Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Aus Military needs more defence dollars
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government is making great progress in reshaping our air force. The anti submarine surveillance planes and drones, the 58 new F35 stealth fighters, and a genuine interest in obtaining more stealth fighters, possibly with VTOL capabilities shows his government is well versed in what is necessary for our defence force.
In fact Defence Minister Senator David Johnston has just announced that his government is seriously looking at acquiring F35B jump jets to put on the new Canberra class flat tops capable of accommodating at least 10 stealth jump jets per ship and this would give our navy real versatility. These ships together with the AWDs could form the core of a modest battle fleet capable of projecting power 1500 kilometres from our coast. The battle group should closely follow the example of the US marines who have had many decades of firsthand experience in amphibious operations.
This battle group should have F35B VTOL stealth attack aircraft on each of our amphibious ships capable of attacking the enemy with long range stealthy anti-ship missiles capable of supersonic speeds and with a range of 400 miles. These missiles are under development now for the F35s and should be available soon after Australia acquires these planes. The air force with the aid of fuel tanker aircraft would have to give the fleet added air cover from airfields on the coast.
The government has found $29 billion for defence in the coming year but has budgeted for a deadly pause in defence spending over the 4 year forward estimates period. This is just not acceptable as it will lead to 3 more years of stagnation of our defence forces at a time when China is aggressively projecting military force against our close northern neighbours, the Philippines and Indonesia, and is sending battle fleets and nuclear submarines into our northern waters.
We have to strengthen our defences in the north now in order to counter the Chinese when they have consolidated their gains in the South China Sea and established military bases on Islands and atolls in the south eastern region of the sea as they are doing now.
The government has to make a serious attempt to defend this nation by putting aside another $3 billion dollars in next year’s budget followed by further substantial budget increases in the years ahead. Extensive military exercises involving the navy, air force, and army have to be held annually in the north with what equipment we have and expensive investment made in areas of weakness.
Most citizens concerned about the defence of our nation have zero confidence in the ability of Government to construct a hard hitting modern defence force that can deter adventurous states in the north from coercing us politically, economically, socially or invading us using military force or threats.
One can compare our present security situation with 1938 just before WW2. Before the war we had no defence capability. The Japanese bombed Darwin and many of our soldiers never had rifles let alone ammunition which were in critically short supply. Our army was ordered to disperse into the surrounding bush as an imminent invasion was feared.
We are in the same boat today except that the weapons we face are far more destructive. Why have our governments not learnt from the lessons of history that we have to be prepared at all times to defend ourselves in order that we never are caught by surprise again by a belligerent enemy?
The US will only save us if it is in the US interest and this is the way it should be. Look how they told us to stand on our own two feet during the East Timor crisis when we had to hire civilian ferries to move our troops and supplies. Observe how the US has not involved itself in any of the current world disputes like Ukraine, Syria, and Chinese aggression in the East and South China Sea except for wild rhetoric about economic threats.
Are Australians so naive that we think the US is our saviour and at our beck and call even though we have continually freeloaded off their defence force for the last 70 years?