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Sitting on defence

tony-abbott-in-afghanistan-e1409361578289$80,281,391.78

This is how much we will spend every single day this year on defence.  And this figure is conservative.  It does not include funds appropriated to the Defence Housing Authority, those administered by Defence for military superannuation schemes and housing support services, nor the additional funds provided directly to the Defence Materiel Organisation to buy equipment.  Equipment investment will grow from around $3.5 billion last year to $6.1 billion this year.

This year’s federal budget was dominated by budget repair. Yet amid the spending cuts and tax increases, Defence did very well. Nominal defence spending will grow by $2.3 billion this financial year (2014-15) to $29.3 billion, representing 1.8% of GDP. In real terms, the year-on-year increase amounts to a 6% boost.

Tony Abbott has also promised to increase defence funding to 2% of GDP in 2023-24.  To meet the target on the basis of the funding disclosed for the next four years, expenditure will have to increase at a rate of 5.3% above inflation for the six years after that.

If the government wants to spend 2% of GDP on defence it’ll have to find a way to convince taxpayers to accept the higher taxes and/or reduced services necessary to fund the venture.  Every extra dollar allocated to Defence meant deeper cuts to social programs and higher increases to taxes than would have otherwise been the case to achieve its fiscal goals.

2% of projected GDP in 2023-24 is a lot of money; around $52 billion ($42 billion in today’s terms). Extrapolating current trends in personnel and operating costs, there’ll be around $112 billion available for capital investment in the forthcoming decade as a consequence, compared with only $66 billion for the decade just past (both measured in today’s dollars). It appears, therefore, that the ADF will need to grow to accommodate the additional money that’s been promised.

Key initiatives in this budget included the bringing forward of $1.5 billion funding previously planned for 2017-18 to “address immediate pressures”.  I assume the ‘immediate pressures’ include the unending search for the missing Malaysian plane on which we have already spent about $50 million with another $90 million set aside for the search over the next two years.  They probably also include Scott Morrison’s war on asylum seekers which is costing defence $60 million this year on top of the $6 billion allocated to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Like other departments, defence has had an increase to the efficiency dividend.  Unlike other departments, according to the budget night press release, ‘$1.2 billion in back office savings over the Forward Estimates will be reinvested into Defence capability’.

On current estimates, each of Australia’s roughly 10 million workers will be contributing around $5,000 a year each to sustain the promised defence budget in 2023-24. Yet, according to opinion polls, support for higher defence spending has fallen from 60% in 2001 to less than 40% today.

Despite massive military spending the Australian Defence Force has a wide range of serious problems and may have great difficulty defending Australia in the near future.

Much of this relates to the attempts made by Liberal – Labor governments to cast the ADF in the role of ‘Deputy Sheriff’ – a bit player in distant US conflicts with limited independent capability.

New Australia recommends that Australia maintain a ‘defensive only’ armed forces. This does not threaten our neighbours and so will not trigger an arms race with them.  Maintaining a defensive-only force could save billions of dollars and leave Australia better defended than it is at present with a force oriented towards supporting US-led operations.  They make the following suggestions.

  • Cancel the Joint Strike Fighter Program.  Replace with far cheaper and more capable aircraft such as F-15SE ‘Silent Eagle’ or Sukhoi Su-35 ‘Super Flanker’. Savings up to ~$10 billion.
  • Discontinue Surface Combat Vessels.  Surface naval combatants have been obsolete for decades due to the ever-improving capability of anti-ship missiles. Australia should cancel the new Destroyers, Frigates & Corvettes and replace all vulnerable surface combat ships with more survivable and cost-effective diesel-electric submarines. Savings: Over ~$20 billion.
  • Cheaper Submarines.  China recently bought eight ‘off the shelf’ super-stealthy diesel-electric Submarines for $US 1.6 billion while Australia is considering spending $3 billion on each of its new submarines. Australia should buy off-the-shelf submarines saving $1 – $2 billion each.
  • Cancel the Large Assault Ships.  Instead of the slow and vulnerable large assault ships Australia should buy the much cheaper and faster Tasmanian-built INCAT catamarans. These are quite sufficient for operations like helping East Timor. Savings: ~$1 billion.

