The limits of American power

The limits of American power

CVN-70 USS Carl Vinson

                                    CVN-70 USS Carl Vinson

The US has to have limits on the use of its power in line

with the threats to its core interests. It has always been so and will continue

so. To call the Vietnam and the Iraq wars waged by the US and others to be

outside the US limits of use of power is a furphy that conveniently shifts the

blame of losing these wars to the argument that they shouldn’t have been

started in the first place.

The reality is the US just physically cannot police the world and keep it safe for the majority of the peaceful nations in the world. Obama has acknowledged this and has revised where he feels the US core interests lie in his speech at West Point.

The reason why these wars have been lost is the absolute refusal of the free world to take responsibility for its security with funding, equipment and military personnel in line with their GDPs to support the US in its quest for world peace.

Iraq is an example where the US left a nation with every chance of going forward with democratically elected governments and due to outside influences and a lack of hunger for freedom this outcome seems an impossible dream.

The US is going to try to stem the tide in a limited way but the solution would be if more than 200,000 Western troops and equipment poured in and reset the status quo in order to enact a political solution. Even if the US supplied 50% of this force and the coalition the rest the US would be doing more than its fair share of heavy lifting.

Failing this the West will just have to get used to an increasingly dangerous world where bombings and terror become the order of the day.

Clive Palmer is right on nuclear subs


Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter


Chinese Aircraft Carrier

                        Chinese Aircraft Carrier

Clive Palmer is right on nuclear subs  

bob Clive Palmer’s suggestion to buy US submarines off the shelf is the first time an Australian politician has made any sense on the submarine debacle.    (Clive Palmer’s $86bn budget saving plan doesn’t add up The Australian June 24, 2014 12:00AM)

The 12 diesel electric submarines Australia proposed to buy for $36 billion in 2009 dollars will never be built in Australia for less than $4 billion in 2022.

Yet we can buy state of the art Virginia subs from the US for $2.5 billion today. It has been known for a long time that nuclear subs are three times more effective in battle than the diesel relics Australia is proposing to build. Therefore Australia has only to buy four US subs to be as effective as 12 subs built by us. This would cost about $10 billion dollars.

The Australian built subs will only travel at 4 knots submerged for a limited distance compared with the nuclear subs which can travel in excess of 32 knots indefinitely. These pond paddlers are only built for ponds like the Mediterranean or Sea of Japan and are useless in the Pacific, Indian, or Great Southern Ocean which surround Australia.

Virginia Nuclear Attack Sub

Virginia Nuclear Attack Sub

The present security outlook is so dire for Australia at present that it would be hoped that Palmer would look for savings other than the defence force and advocate buying 10 US submarines which would be as effective as 30 one off Australian relics built at $4 billion each.

Mark Thomson of ASPI knows this but is misleading the Australian public as a payback to the Australian government for its $8000 a day contribution which is $3 million annually and this buys a lot of government propaganda.

Tony Abbott and Senator David Johnston should think again on tying Australia to Japanese submarine technology for the next 50 years. Only 70 years ago we were at war with Japan and who knows the diplomatic twists and turns that lie ahead in the next half century with any northern Asian nation.

Australia could be denied spare parts, technical skills and routine upgrading of its submarine over time depending on the whim of the Japanese nation. These risks Australia could do without. Sweden’s refusal to supply shells for their anti tank weapons purchased by Australia led to death and injury of our soldiers in the Vietnam War.

Virginia sub in dry dock

Virginia sub in dry dock

The US and Great Britain are the only Anglo Saxon nations with the runs on the board on whom Australia should depend in defence matters. They only make nuclear powered submarines for the vast oceans we have surrounding us and shouldn’t this tell something to our politicians who are way out of their depth on the submarine issue.

The following table shows the absolute stupidity of the two major parties who plan to throw tens of billions of defence dollars away on building obsolete subs instead of state of the art Virginia Nuclear attack submarines. We would be better off with no submarines and put the money into high technology drones and long range missiles.



Future Subs




6 for A$6.24 billion

12 for A$36 billion

10 at A$25 billion

Year of dollar

1986 dollars

2009 dollars

2012 dollars

Cost of 1 sub

A$1.040 billion

A$3 billion

A$2.5 billion


Sub weight

3051 tonnes

4,000 tonnes

7900 tonnes


Submerged sub

Top speed

21 knots

22 knots???

32 knots


32.6 nautcl miles

40 nautcl miles


Snorting speed

10.6 knots

12 Knots ????

32 knots



Diesel electric

Diesel electric

Nuclear electric

Shaft Horse P

7500 SHP

10,000 SHP????

40,000 SHP


Cruise Missiles






1000 miles







Dive Depth

180 metres plus

200metres plus???

250+ (480 alleged)



55 days

60 days

100 days +




work rate of sub

5=1 nuclear sub

3=1 nuclear sub

1 nuclear sub


Cost for same

work rate

$5B at 1986 $

$9B at 2009 $

$2.5B at 2012 $