Tag: Defence

God save Australia because America will not – Pearls and Irritations

USA and China flag on flipped world map.

Despite the best endeavours of Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, to put the relationship with China on a more even keel, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, seems determined to destabilise it.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Weekend Australian on 4 November, Albanese framed China as a threat, citing aggressive intent toward Taiwan and hostile activities in the South China Sea, he advocated strongly for increased defence spending, at a time of budget cuts.

Has he taken this position to avoid being wedged by the Opposition, LNP, or because he has been captured by the US military/industrial lobbyists?

Source: God save Australia because America will not – Pearls and Irritations

View from The Hill: Morrison reverts to type in an unconvincing defence

One of the more bizarre things Scott Morrison said in his hour-long, sometimes combative, Wednesday news conference was that he’d had a “wonderful” conversation with Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday.

Morrison contacted Frydenberg after the revelation the former prime minister had himself sworn into the treasury portfolio in May last year and never told the treasurer. On the same day he’d inserted himself in the home affairs ministry, unbeknown to occupant Karen Andrews.

When she learned this week of his action, Andrews exploded and called for Morrison to leave parliament. Frydenberg, now in the investment banking world although retaining a hankering for politics, acted with more restraint.

But for the ex-treasurer and ex-member for Kooyong, the affair must raise the “what if” question.

What if the story of Morrison’s extraordinary power-grab had come out a few months before the election?

View from The Hill: Morrison reverts to type in an unconvincing defence

AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is the paying receiver of product that will not be delivered. The cost will be substandard subs not delivered on time, cash, in the form of capital and rent and the forgoing of sovereignty.

From the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to the US Studies Centre, we are meant to celebrate the prospect of Australia as a military annexe to US power in the Asia-Pacific, its sovereignty status subsumed under the ghastly guff of freedom lovers supposedly facing oriental barbarians. The analysis is then crowned by the praise of former US defence and security officials who ingratiatingly speak of Australian potential as they would mineral deposits. The lie, packaged and ribboned, is duly sold for public consumption. Australian sovereign capability becomes the supreme fiction, while its subservience is hidden, only to be exposed by heretics.

Source: AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Defence faces budget blowout with Aukus nuclear submarines to cost more than scrapped French project | Australia news | The Guardian

American nuclear-powered submarine

The Albanese government faces the prospect of a blowout in defence spending, with analysts warning that the nuclear-powered submarines will cost “significantly more” than the cancelled $90bn French project.

Source: Defence faces budget blowout with Aukus nuclear submarines to cost more than scrapped French project | Australia news | The Guardian

‘Really concerning’: China finalising security deal with Solomon Islands to base warships in the Pacific | China | The Guardian

Chinese premier Li Keqiang and Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. The two countries are close to signing a security deal which would give China a military base in the Pacific.

China seems to be streaks ahead of Peter Dutton in the Art of Diplomacy. When the far more Christian Nation of the Soloman Islands prefers to deal with China there’s a reason for it. For the past 9 years, the LNP government has 1) removed Radio Australia the once heartbeat of the Pacific, claiming everyone has a laptop and don’t need it. When they don’t. All for Abbott’s domestic attack on the ABC. 2)They then reduced Foreign Aid and turned it into a commercial enterprise a quid pro quo arrangement for profit. Well, the Solomon Islands no, the Pacific realized they had something to offer when the LNP created the vacuum.

They weren’t deaf either to Dutton’s racist Boomgate humor or the establishment of AUKUS. They saw Australia making transactional arrangements,screwing the French, in brazen disregard for other Pacific nations and knew that Morrison and Dutton were liars not to be trusted. So why shouldn’t they use their own leverage and do deals in their favor just as the LNP has? Who’s the dumbass to be laughed at now Dutton??

Australian officials are alarmed at Solomon Islands’ planned security deal with China with the defence minister, Peter Dutton, stating “we would be concerned clearly about any military base being established” less than 2,000km off the coast. Solomon Islands has signed a policing deal with China and will send a proposal for a broader security agreement covering the military to its cabinet for consideration. According to a copy of the draft security agreement circulating on social media on Thursday, it would allow China to base navy warships in the Pacific.