The population of Australia represents 0.33 percent of the world´s total population yet, in 2013, we provided 1.4% of the world’s total military expenditure ($1.747 trillion).   However, all this spending has not bought us security. Because the spending is all on the wrong sorts of equipment, Australia is becoming more vulnerable than ever before according to some experts, including a former Defence Department analyst, Liberal MP Dennis Jensen who launched an extraordinary attack on the Abbott government’s multibillion-dollar purchase of fighter jets, suggesting his colleagues lacked the competency and the courage to stop the order.

I do not pretend to understand all the nuances of military interaction around the world but it seems such a ridiculous waste of resources.  I will leave the final word to John Lennon.

103 comments

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  1. Ruth Lipscombe

    I am outraged.
    He appears to be ‘channeling’ George WBush ;who was also the worst President the USA ever had.

  2. stephentardrew

    Kaye I applaud you for one of the most well reasoned attacks on the war mongers and the ever wasteful military industrial complex. Where did I put that budget emergency and big bad debt? It seems to have shrunk somewhat under your critical gaze. Sadly the dunderheads, left and right, will gag on their hypocrisy and keep with the status quo. There is no accounting for stupidity. Just beat the shit out of the poor and marginalised to fund completely redundant military weapon systems. Hint the US lost Vietnam, they lost Iraq, they lost Afghanistan and supported a bunch of murderous regimes in South America as well as creating the intolerable mess in the Middle East. All those big guns massive aircraft carriers and high technology worked a treat didn’t they. Don’t even know what to do about ISIS. Now how could the greatest nation of earth (choke) fail to defeat the poorly armed enemy?

    History? Well just ignore that. You know Bush, Blair and Howard’s liar war and right wing complicity in deregulation fabricating derivatives and toxic assets only to bring the world economy to its knees then merrily met out austerity to boot.

    Failed wars that increased terrorism. Screwed the world economy and yet the knuckleheads vote back conservative religious fundamentalist just to feed the rich and set the poor to fight their wars while undermining social welfare.

    Oh my I think I need a very strong dink..s. I see fairies in the bottom of the garden. Good heavens they make a hell of a lot more sense than this lot.

  3. Nick

    Only a Madman cuts funding to health and education and in
    creases it to the military….

  4. Kaye Lee

    “AUSTRALIA will consider upgrading the nation’s official terror alert after Britain upgraded the risk to “severe” overnight.

    Attorney General George Brandis has confirmed that the decision of UK intelligence agencies to increase the terrorism alert level underlined the threat of foreign fighters returning to Australia.

    Britain said the increased terror threat reflected concerns an attack was “highly likely’’ although they stressed there was no intelligence to suggest an attack was imminent.

    Up to 60 Australians are believed to have fought in Iraq and more than 100 citizens are believed to have been involved in the recruitment of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Australia.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/australia-may-follow-uk-and-upgrade-terror-alert/story-e6frf7jo-1227042197502

    If they KNOW that our citizens are involved in recruitment why aren’t they arresting them? Why are we considering upgrading the risk alert when there is NO known threat? These people really scare me. Are they going to prod and poke and bluster until we piss someone off enough to make a point?

  5. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    I think you may have missed the money the ADF has on Term deposit and invested in other areas.

    In the Billions ….. and likely to be approaching the national "debt".

  6. Kaye Lee

    John,

    This year’s expenditure of $29.3 billion

    Expenditure shares
    Investment: $8.6 billion (29.3%)
    Personnel: $11.1 billion (37.8%)
    Operating: $9.6 billion (32.9%)

  7. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    That amount appears piddling for a $3 trillion "company".

  8. Kaye Lee

    That is just this year’s investment top up. I do not know how much they have invested in total…I will try to find out.

  9. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    That's the BIGGIE.

    squillions !

  10. Kaye Lee

    POP!!!! Congratulations to the AIMN

    opening the champagne

    5,000,750 views

  11. Kath Malcom

    Congratulations AIMN well done 🙂

  12. Lost2

    And growing as more people read proper journalism, well research stories instead of propaganda and fiction to sell a dud Government

  13. Möbius Ecko

    Sorry Kaye Lee you are wrong about surface combatants. Yes they are vulnerable to ASM’s but they have an array of soft and hard kill measures to defeat them because of that. I could go into pages of technical data on this subject, it’s my expertise with 20+ years in the service and another 15 in industry for troop and platform protection systems.

    I could also argue the submarines as well.

    Sometimes raw stats and cost don’t tell the story or only part of it.

