China choice does not exist

 

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Chinese DF-21D Anti-ship Ballistic Missile

Chinese DF-21D Anti-ship Ballistic Missile

China choice does not exist

bobHugh White, professor of strategic studies, ANU, has answered ASPI’s Mark Thomson’s recent article on the “China Choice” in the ASPI Blog.

I am not surprised that most feed back to Hugh concentrates on the first option which is “America faces a serious challenge to its primacy in Asia from China”. The second and third options were ignored and read “America should respond to that challenge by trying to negotiate a power-sharing arrangement with China, rather than by competing with China for primacy or withdrawing from Asia. Third, Australia should encourage America to share power rather than take one of the other two options”.

Hugh presents as a true pacifist, an appeaser who would voluntarily give power to a communist country that runs over its citizens in tanks if they cry out for democracy in the hope that the country would abide by international law from then on and refrain from any more adventurous forays into other people’s sovereign territory or surrounds.

This has proven to be potentially a massive mistake almost from the time Hugh drew breath on the topic by China seeking to control great areas of the East China Sea and the whole of the South China Sea including island outcrops of most nations surrounding the sea. This is being enforced at present by China with military threats and several maritime police forces backed by the Chinese navy.

Chinese ship killers

Chinese ship killers

Then there are the nuclear powered submarines that are undoubtedly patrolling Australia’s northern waters and the recent military exercises carried out by a Chinese naval battle fleet in the waters surrounding Christmas Island. The Indonesians have been humiliated by the Chinese in a dispute over fishing rights and islands that are clearly in Indonesian territory. The Philippine government have taken China to a world court over similar Chinese bullying and intimidation over disputes about Philippine territory. One could go on with Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, to name a few who are in conflict with China.

Australia is in the cockpit of this Indo-Pacific turmoil being neighbours of Indonesia and close to the Philippines. We are intimately involved whether we like it or not. Our very survival as a nation is at stake over the long term and to suggest we have a choice between persuading the US to share power with China and backing the US wholeheartedly is academic claptrap.

Where does the sharing of power stop? What if, and it is almost a given, China wants more and more and just takes it like it is doing at present to our close neighbours?

Australia has to back the US to the hilt and we should be encouraging the other US allies in the Asian region to do the same. The one thought Hugh has got right is that the US could easily pull back to Hawaii and leave us to our own resources to face China. The US could defend its interests from there and save a great deal of money.

Chinese Anti Ship Missiles

Chinese Anti Ship Missiles

Our only chance for survival if this happened would be to quickly transform ourselves into a bigger Israel and the US might support us as a bulwark against the spreading of communism’s influence.

If Australia was wise it would immediately arm itself like Israel and if the worst happens be prepared to stand alone with US help.

There is no other way.

Chinese navy is no paper tiger

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond    Director    Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

                                  Chinese Aircraft Carrier

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.

Chinese Stealth Fighter

               Chinese Stealth Fighter

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.

Ballistic  Missiles

     Ballistic Missiles

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.

Do not repeat sub fiasco

Robert Bond    Director    Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

Do not repeat sub fiasco

The Collins class subs have depth restrictions, speed restrictions, periscopes that vibrate and leak water, endless battery, generator and engine problems, and no capacity to provide the firepower and endurance demanded to adequately defend our 36,000 kilometre coastline. (Shape up or ship out: subs’ future on the line, 7/3).

Ten well managed Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines would be as effective as 30  unreliable one off Australian designed and built diesel electric submarines. The Collins fiasco is an example of what will probably be the eventuality if Australia decides to go it alone down the Collins path again. In fact, the world has moved on since Collins was built and the technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that a bad outcome is almost guaranteed.

New Defence White Paper a fraud before it is written

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

F35

New Defence White Paper a fraud before it is written

 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. (New white paper urges doubling of defence spending to $50bn, The Australian, Greg Sheridan, 27-2-14)

Senator Johnson

Senator Johnson

There are no defence budget increases planned for the next budget and the Coalition government will be long gone by 2023.

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.

Shadow Defence spokesman, Stephen Conroy has refused to take a responsible position on defence funding since his appointment and has even personally attacked army officers for doing their duty. He should be sacked in the next week and former Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbons reappointed to the post.

Chinese naval battle group cruises Australian waters

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond    Director    Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org

Chinese naval battle group cruises Australian waters

Chinese naval battle group cruises in waters off Australia’s northern coastline and our silent Defence minister, Senator Johnson, refuses to comment. Operational secrecy is needed without a doubt. (Sea change of China power, 11/14, The Australian)

It is naive in the extreme to think that Chinese nuclear submarines are not regularly perusing these waters in order to accurately map the sea bed and familiarise themselves with targets in the area.

In a time of conflict one nuclear submarine in half an hour could wipe out the gas and mineral infrastructure in northern Australia crippling our economy.

Air Force bases, naval facilities, and Virginia nuclear powered attack submarines are desperately needed at Weipa, Broome and Exmouth to defend our north against such provocative unannounced intrusions into our area of concern by other belligerent nations.