Source: ‘Really concerning’: China finalising security deal with Solomon Islands to base warships in the Pacific | China | The Guardian

Defending Julian Assange Is Defending Anyone Who Dares to Speak the Truth | The Smirking Chimp

The corrupt process must be exposed and all Assange supporters must speak up. The United States should not be allowed to use the Espionage Act or any other mechanism to snatch up anyone, anywhere and charge with a crime of dubious legality. If they are allowed to do so in this case they will certainly do it again. Anyone who wants to expose high crimes will find themselves in Assange’s position. People who oppose the empire and its machinations are all at risk if Assange is extradited and stands trial in the Eastern District court. He is a political prisoner and others will be too if the prosecution proceeds. It is no exaggeration to say that we are all Julian Assange.

Source: Defending Julian Assange Is Defending Anyone Who Dares to Speak the Truth | The Smirking Chimp

Forget sports rorts and car park malarkey – misuse of public money in Defence is staggering – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Instead of investing in extremely expensive crewed platforms that take decades to design and manufacture and are potentially too valuable to lose, we should be making greater use of uncrewed and autonomous systems. Investing in cybersecurity and countering misinformation are far more relevant national security issues than buying bigger guns. Some say that having a few targeted long-range missiles would be a sufficient deterrent against aggression. It would certainly be cheaper than wasting money on submarines. Personally, I think respect given and earned, co-operation for mutual gain, and help in times of need or crisis, are far better defences than any weapon. The Coalition picked a bad time to cut Foreign Aid, ignore pleas to reduce emissions, and then act all offended when other suitors come calling. We need détente, not Dutton – a man who speaks very loudly and carries a tiny widdle stick.

Source: Forget sports rorts and car park malarkey – misuse of public money in Defence is staggering – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Transparency lacking in Australian defence policy

What role did Dutton have in “shafting” the French?

With some of the most prominent think tanks on defence and foreign policy receiving funds from companies that rely on war and threats of war, Australians are being fed vested interests masquerading as “independent” opinion, writes Dr Sue Wareham.

Source: Transparency lacking in Australian defence policy

Lack of perspective on Taiwan-China tensions

As we can see the Chinese planes were undertaking a short flight in a southeast direction going into the bottom corner of what Taiwan has as its air defence identification zone, not its actual sovereign air defence territory. The fight path is clearly not heading towards the Taiwan coast. It has to be taken into account China is surrounded by U.S. military bases in Asia with a 23-kilometre range. U.S. M1 Howitzers are pointed at China on Kinmen Island, just a few kilometres from China’s coastal city of Xiamen. On reflection, it would be highly likely the U.S. would be flying into such an air defence identification zone if China had guns pointed at Long Beach, California, on Catalina Island, which is just 29 kilometres off the Long Beach coast. This is a perspective that is not taken into account. With this latest reporting of the October incident, there seems to be very little perspective. It seeks to paint a picture of Chinese aggression and arguably promotes war-inciting narratives

Source: Lack of perspective on Taiwan-China tensions

Submarine fiasco the latest in a long list of Coalition military failures

Modern history shows Australia’s Coalition is incapable of effective defence planning and military hardware procurement, writes Alan Austin. THE LATEST FAILED attempt to upgrade Australia’s submarines – which has wasted multiple billions of borrowed dollars and eight years – follows a string of Coalition disasters.

Source: Submarine fiasco the latest in a long list of Coalition military failures

Home affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo urged to ‘tone it down’ after ‘drums of war’ speech | Australian foreign policy | The Guardian

Michael Pezzullo

Pezzullo is tipped to follow Dutton to become defence department secretary, a move that would cement the trend of China hawks being appointed to top defence jobs, despite the Morrison government’s claims it is attempting to reset the relationship.

Source: Home affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo urged to ‘tone it down’ after ‘drums of war’ speech | Australian foreign policy | The Guardian

“Mind-boggling” waste revealed in the record rise in weapons spending – Michael West

Frigate, Royal Australian Navy

Australian governments and their defence leaders, with help from lobbyists, choose immensely complex, overpriced and overmanned weaponry. Wasteful spending has to end, writes Brian Toohey.