  14. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    I know nothing about weapons and I wish none of us had to. Click on the link to New Australia in the article. They argue their case with far more knowledge than I ever could but I wonder how you feel about their idea to adopt a “defence only” strategy rather than an offensive stance that we could never back up if faced with real conflict?

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    Mobius what would you suggest . Do you believe as much as possible should be built in Australia, especially as our manufacturing industry is going down the gurgler.

    Could defence be like every other government department, that this government says, money does not solve problems.

  16. Kaye Makovec

    “If the government wants to spend 2% of GDP on defence it’ll have to find a way to convince taxpayers to accept the higher taxes and/or reduced services necessary to fund the venture. Every extra dollar allocated to Defence meant deeper cuts to social programs and higher increases to taxes than would have otherwise been the case to achieve its fiscal goals.”

    You only have to read the stuff written by the LNP supporters to know the above will be easy peasy and there will probably be a call for National Service for the under 30 ‘leaners’ who can swap their green army clothes for camouflage, and it will increase his stature in their eyes only as they are already genuflecting before him.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    In all things I believe in balance and I reckon we had our Defence about right but maybe a little under requirements. Some of what I read in New Australia is definitely flawed, like their argument on surface combatants and another I’ve raised before in Russian fighters being superior to the JSF. Those who make that contention based on performance have no understanding on how JSF operates. Same goes for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD).

    ~2% of GDP is about right for mine it needs to be a mix of defensive with some offence. 2% is low by world standards.

    I do have an objection to what Abbott is doing with Defence, which is posturing and heavily pushing offence.

  18. Kaye Lee

    We will have to agree to disagree ME. I think the world is a far worse place because of the huge amount of money and resources wasted on weapons. The almost $2 trillion could do a lot more to alleviate suffering and save the world if spent more constructively. We don’t need more defence spending, we need more common sense from all sides. If the male leaders of the world really want to have a pissing contest then how about they have a cage match and beat the crap out of each other and leave the rest of us to get on with getting on. I know that is a sexist comment and I realise that Thatcher enjoyed a good war before tea but I truly believe if the women of the world sat down together we could sort out our differences without having to shoot each other.

    “Canada is balking at a push for NATO countries to commit to boosting military spending to 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product because Ottawa feels the pledge is too vaguely defined and goes beyond what Canadian taxpayers would support.

    The drive by the United Kingdom’s Cameron government is to have North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders make the commitment at an early September summit in Wales. The UK and the United States are among a small minority of NATO members that currently spend 2 per cent or more of their GDP on defence, according to NATO figures. Canada spent roughly 1 per cent of its GDP on defence last year.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-balks-at-nato-push-to-increase-defence-spending/article20280482/

  19. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Post some favourable Links to JSF F-35.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    All nice in a utopia and it might happen one day a very long way away. In the meantime the real world impinges and inherently benevolent countries need as an effective defence force as their GDP allows for not only defence but also for a range of domestic functions.

    Yet Canada is a massive arms exporter, including selling high end stuff to some very shaky customers.

  21. donwreford

    A senator female, who has been on Australian news of recent, she stated the Chinese could be a threat to Australia, she was pressurized by the Liberals to retract this statement, she refused. If there is American and Australian troops, are involved with war games, now a increased troop population in the north of Australia, and the increase finance for military defense, who other than China, is a possible enemy as a potential threat?
    It seems doubtful China would invade, as any attack on Australia, by any Asian country would be seen by the Western Allies, as so serious, owing in part to the cultural connections, would never allow this to happen.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    John Fraser better still you tell us how it works or what you believe makes it inferior to other platforms out there?

    I’m not denying it has been a nightmare in the execution of the concept, but the concept is sound and superior, and will be for a very long time.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Why would China attack us when they can buy us? And I know Tony’s best friend Stephen Harper is selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Russia and the previous Ukraine regime and pretty much anyone who will buy them. They refused to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Harper, like Abbott, has no morals.

    donwreford, the female senator was Jacqui Lambie from the PUP party. She is a fool whose big mouth is certain to cause us problems. She is the one who went on radio saying she liked her men well-hung, rich, and silent. She is also the one who said she thought the carbon tax should be 3 or 4% whatever that means. She is ex-military but even they described her as a malingerer. I can only assume that the people of Tasmania who voted her in must have never heard her speak because she really is as thick as a brick, and loud and aggressive with it.