Air Warfare Destroyer debacle

 

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

AWD

Air Warfare Destroyer

Air Warfare Destroyer debacle

Australia’s new Air Warfare Destroyer’s budget has blown out from $8 billion to $9 billion and the first destroyer has not even been half constructed. (Fears of $1bn bailout as destroyer project leaks $10m a month, Cameron Stewart, the Australian, 17/12/13)

Yet Australia thinks it is going to build 12 diesel dinosaur submarines for a wild guess of $40 billion in 2009 dollar value which will be closer to $80-100 billion in 2017 when they are due to be constructed.

When does reality strike home that in 2009 Australia should have ordered US Virginia class nuclear powered submarines that will outperform the new Aussie subs ten times over, be delivered under budget and under 10 years, from a well proven world’s best attack submarine line, at  cost of $3 billion each.

Australian shipyards are not competitive in any parameter of shipbuilding technology.

Cut to defence irresponsible

Robert Bond    Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org      Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

nimitz9

Cut to defence irresponsible

Bobby Bond SharpenedPaul 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.

North Korean Missiles

North Korean Missiles

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.

Indonesian Islamists

Indonesian Islamists

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?

 Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine


Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine

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.

 

Japanese sub yesterday’s technology

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org        Citizens for Defence (BondBobby) on Twitter

Japanese sub yesterday’s technology

Japanese Soryu-class submarine

Japanese Soryu-class submarine

bob Defence Minister David Johnston is negotiating to equip our future submarines with Japanese power trains from propellers to diesel motors. (Japan asked to share submarine technology, 7/12).

Japans Soryu-class submarines have a top speed of 13 knots on the surface and 20 knots submerged for an undisclosed distance, probably 100 kilometres. With the aid of incredibly expensive Air Independent Propulsion AIP the Soryu can crawl along at 6.5 knots for 6,100 nautical miles.

Virginia Nuclear powered submarine under way

Virginia Nuclear powered submarine 

Is this what Australia needs when we can buy US Virginia class nuclear powered submarines for less money which can sail submerged around the world at 32 knots and never surface? The Virginia sub has 40,000 shaft horsepower available for the life of the submarine compared with the Soryu sub which has 8000 shaft horsepower limited by battery capacity and fuel for the AIP. This only allows the Soryu sub to be submerged for a few weeks if it limits the travel speed and distances traveled.

Does Australia really want to be dependent on an Asian nation that we were at war with 67 years ago for spare parts and repairs to our submarines over the next 40 years? One diplomatic tiff and our subs could become useless.

Is Australia content to let its sailors fight and die in a submarine with yesterday’s technology when it is pitted against nimble Chinese nuclear powered submarines?

If the allies of the US in the Western Pacific Ocean refuse to support the US by every means possible, the US is just as likely to pack up and withdraw to Hawaii and leave us to our own devices to handle China.

Australia needs Virginia class submarines to aid our ally the US counter the aggressive bullying of China in the coming decades which may be the only way to ensure our survival.

Australia-Middle power without punch

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

 www.citizensfordefence.org

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Chinese Stealth Fighter

                           Chinese Stealth Fighter

Australia-Middle power without punch

bobGraeme Dobell, the ASPI Fellow Journalist has plenty to say about the US and China in his recent post but little to say about Australian duplicity on defence matters.

Graeme mentions Bob Carr’s comments about the coolness displayed by the US at Ausmin 2012 and puts it down to the strongest isolationist sentiments in America since the 1940s, and yet fails to mention the possibility that the US was upset at the 1.48% of GDP Australian defence budget compared with the 4.1% US defence budget in a time of great US austerity.

To the concerned citizen it appears that the US has had enough of the parasitic Coalition partners it has to carry on the back of its war fighting military machine needed to maintain world peace. Australia is amongst the leaders of this august group of nations bludging on the American military largess and we cannot even choose whether we wish to side with a communist aggressor or our defence saviour of 90 years standing.

Collins calls the NRMA

     Collins calls the NRMA

The major parties have led Australia down a hazardous path in the 70 years since we were saved by the US aircraft carriers in WW2. We have refused to spend money on maintaining a prudent and hard hitting defence force. Our defence spending has been under 2% of GDP for that period except for times of conflict.

Even these funds have been frittered away in crazy decisions which resulted in us having probably the most disjointed, ineffective defence force of any middle power in the world. Such examples as having Australia build a one off 90 year old technology Collins submarine fleet of 6 ships which are by far the most expensive submarines in the world to maintain at $150 million per annum and have an availability to defend this nation of less than 10%.

We are racing headlong into another quagmire with our plan to build another fleet of 12 diesel dinosaurs which will leave us defenceless under the water for the next 50 years. We have no hardened defensive bases in the north, no naval battle group, and an air force made up of planes mainly manufactured in the 1980’s with no plan to combine fighters, fuel tankers, AWACs, electronic countermeasures planes, and armed drones into a coordinated force to defend the north in the north.

