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Scott Morrison’s national security fail

The Morrison Government likes to flap their arms and say they’re strong on national security, but the evidence actually proves otherwise.

It has been reported today in The Guardian the American Government is privately saying that Australia has dropped the ball when it comes to the Solomon Islands. Indeed, the foreign minister hasn’t visited the Solomon Islands to discuss the situation with China, nor has Mr Morrison for that matter, and this national security failure in our backyard has disappointed the Americans.

This situation regarding the Solomon Islands only proves the Morrison Government is incompetent on national security, for many reasons.

I kindly ask you take your minds back to 11 September 2015, when The Guardian published footage of Mr Dutton, Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison indulging in Mr Dutton’s recorded comments of; “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re, you know, about to have water lapping at your door.” Mr Abbott laughed at the remark, and Mr Morrison nodded his head before realising the boom Mike and cameras were on. This insensitive, or may I even say incendiary, remark by Mr Dutton enraged our Pacific neighbours. It was a huge diplomatic blunder that enraged our Pacific island neighbours, and despite as reported in The Guardian on 13 September 2015 an apology was made by Mr Dutton he still managed to further outrage our Pacific neighbours by saying, “it was a light-hearted moment with the Prime Minister.” What could possibly be light-hearted about island nations going under water because of climate change? Neither Mr Abbott nor Mr Morrison made any form of apology to our Pacific neighbours, nor did they admonish Mr Dutton.

As reported in the Australian Financial Review on 21 August 2020, short-term thinking by the Morrison Government towards foreign policy had become by then the political norm. The Morrison Government placed 1,000 potential coal jobs ahead of the Turnbull Government’s ‘Pacific Step Up’, announced in 2017 to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific. Once again, this failure in foreign policy and national security by the Morrison Government enraged our Pacific neighbours who were having to address climate change driven rising sea levels.

To add insult to injury Mr Morrison further insulted our Pacific neighbours at the Pacific Islands Forum in October 2019. The Guardian reported on 23 October 2019, the former prime minister of Tuvalu said he was “stunned” by Scott Morrison’s behaviour at the Pacific Islands Forum, which he thought communicated the view that Pacific leaders should; “take the money … then shut up about climate change.” Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, described Australia as “very insulting and condescending” in climate talks. The Pacific leaders also said the funding was repackaged from the existing ODA [official development assistance] to the Pacific and other sectors. That is a familiar story when it comes to the Morrison Government.

In an open letter dated 1 December 2020 all the leaders of our Pacific neighbours criticised Australia’s response to climate change (reported in The Guardian on 1 December 2020). Rather than being conciliatory and seeking to come to a mutually agreeable position, Mr Morrison maintained his rambunctious attitude towards the Pacific leaders by saying; “Australia is successfully meeting our commitments and our targets and in fact we are exceeding them,” a claim which was substantially untrue.

On 2 November 2021 it was reported in the PNG Attitude Mr Morrison was still not listening to the Pacific leaders about climate change, a matter of major international embarrassment for Australia regarding our ongoing failure with our foreign affairs and national security policies in the Pacific. Mr Morrison announced at Glasgow in November 2021 an extra $100 million a year for the next five years to cover all Pacific Island and South-East Asian countries which left his audience cold. Pacific leaders had told Mr Morrison they would rather he made sharper cuts to Australia’s emissions. Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said he told Morrison to slash Australia’s emissions by 2030. Mr Morrison has of course remained obstinate even up to today with an ineffectual 2030 target of a 28% reduction in emissions by 2030.

So, this national security and foreign policy failure is not a recent phenomenon, it has been 7 years in the making of successive Liberal governments insulting our Pacific neighbours, including how the Liberals have treated our Pacific neighbours’ concerns about climate change. What is most concerning is that after it was reported a number of weeks ago the Solomon Islands was entering into a closer relationship with China, not one single member of the Morrison Government travelled to the Solomon Islands to address the relationship with China, until last night after Mr Albanese called out the government for this national security disaster.

Of course, the majority of the Fourth Estate have ignored the Morrison Government’s massive national security failure, but the Americans aren’t happy with Australia for dropping the ball, and of course, the Port of Darwin has been previously leased to China.

This is undoubtedly the most embarrassing era for us in foreign affairs policy, and the Morrison Government has compromised our national security in the Pacific.

Vote the Morrison Government out, Australia.

