The Menzies Debacle
Japan became an international pariah when it attacked China in 1937. Despite, this, Australia, under then Prime Minister Bob Menzies, kept supplying Japan.
Menzies was nicknamed ‘Pig Iron Bob’ for sending scrap iron to Japan despite that country’s attack on China. Australia got its iron back with interest when Japan starting bombing Australia, from Townsville in the east to Exmouth in the west.
What has been forgotten about Menzies is that he was replaced as leader of the United Australia Party on 28th August 1941, just under a year from Australia’s entry into WW2 on 3rd September 1939.
Labor won the election three weeks later on 21st September 1940. The reason why Menzies had been replaced as leader is that he had pushed the wrong fighter aircraft onto the ADF.
We could have had good American fighter aircraft, but Menzies chose the rubbish that the Poms offered us. One year into the war and it became evident that Australia was at a great disadvantage in battle because of Menzies’ ‘captain’s pick’.
Thousands of Australians died – the pilots and the people on the ground the pilots were trying to protect – because of Menzies’ stupidity in his choice of aerial weapon.
Curtin the Coward
So the United Australia Party lost the 1940 election even though Labor was led by a weasel of a creature in the form of John Curtin, member for Fremantle. Curtin had an aversion to servicemen because of his political beliefs and was a personal coward.
He sat in his cabin wearing his life vest on during a crossing of the Atlantic and visited Australian servicemen only once during the war.
This was an airfield in the UK that had RAAF servicemen stationed there. There were plenty of Australian military bases he could have visited during the war, but he was able to avoid all of them.
Churchill managed to piss on the Siegfried Line but there are no photos of Curtin visiting servicemen, except for the one instance in the UK.
Did we not learn anything?
Now to the present and once again we have a bad choice of fighter aircraft and the rising possibility of war in the near future. Unfortunately, this aircraft is not a fighter in the first place.
The F-35 was designed to destroy surface-to-air missile bases once the skies were cleared of enemy aircraft by the F-22. Thus it is made to deliver two 2,000 lb bombs. A USAF general said that an F-35 that enters combat with an enemy fighter has made a mistake.
The F-35 is supposed to replace our clapped-out F-18 fighters; we have already started selling them to Canada before the F-35s turn up.
We also have 36 Super Hornets, but these are also just light bombers put into the wrong classification. The Su-35 can outmanoeuvre and out-everything the Super Hornet and shoot it down at the rate of eight Super Hornets lost for each Su-35 shot down.
So we don’t have any fighter aircraft that are not clapped-out and worthy of being called a fighter. And we don’t have good bombers either.
A couple of retired RAAF chiefs, Leo Davies and Geoff Brown, have called for Australia to acquire strike aircraft. Apparently, they don’t think the F-35 is up to it even though it is designed for that role.
F111s Downed by Hubris
But Geoff Brown was head of the RAAF when they buried our last good bombers, the F-111, in a pit near Ipswich from the 21st to 23rd November 2011. There was nothing wrong with the aircraft.
They just didn’t want it competing with their new shiny thing – the F-35. The F-111 weighed 21.4 tonnes empty and could carry 14.3 tonnes of ordnance. The F-35 can only carry 2 tonnes without losing stealth in the X-band.
Australia is in a wonderful strategic position. There are no land masses for thousands of kilometres to our west, south and east. We have a 300 km sea and air gap to Timor Island to our north.
Our Jindalee radar system can see for thousands of km to the north. Anybody wanting to attack Australia has to approach in metal containers, floating or flying, and, in theory, we could start engaging those hostile approaching elements at some distance.
The Submarine Debacle
Now let’s consider our naval force structure. Tony Abbott was a big disappointment as Prime Minister, that’s why he was replaced. The only good decision he made was to choose the Japanese Soryu class submarines to replace the Collins class subs.
The US Navy, who train with a lot of navies, consider the Soryu class to be the best conventional submarines on the planet. So of course, Turnbull went out of his way to destroy Abbott’s legacy and signed on for French submarines instead.
