Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Cut to defence irresponsible
Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith would do more for Australia if they realistically assessed the volatile conflicts that are occurring now in the East China Sea, South China Sea and between many Asian nations. For so-called “top defence analysts” to call this situation “benign” strains their credibility to unbelievable limits.
They claim that because the strategic system is “benign” we need not have our defence forces prepared for action as this is costly. Honestly, what warning did the US get when it was attacked at dawn at Pearl Harbour or Australia get when we had to engage a ferry to transport our troops to East Timor?
These analysts then advise the Australian government to reduce our army and look at making cuts to our F35 stealth fighter purchases, submarines and other defence equipment.
One would think that “true” analysts would view the strategic situation and then advise what they felt was needed to effectively defend this nation irrespective of what the government says it intends to provide by way of financial commitments.
Professor Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith suggest Australia’s defence budget should increase from 1.56% of GDP to 2% of GDP when funds become available.
The psyche of the average Australian (as reflected by the jelly-belly governments we elect) projects helplessness and pacifism beyond what is prudent for our survival given our isolated geographical position beneath billions of people to our north in the turbulent Indo-Pacific region.
These people for thousands of years have ruled with the spear, the arrow, gunpowder and now ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and a range of other tactical missiles. Democracy was unknown and human rights were determined by who had the biggest weapon.
The major parties have no idea and care little for Australia to have a modern highly efficient fighting force to defend our motherland. The result is an almost nonexistent defence force trying to carry on operations with a 1.5% of GDP budget. It is a mathematical impossibility and a grave strategic error which is going to cost this nation dearly in the decades ahead.
Any nation serious about protecting its sovereignty should be spending 2% of GDP on operational costs which includes extensive war games at least twice a year extending to 1500 kilometres from our coastline with emphasis on northern Australia. Another 2% of GDP should be invested in a hard hitting naval battle group and hardened forward naval and airbases around Broome, Darwin, and Weipa to guard our northern shores.
Our Ally the US has just reduced its defence budget from nearly 5% of GDP to 4.1% of GDP which has caused much concern in the western democracies. Even at this reduced defence spending the US is subsidising Australian defence spending to over $30 billion per year.
Add this up for the 70 odd years since WW2 that the Americans have been doing this and our “free ride” on the US tax payer becomes obscene and an embarrassing exploitation of a good friend.
If the US thinks it is necessary to spend upwards of 4% of GDP annually for the security of its well defended nation, why would Australia not have to spend even more of our GDP given we are situated in the cockpit of the volatile indo-pacific region?
Why should these analysts accept the stupidity of the government in not funding our defence forces and in the process make it easy on the government to make such cuts?
Both major parties have no interest in seeing that Australia has a credible modern defence force able to defend our northern coastline and project force northward if needed in cooperation with our ally the US.
Weak, grovelling, defence analysts, only too willing to say what is necessary to stay in the good books of the bumbling major parties contributes mightily to the terminal decay in our defence organisation.