 

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19 comments

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  1. Barry

    I really don’t understand Scott Morrison,he is given simple instruction to follow by his American handlers and yet he still cocks it up,i think their could be Imran Khan moment heading Morrison’s way

  2. Phil Pryor

    A chronic liar and deepgrained dullard like Morrison cannot balance and properly recall all the needs of lying, which include repetiton of the truth. One can recall facts, honestly, but recalling lies, fables, excuses, alibis, stories, is harder. Backstabbng bastard buggers on blindly…

  3. Harry Lime

    Morrison has proven time and again that he is an utter failure at everything,even at lying.If we had a world headquarters of “DICKHEADS R US” (we have, it’s the Coalition),there would be a giant inflatable effigy of the smirking jerk, straining at the cables above Parliament House. He, along with all the other embarrassing deadbeats that surround him should be dragged away by their heels,and incarcerated on Manus Island with the former inmates, (well paid and living luxuriously) acting as security. ‘

  4. GL

    Barry,

    Care to back that nonsense comment with some evidence otherwise it’s just your opinion and nothing of consequence.

  5. Canguro

    Not mentioned, but undoubtedly factored into the array of debacles cited above, is the fact that the Pacific Island nations are populated by folk not of white skin. Australia’s LNP federal government isn’t. The unconscious – if I dare to presume it is, in fact, unconscious – bias towards white skins over skins not white and of whatever hue has played a major role in the behaviour of European & Western nations for the past five, six or more hundred years; the trope, at its simplest, being ‘we are superior to you,’ our skins are white and we are racially & intellectually of a higher level than you are, and therefore whatever egregious injustices we mete are only so in your eyes and are not so in ours, in fact, the contrary.

    This hallucinatory sense of entitlement sits front and centre in all engagements & interactions. The Pacific nations can complain all they like, but they won’t be given the same degree of seriousness as, say, Ukraine, a country populated by ‘people like us.’

    Fools of the first degree such as Abbott, Dutton & Morrison can get their childish kicks & giggles by poking fun at Pacific Island nations going under water; ‘hey, they’re only black folk, it don’t matter.’

    ADF SASR thugs can murder Afghanis in cold blood and joke about taking out more c*nts, or in Iraq, sand niggers, and be awarded and held in esteem until their murderousness becomes too much of an embarrassment.

    And politicians and their bureaucrats, asleep at the wheel, can allow a rising nation like China to step into the void and take advantage of the need of small oceanic nations for economic & military support, and willingly do so to the chagrin of the now-shoken if not awoken local apparatchik who dropped the ball and laughed while they were going under.

  6. Terence Mills

    It tended to slip below the media radar for some reason but my antenna went up when Spudley Dutton announced the purchase from the US (as part of AUKUS apparently) the following :

    Australia will acquire 127 tanks and armoured vehicles, specifically 75 Abrams tanks, 29 assault breacher vehicles, 17 joint assault bridge vehicles and six armoured recovery vehicles.

    I read that at about the same time that I was seeing in Ukraine the wrecks of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles evidently destroyed by shoulder mounted man-portable anti-tank missile systems.

    I thought then : “did they see Dutton coming ?”

    He spent $3.5 Billion on this kit which for Dutton is the sort of change you find behind the lounge cushions.

    But, I said to myself ‘let’s be positive’. At least we got something this time even if we don’t need the gear and it’s probably obsolete anyhow. The last time he made a foray into arms purchases it cost us $5.5 Billion for French submarines that don’t exist.

  7. New England Cocky

    Solving this problem of an incompetent uncaring thoughtless Liarbral Nazional$ misgovernment is straight forward.

    VOTE BELOW THE LINE by numbering every candidate on both the House of Reps and Senate ballot papers. Make sure the highest numbers are against the names of sitting Liarbral and Nazional$ incumbent politicians.

    It’s time!! ….. Again!!

  8. pierre wilkinson

    great article Michael
    “Australia is successfully meeting our commitments and our targets and in fact we are exceeding them,” a claim which was substantially untrue.” no surprises from our serial liar…
    and thank you to all those who comment on these posts, your opinions are always as interesting and informative – and amusing – as the articles themselves

  9. Ai Khan Singh

    Canguro

    You might well be talking about the saturation coverage of Ukraine. 250 dead Caucasians in the Ukraine is horrific (and so it is) but 20,000 brown Yemenis slaughtered by our steadfast ally who tries raped women for thereby committing adultery gets no coverage at all.

  10. Bert

    Terence Mills, the reason the Russian tanks are blowing up as they do is due to ammunition storage. M1 system is completely different.