  24. Möbius Ecko

    https://www.aspi.org.au/publications/strategic-insights-9-is-the-jsf-good-enough/SI_JSF.pdf

    To give an example of the misinformation on JSF I just went through a lengthy tome on the Air Power Australia website going into detail why the latest Russian SU35 is superior. Across the board the article is strewn with errors, like JSF doesn’t have long range IR search and track when in fact it has a superior optical system, but more, all it’s sensors, active and passive are fully integrated, acting as one sensor.

  25. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Its just that everything I have read about it has been less than flattering.

    http://www.ausairpower.net/jsf.html

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/this-map-explains-the-f-35-fiasco-2014-8

    http://contraryperspective.com/2014/02/18/the-f-35-fighter-program-america-going-down-in-flames/

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/sukhoi-su-35-competes-with-the-f-35-2013-4#military-jets-are-divided-into-generations-and-the-aircraft-of-the-immediate-future-is-the-5th-but-none-have-yet-made-it-into-combat-despite-years-in-development-1

    Thats a cross section of what I have read about the F-35 and Su aircraft.

    To me it looks like the F-35 is an exceptionally high maintenance aircraft with ….. apart from its stealth capabilities …. so so performance.

    Pretty much over technoligified (just made that word up) and now …. over here.

    The Windows Vista of fighter aircraft.

    But if you have complimentary Links I will gladly read them.

  26. Kaye Lee

    It might be a good plane if they ever fix the problems – I notice they had another fire during take-off in June which means the engine has to be redesigned. I am not in a position to compare planes but I can look at the cost and think about what benefit might come from owning 100 of these planes. Presuming they can make them airworthy, something that is still questionable, what exactly do we intend to use them for? It seems to me that cargo planes would be far more useful for the threats that really face us like natural disasters or evacuations. Seriously, are we ever going to be in aerial dogfights and if so, with whom? China? Indonesia? I don’t think so. Think of what the money spent on defence could do to alleviate REAL problems as opposed to the testosterone filled posturing that Abbott so enjoys.

    I respect your opinion and defer to your knowledge ME but I wonder about the world’s priorities and more particularly about Australia’s role as side-kick.

  27. John Fraser

    <

    @

    "The conclusion is clear. The JSF is the more cost
    effective option for us, even though the F/A-22
    might do important parts of that job better. Of
    course, the final performance of the JSF is far
    from being proven and there are a number of
    key risks still to be managed in the project. But
    the track record of the US military and the US
    aerospace industry in delivering on projects like
    this is very good."

    Air Marshal Angus Houston, whilst acknowledging his expertise in the field, is hardly a partisan player.

    Considering the F-35 has almost bankrupted Lockheed and Capitol Hill has been calling for it to be scrapped I think his "cost effective" words will haunt him for a long long time.

  28. John Fraser

    <

    One of the inlaw relatives used to do technical upgrades on the F111 for the USAAF , got sent around the world , and she thinks the F-35 will be a nightmare to keep in the air, with low flying/combat time and a technicians full time workload.

  29. Anne Byam

    Extremely interesting stats. in your article Kaye … and obvioiusly very well researched – as usual. \\

    The F35 JSF is a white elephant, and should be scrapped. If it doesn’t measure up ( and it DOESN’T at this time ) … there would have to be a get out clause to the agreement. SURELY ???

    Thank you again for your insightful article. .

  30. Anne Byam

    p.s. …. the buying and selling of arms, from the West to Middle East, to Asia and God alone knows where else, to and fro, has been on the books for decades.

    It is a superbly lucrative business. And THEN the weapons sold are turned against the countries that sold them. It HAS happened.

    And will happen again …. and again.

    Big business …. !! Gives me the tom-tits. Greedy mongrels.

  31. keerti

    consider also that the primary instigators of international warfare is the US. The Chinese and Russians are too busy with their own internal problems to be bothered playing world policeman (should I say world arms dealer, as is the case with the US).

  32. Anne Byam

    Agreed …. keerti. — Although the U.S. seems to be sitting quietly on the current situation …. at the moment. !!

  33. keerti

    Wars to commandeer other countries oil are off the present list of fun things to do. That’s because the usa is busy with shale oil extraction. At the same time they have a good percentage of voters who believe that their government is waging war on them. Not the kind of climate to pursue war in!

  34. Terry2

    Our FA 18 Super Hornets all twenty four of them were in an advanced state of readiness to start bombing Northern Iraq. Fortunately wiser heads prevailed and Obama has given us a job delivering arms and aid with our two C130 Hercules Loadmasters.