The cost of keeping the Collins class going until the French ones arrive is just short of the cost of buying Soryu class submarines.
So, whether or not the French subs ever arrive in the decades to come, in the meantime our submariners could have better submarines and be less likely to die in combat.
With clapped-out fighters and clapped-out submarines, and only vapourware to replace them, we don’t have the capability of engaging the approaching metal containers.
Clowns to the Left of Me, Clowns to the Right
Most of the major mistakes destroying our defence capability have been made by Liberal governments. Labor governments have been happy to just let our defence capability rot and not spend money on it. The Liberal governments squandered funds on things that won’t work and we won’t have any other options.
Right now, the positions of Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Minister for Defence Industry are occupied by childless lawyers.
Our tent-wearing Foreign Minister is morbidly obese. The one doing the most damage is Linda Reynolds as Defence Minister, for she is supporting the witch-hunt into our special forces operations in Afghanistan.
A Land Fit for Heroes?
One of those being witch-hunted is our most decorated living soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith VC. What is happening to Mr Roberts-Smith has similarities to the campaign against Cardinal Pell, and for the same reason.
The left in Australia is on a campaign to destroy authority figures and heroes. Thomas Keneally said that Cardinal Pell deserved what he got, because amongst other things, he supported climate-change denial.
An internet search on Mr Roberts-Smith produces an accusation of domestic violence by an unnamed woman, seemingly years after the event if it ever happened.
The police that this was reported to did not bother to interview Mr Roberts-Smith. The complaint has been withdrawn but the accusation will now live on forever in the internet.
It is a permanent unwarranted stain on his character. It cost the left nothing to do this.
But the tormented Mr Roberts-Smith has now made a rip in the narrative by saying that young people should not join the army and that he “absolutely” believed new leadership was needed at the top of the ADF.
Defence recruiting will be a bit harder if your most decorated soldier is advising against signing up and lacks confidence in defence leadership – the people who have your back, or don’t have your back, in battle.
The Minister of Attack
And now comes Linda Reynolds’ role as Australia’s No 1 traitor. It is commonly said that the outcome of battles is determined in advance by the morale of the respective forces.
By supporting the Afghanistan witch-hunt she is undermining morale across the services. What Linda Reynolds is saying is that our servicemen could perform heroically in battle, as Mr Roberts-Smith did, and be prosecuted after the event.
Not good for esprit de corps and self-sacrifice, and winning battles. With no personal interest in things that explode and kill people, Senator Reynolds is leaving the running of the ADF to the self-perpetuating leftie claque who captured it.
It is apparent that promotion beyond the rank of captain requires having the correct views on things like global warming. The Army brought in professionals to aid in this screening and indoctrination process.
It has commissioned psychometric and psychological testing of its senior officers with respect to ‘personal beliefs, attitudes and associations’. A desire to maim and kill Australia’s enemies is likely to be a career-ending view.
Could we be the Lucky Country Again?
There is another parallel between our present situation and World War 2. We went into that war with the ADF being run by idiots and things were naturally going poorly.
Then on August 13, 1940, a Hudson bomber carrying the Chief of the General Staff and several other notables crashed on approach to Canberra airport.
The incident is called the ‘1940 Canberra air disaster’. New people were appointed to replace the unlamented dead and Australia’s conduct of the war improved dramatically.
Thanks to the psychometric testing there is a good chance that any senior army officer you might meet these days would be happy in the company of David Morrison.
That is he of the women’s shoes, upset by the word “guys” and former head of the army. So when the plane crash of our dreams wipes out the current ADF leadership, who do we replace them with?
We will have to go overseas. Luckily President Obama has done our work for us. He purged 197 senior officers over five years.
These were the good ones – fearless and loyal like a blue heeler. We would only need a few of these men to turn the ADF around. The sooner that process starts, the better.
David Archibald is the author of American Gripen – The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.