By Jim McIntosh
In an earlier missive, last month, I lamented that our PM had managed to leave our Navy short of effective submarine capacity. I think what he’s done deserves to be highlighted further.
Setting aside for the moment the blisteringly stupid behaviour of Morrison over the lying allegation made against him by French PM Macron and the obvious lies Morrison propagated about French ‘sledging’ against Australia and Australians (it wasn’t aimed at anyone other than Morrison), the real seriousness of the matter lies in what he has done to the RAN, and Defence overall.
The French submarines might have been overpriced; they might have been low technology, up against the superior forces of other nations in our region; we might still have had to extend the life of some of the Collins Class subs for a while. But, at least we would have had submarines. Now, the possibility that we’ll have any subs aside from those old Collins units is basically nil. All Scotty’s smirking blather about ‘going nuclear’, the grandstanding in front of the UK and US leaders, the latter of whom seemed to even forget Morrison’s name, well, it was purely for show. It holds virtually no substance at all.
So what Morrison has done in effect is to remove most of the submarine capability from the ADF at a time when tensions are on the increase. That much of the tension has actually been ratcheted up by Morrison himself, as he bangs the drums of war for what surely must be domestic audiences in a dangerous escalation of dog-whistling to the Australian electorate, doesn’t make it any less disconcerting. In essence, what Morrison has done is to put Australia at further military disadvantage for the sake of his perceived electoral survival, and he has left a hole in our defence capability that will not be repaired in this or even the next decade.
Haven’t we suffered enough? How much more of this incompetence and stupid arrogance do we have to endure before we can finally get a government in this country that works for the benefit of the nation, and not just to the advantage of its tin-pot leader?
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