    Thanks to President Obama for putting Abbott back in his box on what appears to have been a politically motivated sabre rattling exercise.

    Incidentally, Morrison has made 4,500 refugee positions available for the beleaguered Yazidis, I wonder how that is going as there are actually something like 800,000 Yazidis in Northern Iraq.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and the Greens are fuming the Abbott government has committed Australia to weapons air drops in Iraq without consulting parliament.

    “If Tony Abbott wants us to be gun runners for the Kurds at the behest of the United States then we are part of the war,” Mr Wilkie told reporters in Hobart. “We’ve taken sides.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/we-are-part-of-the-war-andrew-wilkie-and-greens-angry-at-iraq-announcement-20140831-10alrm.html#ixzz3BxDR2Rwb

  36. billy moir

    how disappointing! I thought this would be about bill shorten. He is very much a work in progress like the $12 billion planes. I expect little billy and the planes will cost a bloody sight more before they are complete.. My early life showed the only time our country needed a defence force and it was voluntary. Since then the personnel were housed, fed, working for the dole and socially separate. A good many were trained and educated in trades and service industries that benefited them and society.
    Now, since little johnnies privatising spree, it is a different ball game. My golf club shows two perspectives, The senior ranks service retirees are conservative, rigid, sexist, racist and yesterday. In Dec last year, I sat talking to two young soldiers. They were very progressive, modern and impressive when talking about the future.. They owned their own home and an investment property.and had ample free time to practice golf with equipment of the calibre I have never seen much less owned.

  37. Möbius Ecko

    John Fraser @ 8:40 pm

    Sorry I’ve been on the road and trying to carry on the conversation via tablet between work wasn’t working.

    I could post dozens more sources like yours just as scathing of the JSF or more so, but everyone has flaws in their in assessments, like stating that the JSF has limited or even worse no EO search and track capability. The other mistake just about everyone of them makes is to compare the performance of the JSF against another airframe, including the F-22 Raptor.

    From the outset superior air-to-air performance was never a consideration for the JSF because modern medium to long range beyond visual sight air-to-air weapons made that performance irrelevant. These AAMs can be fired from any aspect, some with the firing platform facing away from the target. There’s no manned fighter or fighter ground attack (FGA) aircraft that can out manoeuvre an AAM no matter how good its performance. Looking at it another way, the writing was on the wall for the traditional dog fight, and JSF was designed to address that.

    The other thing that’s not addressed in those sources is both the complete integration of all the JSF sensors, passive and active, along with the total integration with other JSF platforms and those on the Netcentric Warfare net, including our AWD ships when we get them. The JSF and AWD with their superior Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA), to use one of your sources as a reference.

    Other platforms, like the Eurofighter and to a lesser extent the SU-35 also integrate sensors and hook into the Netcentric Warfare net, but none of the current generation or next generation platforms do it to the extent the JSF does. That’s what gives it superiority. It has complete situational awareness all around it and knows where the targets are well before the target knows where it is.

    It is that reason most countries like the UK and Australia have stayed with it despite the huge cost overruns and massive problems that have beset it, with more still to be addressed. I’ll add here that it still may turn out to be the biggest white elephant/turkey the world has ever produced, but on the current state of play it’s too early to make that call.

    So lets look at what happens if Australia had gone down the route just about every one of those scathing sources advised, that’s to purchase Russian aircraft our neighbours are getting or have, or purchase the Eurofighter or equivalent. As stated our neighbours, or potential adversaries if things go sour, have, or are purchasing these platforms. Even if we take it that our training and thus pilots plus support are superior, we could never match them in the sheer numbers of aircraft, so we’ve lost air superiority. We will be fighting aircraft of a similar capability but at a ratio of three or more to one. With JSF’s far superior beyond visual range engagement and situational awareness that number superiority is mostly ameliorated, which is why so many countries signed up to it.

  38. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Post some flattering Links so that I can read them.

    " I’ll add here that it still may turn out to be the biggest white elephant/turkey the world has ever produced, but on the current state of play it’s too early to make that call." …… the Windows Vista of fighter aircraft.

    and

    " With JSF’s far superior beyond visual range engagement and situational awareness that number superiority is mostly ameliorated, which is why so many countries signed up to it." ….. not much good if its sitting on a tarmac being consistently rebooted.

