Chinese bombers conducted simulated bomber attack on US Navy Aircraft Carrier

It was 30 years ago that Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign manager James Carville got so tired of answering the question “What is this election about?” that he placed a sign on his desk: “It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!” 

President Clinton repeated that expression many times, as have many other people.

Currently, in Australia, our politicians have shifted the focus from the ‘economy’ to ‘cost-of-living’, given that the two are, of course, inextricably linked.

However, in terms of actual activity and certainly the spending of vast sums of money, the Albanese government’s main focus is neither the economy nor cost-of-living – it’s clearly climate change and its Bowen-led crusade towards Net Zero by 2050.

So, having failed with the race-based Voice referendum, this government has now moved on to the next guaranteed failure – trying to achieve the impossible.

Meanwhile, there is growing awareness within the community that neither the economy nor cost-of-living – and certainly not climate change – deserve to be considered our nation’s major priority. Instead, many people are beginning to view defence and national security as our greatest concern.

This has been prompted by the Ukraine and Middle East conflicts together with the increasingly aggressive stance being taken by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

People are more aware of what’s happening in the world and are increasingly – and understandably – becoming concerned with what lies ahead for us.

The simple and awful truth is we are almost entirely dependent on the USA should war break out in our region. Our current defence capabilities are entirely inadequate following decades of neglect by elected governments – both LNP and ALP.

A recent report by US-based FP Solutions is worth reading as it clearly articulates where we stand in relation to a potential global conflict.

An extract from that report provides compelling reasons why our government needs to elevate defence and national security to a far higher status. It reads as follows:

“The United States is a heartbeat away from a world war that it could lose. There are serious conflicts requiring U.S. attention in two of the world’s three most strategically important regions.

Should China decide to launch an attack on Taiwan, the situation could quickly escalate into a global war on three fronts, directly or indirectly involving the United States.

The hour is late, and while there are options for improving the U.S. position, they all require serious effort and inevitable trade-offs. It’s time to move with real urgency to mobilize the United States, its defences, and its allies for what could become the world crisis of our time.

Describing the United States’ predicament in such stark terms may strike many readers as alarmist. The United States has long been the most powerful nation on earth. It won two world wars, defeated the Soviet Union, and still possesses the world’s top military.

For the past year and a half, the United States has been imposing gigantic costs on Russia by supporting Ukraine – so much so that it seemed conceivable that the United States might be able to sequence its contests by inflicting a decisive defeat-by-proxy on Russia before turning its primary attention to strengthening the U.S. military posture in the Indo-Pacific.

But that strategy is becoming less viable by the day. As Russia mobilizes for a long war in Ukraine and a new front opens in the Levant, the temptation will grow for a rapidly arming China to make a move on Taiwan.

Already, Beijing is testing Washington in East Asia, knowing full well that the United States would struggle to deal with a third geopolitical crisis. If war does come, the United States would find some very important factors suddenly working against it.

One of those factors is geography. As the last two U.S. National Defence Strategies made clear and the latest congressional strategic posture commission confirmed, today’s U.S. military is not designed to fight wars against two major rivals simultaneously.

In the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, the United States would be hard-pressed to rebuff the attack while keeping up the flow of support to Ukraine and Israel.

This isn’t because the United States is in decline. It’s because unlike the United States, which needs to be strong in all three of these places, each of its adversaries—China, Russia, and Iran—only has to be strong in its own home region to achieve its objectives.

The worst-case scenario is an escalating war in at least three far-flung theatres, fought by a thinly stretched U.S. military alongside ill-equipped allies that are mostly unable to defend themselves against large industrial powers with the resolve, resources, and ruthlessness to sustain a long conflict.

Waging this fight would require a scale of national unity, resource mobilization, and willingness to sacrifice that Americans and their allies have not seen in generations.

The United States has fought multifront wars before. But in past conflicts, it was always able to outproduce its opponents. That’s no longer the case: China’s navy is already bigger than the United States’ in terms of sheer number of ships, and it’s growing by the equivalent of the entire French Navy (about 130 vessels, according to the French naval chief of staff) every four years.

By comparison, the U.S. Navy plans an expansion by 75 ships over the next decade.

A related disadvantage is money. In past conflicts, Washington could easily outspend adversaries. During World War II, the U.S. national debt-to-GDP ratio almost doubled, from 61 percent of GDP to 113 percent. By contrast, the United States would enter a conflict today with debt already in excess of 100 percent of GDP.”                                                                                                    END

As can be seen, we are in the early stages of what could easily and rapidly lead to World War 3, and the only way to avoid that is to become so powerful that our enemies will back off.

Appeasement simply doesn’t work! UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proved that when he declared “Peace in our time” after his return from meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1938 (see above).

For that reason – and also because we are firm allies of the USA – we need to urgently and dramatically improve our nation’s defence capabilities.  

We should not expect them to do all the heavy lifting while we literally waste billions of dollars on entirely unnecessary climate change virtue-signalling.

Australia only produces just over 1% of global CO2 emissions, so nothing we do will make any worthwhile difference to global warming. So why are we wasting so much money and creating so much havoc – especially in regional communities?

We also need to realise that we cannot necessarily depend on the US, UK and other allies to come to our defence. That’s especially the case if Donald Trump becomes President as he has made it very clear that he expects the EU, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to massively increase their expenditure on defence.

And that’s a perfectly sensible and understandable stance for him to take. These countries all need to pull their weight and not just expect the US to pander to their laziness and incompetence.

This is particularly true here in Australia. Even now with all the current and emerging conflicts, our government is still doing practically nothing to improve our defence capabilities.

They stupidly believe AUKUS nuclear submarines will solve all our problems when it’s obvious they will arrive far too late. If there is going to be a major global war it will most likely be within the next few years – not in the 2030s.

And there’s also a very real possibility that the nuclear submarines deal will be cancelled altogether, given that the USA’s requirements will obviously take precedence – and they are currently in short supply.

Our Minister for Defence Richard Marles, and Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy, should both be replaced.

They are hopeless, as we’ve all seen, especially in relation to their incomprehensible decision not to support Ukraine with our Taipan helicopters – deciding to bury them in the ground instead!

And the Department of Defence needs to be entirely revamped with new staff appointed to senior positions – sensible people who can make decisions and get on with the huge amount of work that needs to be done URGENTLY!

Thanks to Dr A. Wess Mitchell, a principal at The Marathon Initiative and a former US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia.

To read the entire FP Solutions report go to:

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