Indonesian Islamists

         Indonesian Islamists

Indonesia is putting on a big show about intelligence gathering but Australia shouldn’t apologise. Nor should we try to buy love by giving concessions or any other aid. If we have any spare cash it should be sunk into defence assets in the north for our protection from any future adventurous northern nation. We gave Indonesia a billion dollars in the recent tsunami and all we get in return is contempt. Treat Indonesia with the greatest neighbourly respect short of compromising our sovereignty and live with what the future brings.

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

     Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China has to be stopped in its tracks now from its quest for bellicose expansion plans in the world by military threats and force before it has time to build an unstoppable war fighting machine. The West if it had any sense would build missile for missile, stealth fighter for stealth fighter, battle fleet for battle fleet, etc until the Western nations interests have been protected.

Australia should launch a crash program where we acquire the wherewithal to defend the Northern Australian land mass and coastline and project power to the northern shipping lanes from Asia to the Indian Ocean. We could blockade Chinese merchant ships and secure our area and allow the US and its other allies to concentrate on the sea air battle closer to China.

Australia is a middle power that has recklessly abrogated its responsibility for its own defence to another nation in order to save a few pieces of silver and yet we are amongst the richest nations on earth per capita. As a middle power we lack any punch for our weight.

Graeme has made some good points but what he didn’t say probably has far more significance to Australia’s future.

Defence analysts can do better

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond    Director    Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org

US marine amphibious hovercraft

US marine amphibious hovercraft

Defence analysts can do better

bobBenjamin Schreer, an ASPI senior analyst, and Hugh White, professor of strategic studies, ANU, are blinded by their clinical dissection of Indo-Pacific power balances. As a result they have little interest in the preparedness of our defence force now and into the future.

Schreer suggests that we use our Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) to improve TNI’s defence procurements and also suggests we contribute to the improvement of the Indonesian defence force.

White suggests the West gives ground to a communist country without a fight in the forlorn hope this will placate the Chinese bellicosity in the world. White belittles the Air Warfare Destroyers and amphibious ships Australia is acquiring and suggests we be saddled with 24 WW2 technology submarines which cannot travel more than 70 kilometers submerged at full speed of under 22 knots.

Where do these crazy ideas come from? Does a communist country that runs over its citizens in tanks if they mention the word democracy give two hoots about international law or acts of appeasement by western democracies? Any act of weakness by the West will just spur the Chinese dragon on to further adventures.

Benjamin Schreer last year advocated the White Paper 2013 avoided any suggestion of a future conflict with China and suggested if such an event ever comes to pass we leave it up to our ally the US to deal with.

Now Schreer is taking liberties in our dealings with Indonesia that just do not add up. It is only a decade since the East Timor episode where Australian soldiers were pitted against Indonesian soldiers and militias. It was an ugly situation made worse by my son, a Lieutenant in the army reserve volunteering for Timor duty in the darkest hours.

Thankfully, the US had a fleet just over the horizon and a cigar chewing US general who told the Indonesians a thing or two in no uncertain manner at a meeting between the Indonesians and Australians on the border between Indonesia and East Timor. It was reliably reported at the time that he demanded Indonesia remove its soldiers from East Timor and call off the TNI militia and prevent any militias from entering East Timor. He said the US would cancel all aid to Indonesia if they didn’t and would then cancel all arms shipments to Indonesia. The US did both anyway. He then said if they still persisted the US would “bomb the crap out of them” and if this failed they would invade them.

This is what saved Australia from Indonesia’s wrath. Australian troops could have been wiped out to a man without the backing of the US.

USS Essex Talisman Sabre

USS Essex Talisman Sabre

Yet Schreer says leave China up to our ally, the US. Some fair weather friend.

The recent export cattle crisis displays the brittleness of the relationship between us and our close neighbour even when Indonesia has the most pro western government in its history.

This nation of 250 million people has the highest proportion of Muslims per head of population of any nation in the world. Indonesia is in a constant battle to contain the violent Islamist element and its many sympathizers. Westerners are regularly being targeted and murdered in that country.

Indonesia has had several coup d’état in the past where dictators have reigned with great loss of life. Yet our Ivory Tower Academics have stared into the future and infallibly advised our government that an Islamist takeover will not happen and we need no defence preparedness.

The truth is the Islamists have already claimed northern Australia as part of a future Islamic kingdom and in the event of any Coup they could have a million militia with machetes and wearing sandals roaming the north and there would not be a single thing we could do to prevent them.

Indonesian Islamists

Indonesian Islamists

Give them their trusty AK 47 sub-machine guns and grenade launchers and who knows where events like this could end. The north is a comfortable overnight rubber ducky ride from Indonesia and given the lack of security, small population and remote locations it is possible for thousands of militants to land undetected.

Schreer and White should realize diplomacy rarely works unless you are carrying a big stick.