalions, to be based in Adelaide and SE Queensland. This represents about 2600 soldiers.
Why has he picked Adelaide & SE Queensland??
Adelaide has at least 3 marginal electorates: Adelaide; Makin and Hindmarsh, and they will be crucial to the election in 2007.
South East Queensland has Bonner, Bowman & Brisbane as marginal seats. Further, some commentators believe that if there is a swing to one party, it is "magnified" or most noticeable in Queensland!
John Howard has a vested electoral interest in the location of any new battalions. Further, because the introduction, recruitment and establishment will take some time, this is an announcement that he can make repeatedly in the leadup to the next election.
Mr Howard hasn't addressed the problems of about 10%-11% or service personnel leaving each year - because they can earn more and have better conditions elsewhere. Irrespectivce of the apperent need to for more military personnel, remember, politicians, especially those in government, have political reasons for the announcements they make.