Defence Alliances are just scraps of paper

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Defence Alliances are just bits of paper

bobBenjamin Schreer, a senior ASPI defence analyst, advocates a White Paper which avoids any suggestion of a future conflict with China and suggests if such an event ever comes to pass we leave it up to our ally the US to deal with.

It is hard to fathom how educated analysts put in writing that “staying close to the US also allows us to spend relatively little on defence, and gives us access to intelligence and world class military technology”. It highlights this nation’s willingness to bludge on another nation for a responsibility that is clearly ours which is shameful and against all the virtues Australians pride themselves as standing for.

Even the meagre funds made available by the Australian government are being frittered away in an organisation that has no direction other than to helplessly sit on its hands and avoid any ambitions of long term strategic plans that more generous governments might feel need funding.

Analysts feed into this sea of despair by suggesting we form alliances with Indonesia, and every other nation between here and China and we will then need no defence force.

For Schreer to give the opinion that “Indonesia’s external threat perception is focussed north, not south” is hardly a basis for Australia to remain unprepared. In the first instance only a soothsayer could predict what this comment suggests.

The recent export cattle crisis displays the brittleness of the relationship between us and our close neighbour even when Indonesia has the most pro western government in its history.

This nation of 250 million people has the highest proportion of Muslims per head of population of any nation in the world. Indonesia is in a constant battle to contain the violent Islamist element and its many sympathisers. Westerners are regularly being targeted and murdered in that country.

Indonesia has had several coup d’état in the past where dictators have reigned with great loss of life. Yet our Ivory Tower Academics have stared into the future and infallibly advised our government that an Islamist takeover will not happen and we need no defence preparedness.

The truth is the Islamists have already claimed northern Australia as part of a future Islamic kingdom and in the event of any Coup they could have a million militia with machetes and wearing sandals roaming the north and there would not be a single thing we could do to prevent them.

Indonesian IslamistsGive them their trusty AK 47 sub-machine guns and grenade launchers and who knows where events like this could end. The north is a comfortable overnight rubber duckie ride from Indonesia and given the lack of security, small population and remote locations it is possible for thousands of militants to land undetected.

The whole of Northern Australia is within reach of the modern Russian attack aircraft that Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia possess now, not to mention their plans to expand the number of these weapons into the future.

We can make alliances with these countries which make us feel cosy without a defence force but they can make alliances between themselves against us in an instant if it suits their purpose at the time.

The only alliance Australia has that seems rock solid is with the US and this nation is facing significant defence spending cuts over the next ten years which will certainly place it under great strain with its “pivot to Asia” strategy.

One would think any serious defence analysts would be suggesting that the three bare RAAF bases in Northern Australia, Scherger, Curtin, and Learmonth be continually upgraded over the next twenty years into hardened forward skeleton bases with radar, underground fuel storage and hardened missile defences even if it means the closing and downgrading of some bases in southern Australia.

Ivory Tower wimps it on JSF fighter

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
CF-1_flight_test
Ivory Tower wimps it on JSF fighter

bobPeter Leahy, director of the National Security Institute at the University of Canberra, advocates that Australia cut its order for 100 Joint Strike Fighters to 60 planes and put at a higher risk our national security for the next thirty years whilst we await the arrival of the next generation drone strike fighter.

In fact, if the delays in delivery of the JSF seem inordinate, it is hard to imagine the delay in delivering such a complicated new weapons platform as a drone strike fighter. The JSF may have to serve this country for 40 years before it can be replaced by a proven unmanned fighter.

The Ivory Tower brigade keep chanting the mantra that Australia is under “no well defined threat” and yet Asia is arming with submarines, ships, hot Russian Sukhoi Su-30 attack aircraft, and more.

The whole of Northern Australia is within reach of the modern Russian attack aircraft that Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia possess now, not to mention their plans to expand the number of these weapons into the future.

We can make alliances with these countries which make us feel cosy without a defence force but they can make alliances between themselves against us in an instant if it suits their purpose at the time.

The only alliance Australia has that seems rock solid is with the US and this nation is facing significant defence spending cuts over the next ten years which will certainly place it under great strain with its “pivot to Asia” strategy.

Should the US presence in Asia be challenged, Australia is in for rough weather. We are isolated by geography to the Deep South, bordering the Great Southern Ocean with billions of Asians to our north. We are on the other side of the world to our traditional allies. We are a plum ready for the picking with vast natural resources in a large continent with a small population and no defence force.

Our continent is the size of the US and has a coastline of 36,000 kilometres to defend. Yet all our learned Ivory Tower professors can argue about is whether we should have 100 or 60 JSF attack fighters. Get real professors. Neither number comes close to securing Australia but the more aircraft we can afford the more secure we will be. The US has 2 to 3 thousand attack aircraft at any one time defending its nation and is continually striving for more and better aircraft.

Attrition losses of aircraft in any conflict will mean that any prudent country should have many aircraft in reserve. With the advent of modern intelligent air to air missiles the attrition rate is going to be higher than ever in future conflicts.

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2 F35 fighters taking fuel from tanker

Air to air refuelling tankers and airborne early warning and electronic warfare aircraft will be the new front line in air warfare and there will be a need for more aircraft to defend these valuable and vulnerable assets, not less. Russia will soon be marketing missiles to the world that fly over incoming attack aircraft to specifically attack AWAC aircraft and fuel tankers causing major enemy disruption.

Australia is in an ugly situation with its government refusing to fund to the best of our ability a defence force capable of putting up credible resistance against any nation which puts us under overt or covert pressure, whether it be economic, social, or military.

The situation will become even uglier unless we buy as many US aircraft, weapons, and submarines as we can at the right price and assist our ally, the US, in completing its pivot into Asia.