CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
Chinese navy is no paper tiger
Ivory Tower professor Paul Dibb assures us that the Chinese navy is a paper tiger and then goes on to say the US will defend the region against Chinese hegemony. Manoeuvres make waves but in truth Chinese navy is a paper tiger PAUL DIBB THE AUSTRALIAN MARCH 07, 2014 12:00 AM
What unwarranted hubris gushes forth from Dibb when he so casually speaks on behalf of the US claiming they will defend this nation to the last US marine.
According to Dibb our contribution is to accommodate US marines in the Northern Territory and allow US warships to use some naval bases as well as allow the US to develop and use Cocos Island as a surveillance base.
Is this all Dibb can advise Australia to do in its own defence to assist a loyal ally who saved us from a vicious mauling at the hands of the Japanese in WW2? In April 2013 Dibb wrote (Talk of a US-China war “a dangerous miscalculation” the Australian 23/4) and yet China has since attempted to take control of large chunks of the East China Sea and virtually the whole of the South China Sea and is having conflicts with nearly every other nation in the area.
Dibb was not credible in 2013 and the next few decades will surely prove that China is no paper tiger. Defence analysts in the democratic western countries are not advising governments to massively increase defence spending to assist the financially stressed US military machine maintain world peace. Instead, they have always wantonly bludged on US blood and treasure without a shred of embarrassment or contrition.
These soothsayers must have a direct line to God if they can predict that Australia has no need for a modern and highly trained defence force to defend our north and assist our Coalition partner, the US. Chinese nuclear submarines are operating in our northern waters now and a naval battle group has recently carried out military exercises in waters surrounding Christmas Island. China has plans for four aircraft carriers and associated naval battle groups, is lifting its military spending by at least 20-30% annually, and is leading the world in cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missile technology which could be a real game changer.
Dibb has no strategic plan except to hope to good luck and continue to be a freeloader on the US. If this is analytical cleverness, we want no part of it.
The US, for all the diplomatic niceties it voices, knows the score and has a long memory as it should. Influential US politicians have called us freeloaders and have warned that there can be no “free ride” in defence matters.
If Australia had a fair dinkum strategic plan based on the Israeli model where over thirty years we could continually upgrade the effectiveness of our defence force, we could be capable of defending our continent in most instances if needed with probably a topping up of weapons, missiles, ammunition and other supplies from the US.
The time for Australia to build our defences is now, not when the rest of Asia has had decades to consolidate and hone their forces into war machines which can intimidate an unarmed Australia and deny the US sea and air space in the South Pacific.
Politicians should realise that 2% of GDP for defence spending is not acceptable in these circumstances. It insults our ally the US who has invested close to 5% of GDP for defence for the last 70 years. We have to man up. We have to match the US per capita and then some.
The next Defence White Paper is a fraud before it is even written with the government’s demands that facile election promises of no defence cuts and a 2% of GDP defence budget by 2023 be the guidelines.
Taking 10 years to reach 2% of GDP is obscene and to make this the limiting factor on the coming Defence White Paper is a fraud of gigantic proportions which Australia will pay for ten times over in the future decades.
The Defence White Paper should reflect the current strategic situation and what Australia reasonably needs to counter it and not be hamstrung by stingy politicians of both major parties seeking to hide the true picture of Australia’s pathetic defence position.