  11. L. S. Roberts

    REALLY INTERESTED IN DEFENCE?
    We have a navy with a few old subs but more on the way but it will be a while.
    Ships that break down on the way to Tonga.
    A corvette awaiting aluminium parts from China.( I kid you not!)
    An airforce half of which attack aircraft are waiting for parts and whose range is under 2000km
    An army demoralised by recent finding aired publicly in open courtroom.

    If this happened on my watch I would keep quiet about it.

  12. JudithW

    I distinctly heard Peter Dutton talking about planes and boats and submarines and maybe even tanks not 24 hours ago.
    But how about an inventory…
    I’ve heard of planes that can’t fly in thunderstorms – surely he can’t mean those.
    I heard of ships promised to be built in SA – surely he can’t mean those.
    Ive heard about the non-French submarines to be delivered sometime after we succumb to climate change – surely he can’t mean those.
    And I’ve heard of so tanks that don’t fit on our roads so surely he can’t mean those.
    But wait – I seem to recall a replica Endeavour…

  13. Fred

    TM: The Abrams tanks will form part of the environment as static displays as they’re not much use for anything else. At somewhere between 60 and 70 metric tonnes, depending on options, they cannot cross hundreds to thousands of bridges in the country due to weight limits. At 3.66 m wide they might take out the odd bit of street furniture on roads designed to take vehicles complying with the Australian design rules of 2.5 m maximum width. Should any country invade Australia, we would need them to land somewhere that we can move the tanks to. Maybe potato head could recommend some spots to China. What a stupid spend.

  14. Canguro

    Fred, my wife is Chinese, well-educated, as knowledgeable of Chinese history as any person with her background could be; some years ago we had the conversation about China’s global ambitions re. the geopolitical reshapings that we were/are witnessing.

    She was adamant then, and would presumably still be, that China will never invade or attack a foreign country volitionally, of its own accord. Defend itself, yes, of course, as any country would & should, but not invade. It has no need to. It’s not in their strategic plan. Not how they think. They were badly burnt, of course, by the history of concessions, and, understandably, swore to never let that happen again, but they have no ambitions to reflect that behaviour in other countries.

    Meanwhile, the western world, the USA, Australia, Britain, bang on and on about the existential threat to the rest of the world of a Chinese takeover. They have no idea.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concessions_in_China

  15. Len

    Terrence, so what would it cost an adversary to take out that total of 254 tanks and other weapons?
    Low cost swarming tech (LOCUST) drones can do it with minimum outlay.
    How does our military command not understand that.

  16. calculus witherspoon.

    Myopic and graft ridden, the country must resemble Vichy France and its string pulled collaborationists..

    When I conjure of the espense for nothing but less, I wonder at the fuss over Gough Whitlam and Bue Poles, something that at least increased in value as an investment.

  17. Jack Cade

    Canguro

    I notice ‘they’ve’ gone quiet on good old freedom-loving HongKong.
    Until 1997, the Chinese population of HongKong were viewed as little better than coolies. They were second-class citizens, and the clamour for a ‘return to democracy’, which they actually had never had, smacked of the CIA – yet again. As did the clamour to free freedom-loving Venezuelans.

  18. Andrew J. Smith

    Agree with Canguru in that it’s not just security or finances but deeply ideological i.e. nativist; drawing upon the old eugenics movement whether developing nations, refugees, ‘immigrants’ or population growth, a wink wink proxy white Australia policy (too many influential Labor types also follow and promote).

    Too easy in Australia, encouraged by monocultural media & a particular ‘environmental NGO’ for voters and others to use glib arguments to do the bidding of fossil fuels (science denial/delay), avoid regulatory constraints, channel old Malthusian population tropes and Galton’s eugenics (for the top people).

  19. Fred

    Canguro: Apologies, I wasn’t having a go at China rather the minister of bad war toy buys. These tanks are total waste of money.

    I don’t think China would invade. However, from a macro standpoint consider who could, based on capability only without dwelling on intent or likelihood, possibly invade Australia and expect to occupy and rule. They would need to have deep supply lines with a large navy and air force. There are only two countries with any starting chance of doing so that come to mind and one of them is selling us their obsolete hardware. There is no reason why China’s military should be continuing to grow as currently it has the capacity to repel all comers, unless there are other agendas. Nukes would make a difference, but I don’t see the point to razing everything in territory one intends to rule then having to rebuild it all once victorious.

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