‘The art of political polemics, like the art of significant political journalism, is first to over-simplify the issues, for true clarity’s sake, and then to exaggerate them, for the sake of effect’. The Economist, 1964.
All Australians now know that we have immense and unknown amounts of wealth in this country. ... So, given this knowledge of our wealth we are now in the position to devise a defence posture that is very expensive but is more cunning than costly.
By Sir Wellington Boote; comment by Tiresias of Canberra
Henry ... I found the very useful article linked below and thought your readers should see it. It is extraordinary. It is about Australia's defence situation. Our trivial media very rarely is as mature as this; very rarely do we get a sensible article that is not all about money.
Defence is important for Australia because we are friendless and alone in this part of the world. Our great ally, America, is bankrupt and is unable to defend itself from its enemies, so what hope have we got that they will come to our aid if needed. They won't. We will have to do everything ourselves, so we may as well get started on the job. This idea is not a common one in Australia. Most of the young people I run this past just look at me ... they cannot quite fathom what I am getting at. I blame the politicians and the media for this dangerous situation. But at least we know where to start. We need public officials and organizations to start to talk publicly and very clearly about Australia's defence situation and how parlous it is. We have time I think, to prepare ourselves for a dangerous future but first we have to acknowledge that it will be a dangerous future.
All Australians now know that we have immense and unknown amounts of wealth in this country. One of the signs of this is that this is the very first election campaign, Henry, where I have not heard the plaintive bleat ... 'where's the money coming from'? You and I will remember that all our lives every election has been full of this whining about money. God help the party, in the election, which got its costings on something wrong by a million dollars. The roof fell in as everyone screamed about 'economic amateurs' and such like drivel. Now we are free of this. Now nobody cares what anything costs because we all subconsciously know that Australia can afford whatever it wants. That is why the Liberals have been unable to create a crisis over our debt level ... we all know that Western Australian minerals and gas will pay it off years ahead of schedule. The same goes for the budget deficits.
So, given this knowledge of our wealth we are now in the position to devise a defence posture that is very expensive but is more cunning than costly. But first we need to get the whole nation on side with the need for such a defence posture. Why is there a need? Here are three reasons
First, we are cosmically rich and will get richer; this attracts thieves and no-goodniks. These include people smugglers (all agents for the Indonesian generals who make a motza from this racket) as well as foreign governments, principally China.
Second, America is broke. Uncle Sam wants to help us in a crisis and likes us a lot. However, the brokes of this world cannot do what they cannot do. America cannot help us even though they would want to in a big crisis. We need to be aware of this. Nevertheless we need to maintain the ANZUS Treaty (for its residual usefulness) and we need to continue publicly pretending that America 'will be there for us' (because we do not want the American people to think we have abandoned them!) However, we also need to defend ourselves 100% and have a defence posture that can function successfully without American involvement.
Third, we need to re-industrialize so we are not dependent on foreigners (even friends like America) for our military equipment. This time we need to include a very large defence equipment component in this industrialization. We should look to form alliances in this expensive field, but only with acceptable countries. I suggest that we look at Germany and Israel. Both of these countries have wonderful track records when it come to battlefields and battle winning equipment. Both of these countries are basically run by sensible men and women who understand the real dangers of the world of the 21st century. Germany and Israel understand that social workers and their world view will not make any country safe.
To take action in this field we need public officials to start talking about these three things. We need to build up an ever larger bi-partisan group in Australia which is primarily interested in the defence of this country. It doesn't matter how many good and lovely policies we have here in this paradise called Australia ... if the country is lost to our hands, what good is it?
The article attached concerns a huge aircraft deal which we are about to enter into with America. The question is whether we are buying the right plane. The figure bandied around is of the order of high double figure billions of dollars. Not cheap. However, my point is that we are now at the stage in our national life where we cannot continue being a high grade Wal Mart shopper. Wouldn't we be better off if we started to make more and more of these vital bits of equipment for ourselves? Shouldn't we start looking for other partners with whom we have a relationship of commerical and political equality? America is a good and reliable friend; but in the end, they can only do what they can do and will only do what is in their national interest. We should do the same.
If we are looking for brains and cunning and good track records in vital fields of industry who better than Germany and Israel?
Sir Wellington Boote.
This article appears in money.ninemsn.com.au and we thought you should see it.
I am out of my depth on defence, but here are several other ideas that may be worth throwing into the mix:
a) tempt the US in to using Australian territory to install bases to warehouse large volumes of weapons and material for use in an emergency. They do something like in Israel already and a few other strategic countries. They probably already do so in Oz on a small scale. The beauty of this is in an emergency, we would not have to wait for shipments from the US across air and water routes challenged by China and I assume that the Yanks would give us the OK to use such weapons and material ourselves if attacked.
b) As US/Chinese rivalry in the Indian and Pacific Oceans ramps up, we should evacuate Xmas Island of its civilian population and set up a landing strip and submarine base. The locals are not indigenous and have no sacred ‘land rights’ - they are colonial era blow ins from Malaysia living on the land of their former masters, the Clunies-Ross family. We should turn Xmas Island into another Diego Garcia. Location is all that we have – we must make the fullest possible use of it.
c) We need to build own communication infrastructure so as to ensure our independence of the Chinese – we must aim to send up an Australian multipurpose communication satellite from a space station in Cape York within 15 years maximum. An international consortia open to investors from friendly and allied nations could fund/manage it.
d) we need a coherent naval strategy focussed on a mixture of submarines and light, easily deployable, surface craft for intervention on the high seas. All the other types of ship is too easily targeted by the enemy.
e) We need a network of pilotless drones and satellites for border protection and intelligence – the Israeli connection would be most useful here.
f) Australia could also stockpile old Soviet staples like Kalashnikovs for use in an emergency – if Indonesia gets out of hand we should use airplanes stop drop off kalashnikovs and ammunition by the tens of thousands on the islands most desperate for separation from the Javanese gangster-state. That is likely to be the only effective answer to Indonesian power.
g) Finally, ensure that 10,000 places per annum in the immigration intake are reserved for US ex-military families with heads of families under 50. Huge number of bets retire each year in America, with 30 or so more years left in the workforce. We could get all manner of technical skills that way from a culturally and politically compatible country. Most Australians would rather take American ex-military as immigrants than veterans of the Taliban or the Tamil Tigers – it would be easy to sell to the public.
Sir Wellington Boote comments: 'This is excellent stuff as usual. Check out the last item (g). Not even I have thought of this ... it is a ripper of an idea!!!
Item (g) -Why would American ex service men and women be interested in migrating to Australia?
Within a few years Coalition governments will have sold most of our assets to the Chinese,so we'll have very little worth defending.