    Australia should have purchased F16s to fill the gap until the F-35 has a proven record …. or move onto the next generation fighter from Europe.

  39. Möbius Ecko

    http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-joint-strike-fighter-an-air-combat-capability-enhancement/
    http://www.lockheedmartin.com.au/content/dam/lockheed/data/aero/documents/f-35/collateral/f35_brochure_a11-34324e001.pdf
    https://www.f35.com/about/testimonials
    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/lightning-rod-f-35-fighter-family-capabilities-and-controversies-021922/
    https://www.f35.com/about/life-cycle/software
    https://www.f35.com/about/capabilities/missionsystems
    http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/12336

    Doesn’t matter what links I put up you will shoot the messenger. Plus there are no open sources giving the full capabilities of the F35, so it’s a mute point anyway.

    Australia should have purchased F16s to fill the gap until the F-35 has a proven record …. or move onto the next generation fighter from Europe.

    Sorry John but that would have been a bad idea. Australia would not have been part of the Joint countries purchasing F35’s, which means we would have had no say nor input into their construction, as a couple of small specialist manufacturers are currently doing, along with companies like the one I work for that are supplying support systems. Nor would we have had any say in customising the firmware and software as both the UK and us are doing. Nor would we have had the opportunity to work with other allied countries who are getting the F-35 in developing it and tactics for it, like we are doing with Japan.

    If we went your route we wouldn’t have the platform for a decade or more and would be stuck with an older inferior generation aircraft that is well outmatched by other aircraft in our neighbourhood. The F-35 at the time of purchase down the track would be more expensive and we would have lost a decade of training and in-country development on the platform, something other countries with it would be well ahead of us in.

  40. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Australia being one hell of a big aircraft carrier means that the F16 would more than compensate until the F-35 sank or swam.

    I will read the Links you have posted ….. thanks.

    Any weaponry the U.S. supplies to Israel free would be welcomed from our association with the U.S. …. but that ain't going to happen any time soon.

  41. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    I ask again, why do we need fighter jets of any description? Who are we going to be in aerial dogfights with? Do you seriously think the Chinese want to fight with us and that we could beat them if they chose to do so? As I said before, we would do better to invest in cargo planes to help with the ACTUAL threats we face from natural disasters as opposed to this ridiculous notion that we need fighter jets. Are we to spend tens of billions on something that will never be used for anything other than training?

  42. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    I ask again, why do we need fighter jets of any description?

    Who can say? If Major-General Ignorance keeps having his brainfarts… we might be at war with Tonga by next month!!

  43. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of Major-General Ignorance, does anyone know what has happened to Special Envoy Jim Molan (ret.) who I note in the budget is still collecting a million to do….ummmmm….?????

    “While there are big savings from fewer asylum seekers, the funding for Major-General Jim Molan as “the special envoy of Operation Sovereign Borders” remains at $1m over the next two years.”

    Anyone got any clues on where he is and what he is doing for that million?

  44. Anne Byam

    @ Kaye Lee …. ref : ” I ask again, why do we need fighter jets of any description? ”

    I agree with your post … well said, well done.

    Ref : Jim Molan AO, DSC ?? As far as I can ascertain ( which is ultra-little ) …. ” he has been associated with the Liberal Party of Australia ” A nebulous statement at best ?

    Enuf said ……. !!!

  45. Kaye Makovec

    Nope. Would be a case of no show and definitely no tell as nobody knows anything about operational details, on or off water, so they can’t leak information about Operation Secrecy 🙂

    Every time I even think about operation details on the water I get a mental picture of The First Dog’s Bucket Head Abbott and an old song goes through my head 🙂

    “There’s a hole in the bucket dear Henry, dear Henry ….. “

  46. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Molan is most likely on secondment to Morrison in his latest humanity operation …………… to arm Iraqis.

    Apparently Morrison is doing such a humane job stopping the boats this is the next logical step.

    Abbott logic …. I hasten to add.

  47. Kaye Lee

    John,

    Oh geeze, Jim has always said we pulled out oo early and is keen to get back there and finish the job….whatever THAT was

    Maj Gen (ret’d) Jim Molan’s implication that Iraq is better off now because of the 2003 invasion goes beyond incredulity. Molan appears oblivious to the memory of the likely hundreds of thousands of innocent people who have died, and the millions of people who continue to suffer because of the war inflicted on them by the US, UK and Australia.

