This was on the news last night. The ADF uses American scopes on our Steyrs and the concern was brought up that they had biblical inscriptions on them. Parliament reviewed this and considered withdrawing them from service for another manufacturer, then requested the manufacturer to remove the inscriptions which was agreed. Some Parliamentary official made a public statement that the ADF does not represent any other agenda besides Australian national interests despite how such things may infer otherwise, hence the request to the manufacturer. He wished to reassure Australians that our defence forces are not running around in Timor and the Middle East declaring biblical scripture at the point of a gun.
I agree with Jonathon-7 on this issue.
the first world war was a clashing of the old and new styles of european culture, germany representing the future, england and france the old way of life. the first world war in my honest opinion became a clash between the old way of life and the new way of life. a clash between what was and what was to be.
Most people confuse the respective themes of WW1 and 2, what's described here is more representative of WW2. Comparatively England and France were just as progressive in WW1 as anyone else, and the Kaiser's interests were joining in on the European Imperialist rape of African resources whilst Russia, Austria-Hungary and Turkey all wanted to dominate the Balkans. The environment of WW1 was formed during the Boer War and with Kaiser Wilhelm and Hindenburg's "gunboat policy" in northern Africa (they wanted part of the French and British colonies handed over).
WW1 was all about Imperialism and upcoming Imperialists, there was nothing new about it. Krupp had been selling mass produced armaments indescriminantly for decades previously, by the 1890's the face of warfare had really changed irrevocably so there wasn't even anything new about that, just that in media terms WW1 was in everybody's face. But it wasn't any different to the Crimean war and some clashes in Africa between 1890-1915 were basically identical to the Somme, without the witnesses.
In about 1916 the tank and front line warplane were basically invented (as opposed to armoured cars and spotter craft), which made a distinct visual impression during WW1 of sudden and extreme technological development, but it was really after the war that the impact and implications of such developments were mooted.
Politically the beginning of WW2 were much more about the themes mentioned, one of Hitler's major campaigns was to promote the Nazi Party as "the blend of the old (traditional monarchists) with the new (ideological warriors)." In Imperialist terms the USSR and Nazi Germany at their cores were very progressive, but also of course extremely abusive.
During the thirties Nazi Germany was sold by media to the international community as technologically progressive, which was probably facilitated by the reputation of Krupp Werks which armed most of the militaries of WW1, by creating what was in fact a fiction about Nazi military power during the mid-30's the public support in France and Britain could be gained to continue military spending which especially following the Depression had become a major issue.
During WW2 the UK was forced to relinquish its colonies abroad, their populations such as Indian Regulars demanded independence as a reward for British military service during WW2. Similarly the War in the Pacific forced the UK and USA to relinquish their colonies to their indigenous populations, because the Japanese first argued they were "liberating them from industrialists" and the Allies had to finally offer independence when taking them back again, or else it would look like the Japanese weren't lying.
In the places like Indonesia and Vietnam/Burma however the locals had to fight wars of independence anyway, one of which continued into the American war in Vietnam because they needed communists to help them kick out the French and yanks don't like commies.
So it was really WW2 that was the clash between the old and the new...but that war has never really ended.