Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Defence White Paper a sham before it is written
Mark Thomson’s article on the ASPI Blog asks the question does Australia need to build our defence forces in the face of China’s double digit defence expenditure increase. Why this question needs to be asked at all after five years of Belligerence in the Indo-Pacific region by China displays a detachment from the issue by Thomson which is extremely dangerous to the future security of Australia.
ASPI is a government funded “Think Tank” and the executive director Peter Jennings and a senior defence analyst of ASPI Andrew Davies have been appointed to construct the next Defence White Paper due in early 2015. Jennings is on the record as saying the DWP is a political document which surely makes him a political operative. Andrew Davies has a long history of advising Australians to spend little on defence. In June 2013 Davies advocated Australia continues to spend a minuscule 1.6% of GDP on defence condemning this country to unacceptable risks of intimidation or worse by Asian nations in the region over the coming decades.
It just so happens that these opinions neatly dovetail with the policies of the two major parties who when in government continue to support ASPI with millions of dollars. ASPI seems to be little more than a government propaganda machine charged with the task of selling to the Australian people defence policies which guarantee that Australia continues to freeload on the US war fighting machine for survival as well as keeping the defence budget close to the impoverished figure of 1.5% of GDP annually.
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.
Thomson and ASPI 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.
Australian citizens look on the Defence White Paper as a strategic document of our defence needs, not a budgetary document of the major parties whose first priority is to have Australia defenceless and beholden to another nation, the US, for our very survival in order to save a few pieces of silver.
Having government funded defence advisers draw up the next Defence White Paper is hardly the way to achieve an unbiased, non-political assessment of the future security of Australia.