    Is Molan really talking about Iraq, the country that was secular before 2003 but is now ripped apart by regular suicide bombings and other sectarian violence; the country where women were among the most liberated in the Middle East but whose rights have now regressed decades; the country where children have been terrorised and scarred for life by exposure to extreme violence, and where 3.5 to 4.5 million people have had to flee their homes? Is he including in the list of those grateful for our interventions the people of Fallujah, where he played a leading role in the second assault on the city in 2004? The descriptions of what coalition forces did there are not pleasant reading.

    Molan also appears to care little for the shifting goalposts that led us to Iraq. It was WMDs, no wait, there are none there. It was links with the September 11 terrorists, no, hold on, none of them were from Iraq, it’s Saudi Arabia we should have invaded. Hang it all, Saddam Hussein was a nasty piece of work anyway. And thank God he’s dead and can’t spill the beans about who helped make him a well-armed nasty piece of work. For a military man, Molan’s lack of concern for well-defined goals is surprising. He might wish to recall that PM Howard at the time told the National Press Club that he could not justify war if Saddam Hussein had no WMDs (then continued to do just that when no WMDs were found).

    http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/03/21/Reader-riposte-Jim-Molan-and-the-Iraq-debate.aspx?COLLCC=4229103757&

  48. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Part 1

    You haven't done yourself any favours with most of those Links.

    A $400 billion programme at last count had gone past $1.3 trillion.

    This is what I was talking about in my earlier post :

    "The bottlenecks will be two-fold.

    The 1st bottleneck is American insistence on retaining all source codes, and having Lockheed Martin perform all modifications at their reprogramming facility. Unless Lockheed produces a full development environment workaround, dealing with the growing queue of requests can easily become a problem. The firm’s new Universal Armament Interface could offer the foundation for a way forward, if they decide to take it. The other question involves conflict-of-interest issues, in which Lockheed Martin or the US government decides to use the bottleneck as a way of shutting competitors out of a potential export market. These kinds of concerns have already led to pushback in Australia, Britain, and Israel.

    The 2nd bottleneck involves testing resources. The F-35 testing program has fallen significantly behind schedule, and IOCs for some versions have already slipped by 5-6 years. Test time required to qualify new equipment is going to be a very secondary priority until 2018-2019, and even the few customers buying their own Initial Operational Testing & Evaluation (IOT&E) fighters are going to need them for their assigned training roles."

    A flying Windows Vista, that will spend more downtime than fly time.

  49. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    Part 2

    This is a comment from the last Link you sent :

    "The F-35 is even more vulnerable to lightning and anti aircraft fire than previously reported.
    Maximum g forces for continuous turns are now projected to be 4.6 g for the F-35A, 4.5 g for the F-35B, and 5.0 g for the F-35C.
    The F-35C takes 43 seconds longer than an F-16 to accelerate from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2.
    The F-35B and F-35C use almost all of their internal fuel before being able to achieve their maximum speed of Mach 1.6.
    Test pilots said that poor visibility from the F-35 cockpit will get them "consistently shot down in combat."
    The F-35 systems lack complete software in order that pilots can be trained safely.
    Ejection seats are subject to numerous failures.
    Avionics are unreliable and fail to respond to inputs.
    Radar may not work properly, if at all.
    Heat on the skin of the aircraft, generated by supersonic flight speeds, causes the stealth paint covering of the aircraft to wear out prematurely.
    Engines that are supposed to be replaced in two hours have thus far taken about 52 hours to be replaced.
    Tools assigned to maintain the aircraft fail to provide proper functionality."

    Look closely at the weather conditions that any Australian aircraft would encounter in the north of Australia and then look at the above comment.

    If, just for the sake of this debate ….. Indonesia decided to invade Australia this is what Australians 70 F-35 & 71 FA-18s :

    Indonesia …. " During the visit of US President Barack Obama on November 9–10, 2010 in Jakarta, the TNI-AU Force was offered 24 ex-USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 32 for free.[23] In October 2011, the House of Representatives approved the grant. The fighter jets will be upgraded similar to the latest Block 50/52 variant with payment"

    180 Su-27 and Su-30

    And Indonesia also has a 20% interest in the North Korea KFX programme.

    With drone technology going in leaps and bounds why bother risking expensive pilots and aircraft ?

    A $500,000 missile bringing down a $120 million aircraft would see one country going broke in rapid time.

    See Russia in Afghan war.

    I'm all for a deterrent, but it has to be reliable and cost effective.

