Anzus is a mirage

              Hillary Clinton and Bob Carr at ANZUS meeting


ANZUS is a mirage

The Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre regularly delves into the murky depths of defence alliances in Asia and the world in the hope of coming up with some magic formula which will protect Australia from reality.

It gives the university limitless scope to pontificate on endless strategic plans where nations of the world combine in alliances that keep the peace and in the process excuse the Australian nation from prudently spending money on modern weapons and training.

The weakness with Ivory Tower strategy is that the participants are convinced that they can foretell the future and as a result Australia has no need for hard military power.

The simple facts are that these professors and scholars are putting the cart before the horse as strategic theory and alliances are meaningless unless the Australia has the military might to back up its own security.

It is clear to any realist that ANZUS has been a failure for a long time. New Zealand has no air force whatsoever and Australia’s policy to the US is take, take, take, and never give. We will take US marines into Darwin. We will take their aircraft into northern airfields and we may even grudgingly make half hearted provision for US warships to berth at HMAS Sterling.

No partnership can survive where one partner systematically exploits the other partner. Australia is little better than a parasite feeding off the loins of the US war machine in order to pay little or nothing for our defence. This repugnant bludging on another nation for a responsibility that is clearly ours is shameful and against all the virtues Australians pride themselves as standing for.

Our actions will lead to our destruction in time as there is no free lunch in defence matters. It is clear to us that if there is a blow up in the world like North Korea bombing South Korea, there will be a series of other conflicts flare up whilst the US is distracted. Other nations, where repressed hatred has been suppressed over the past decades will take advantage of this opportunity to even up the score. This unrest may be beyond even the US’s capacity to control.

Australia will be very much alone in the world below billions of Asians to our north and the Great Southern Ocean to our south. It is just fanciful in this scenario to imagine the US disengaging a naval battle fleet and marines from the fight and sailing half way around the world to save us.

All the strategic theory in the world or academic soothsayer’s crystal ball gazing quickly becomes irrelevant in such situations where military force becomes our last line of protection. In a scramble to protect ourselves new alliances of convenience will have to be forged on the spot with nations in a similar predicament.

These potential alliance partners will only wish to combine with Australia if we have a hard hitting defence force with a wide range of high technology weapons. Australia, as well will be reluctant to link up with nations who have little or no modern weapons systems.

Maybe the ANU strategists can tell us how to proceed when their hyped up alliances and strategy crash in the first few days of a world where multiple conflicts break out simultaneously.

The US has changed the game with good reason and now expects its allies like France, Britain, Germany, Australia etc, to start pulling their weight. We should be warned by the US’s withdrawal from the leadership roles in Libya, Mali, Syria, Iran, North Korea and many other conflict zones throughout the world.

HMAS Sterling (US may share base)

Time is running out for Australia should it wish to carry out a major upgrade of HMAS Sterling in Western Australia and share the facility with a US battle fleet and nuclear submarines until we are in a position to take over most of the Coalition responsibilities in the South Pacific. The US has many alternative choices and once the US reaches a decision, Australia will be the loser.

Many Australians smugly think that ANZUS or a series of alliances will save us if the need arises but history shows that alliances only work when self interest is common to all participants and fall apart the moment self interests diverge.

This is why National defence forces with high technology equipment honed to perfection is desperately needed as an insurance policy guarding our future and a worthy contributor to ANZUS and other Coalitions.

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