“Mind-boggling” waste revealed in the record rise in weapons spending – Michael West

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West

Defence investigates itself How “independent” or effective a review is it when a department secretly investigates itself and its contractors by appointing an existing contractor to conduct the review, does not make public the review’s existence or its terms of reference, and keeps any resulting report secret?

Defence says the review found “no evidence” of inappropriate excess charges. This is despite three stories the same day in The Weekend Australian containing detailed allegations. So serious were the allegations, they were escalated up to Defence’s assistant secretary of fraud control who reportedly then referred several matters to the Independent Assurance Business Analysis and Reform Branch of Defence. Is Defence saying multiple audit and fraud officials, including at the most senior levels, all got it wrong? Are we being asked to conclude that senior Defence fraud officials cannot accurately identify inappropriate excess charges? It seems there is a serious problem then, no matter which way we look at it.

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West

‘Culture of Cosiness’: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz – Michael West

‘Culture of Cosiness’: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz – Michael West
Defence spending, Linda Reynolds, ADF, Revolving Doors

In Part 1 of her three-part investigation, Michelle Fahy investigates the corporate influence on government policy and how weapons makers cultivate relationships with politicians and top officials in the public service.

‘Culture of Cosiness’: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz – Michael West

Family Ties: Defence contracts go to company linked to wife of former army chief – Michael West

Duntroon, Defence

Peter Leahy’s wife is a director of a company awarded $38 million in contracts from federal departments, mostly Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade. The company had earned $2.2 million in revenue from federal government contracts before Leahy resigned as Chief. Michelle Fahy investigates.

Family Ties: Defence contracts go to company linked to wife of former army chief – Michael West

Time to rethink the purpose of the ADF – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Currently, less than 1% of Defence’s budget goes into its innovation funds. There’s no point investing billions in military capability if it doesn’t support Australia’s needs.

The ADF are a highly-skilled, well trained, well-resourced, mobile workforce who are being wasted on war games.

Forty-one Australian soldiers died in Afghanistan. Eighty Australians have died in the last couple of months from the coronavirus.

Perhaps old generals are not the best people to equip us for the world of the future.

via Time to rethink the purpose of the ADF – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It’s the Republicans’ biggest impeachment lie, and Americans could fall for it | Salon.com

Screenshot_2019-11-24 It's the Republicans' biggest impeachment lie, and Americans could fall for it.png

A crime that ineffect was unsuccessful isn’t a crime according to GOP. Planning and conspiringt to spy on America isn’t a crime. Planning a Murde isn’t a crime. (ODT

It’s a reoccurring theme in the Trump story: The president tries to do something but ultimately is not effective enough to actually get it done. So, should we penalize him for those attempts? Does the attempt . . . reach that bar for Congress to remove the president?

It’s the Republicans’ biggest impeachment lie, and Americans could fall for it | Salon.com

Official: Australia Committed to U.S. Partnership as Relationship with Beijing Grows More Complex – USNI News

Has anyone noted there is no mention of Vietnam in this speech in which we blindly followed the US into to fight the good war against “Communism”? China wasn’t involved in that war which we lost and drafted our young men to fight. Did we ever hear the LNP Government say sorry? They took us to Aghanistan, Iraq and Syria all at the behest of the USA. Australia has never been a committed member of our region. (ODT)

The alliance between the United States and Australia is a “mateship,” a relationship that began on the battlefields of France a century ago and continued into Afghanistan, Reynolds said. “But it is a bond that much be renewed with every generation.” in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.

via Official: Australia Committed to U.S. Partnership as Relationship with Beijing Grows More Complex – USNI News

Iran is the best defence against Middle East ‘terror’: Rouhani – Your Middle East

“Today, the largest power against intimidation and terror is our armed forces,” Rouhani said at a massive military parade in Tehran.Iran has played a major role

Source: Iran is the best defence against Middle East ‘terror’: Rouhani – Your Middle East