    The JSF F-35 isn't.

  50. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Molan missed Bolts job …… by that much.

    Noticed where the ex military have gone .

    Wallace is at ACL ….. makes one wonder what he was doing when the sex abuse was happening.

    But I will not single him out …. look at the others.

    G.G., Governor.

    Not one word asked of them in relation to what has been happening in the ADF over decades.

  51. Möbius Ecko

    Sorry but a lot of the stuff you mention is out of date.

    The lightning problem has long been fixed.

    You are also wrong on the software and firmware. The UK threatened to pull out if it didn’t get control of the code, which it got as has Australia.

    The other points are also now out of date. Again a performance comparison parameter is given. How many times do I have to iterate that in modern air warfare against current and next generation soft and hard kill multi-guidance weapons the performance of the manned platform is irrelevant. JSF has a much greater capability in first kill beyond visual attack and in it’s own defence. It has a superior all round situational awareness than any other current and proposed fighters, which is exponentially expanded with each JSF in the group and with every other platform in the Netcentric warfare web. This is something our neighbours and potential foes doesn’t have and gives Australia air superiority along with Japan, which will have a similar capability.

    I agree with the cost and time overruns, but that’s the case for all modern platforms, including Typhoon and SU-35, which had considerable teething problems and was fitted with Western European avionics.

    Due to complexity and cost the F-35 will be probably the last manned fighter of its capability, but in the mean time an unmanned system of the F-35’s capabilities is a fair way off.

    You mention a half million dollar missile shooting down a $120m aircraft but the probability is that JSF has a higher survivability than any other current and proposed fighters, and indeed the platform(s) firing the missile(s) would be destroyed before firing or not long after. Every other platform you mentioned is more susceptible to those half million dollar missiles.

    If the US are offering ex-US military hardware its because the US knows its vulnerabilities so can easily defeat it if they came up against it. They and Australia would certainly know of its vulnerability against JSF.

  52. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    BTW the above Comment was taken from the last Link you posted.

    I've supported Australia's acquisition of aircraft going back to the F-111 and thought the FA-18 was a very good choice as a replacement.

    I'm quite happy to go on the record as saying that the F-35 is a poor choice.

    And another mistake from the Howard government and unsurprisingly massively compounded by Abbott.

    This Link is dated June 2014 …. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-f-35-strike-fighter-technical-failures-of-the-worlds-most-expensive-weapons-system/5390065

    Time will tell.

  53. Möbius Ecko

    Yes sorry, I was looking at another link and selected the wrong one.

    As I said I could post dozens or more links canning the F-35, many more than you already have and some more scathing. As I’ve also stated most make the mistake in that they deem the F-35 a failure by comparing performance figures of the airframe against one or more other airframes. If the Joint nations in the project had wanted superior air-to-air performance they would have specified an advancement on the Raptor, Typhoon, PAK etc., yet not a single nation in the Joint consortium had a problem with the concept and still don’t to this day. The problem has been the massive problems, failures, expensive cost overruns and delays in delivering that concept.

    You mention support for the F111 yet it was as controversial, had as many or more failures in its program than the F-35, losing aircraft to design and system failures and it was a horrendously costly maintenance nightmare to keep flying. When I was operating out of Katherine one blew an engine on landing. Blowing engines happened often enough that they had a replacement flown in and installed within 48 hours, they were that well practised in the procedure.

    By the way in 1986 from memory I was on a RAN ship in the EAXA off Jervis Bay when a F111 crashed not far from us. We recovered wreckage and body parts. I remember it not just for the crash but that a US pilot named Angel was killed.

  54. Möbius Ecko

    Damn that shits me. I posted a response and it disappeared when I hit Post Comment.

    I’m not going to retype it all again. My opening was an apology on my link you mention. I was looking at another link but selected the wrong one.

  55. Terry2

    Seems that within twelve months the Abbott governments’ Asia focus has taken a 180 degree turn. We appear to be the only nation in our region who have joined the war in the Middle East and commenced a program of sanctions against Russia.

    interestingly, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has been lauded for her role on the international stage recently, largely facilitated by Australia’s influential seat on the UN Security Council, originally pursued by the Rudd/Gillard government much to the ridicule of the Abbott opposition.

    How things change.

  56. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    Sometimes comments get caught in the spam filter. Michael or Carol usually find it and release it.

  57. John Fraser

    <

    @Möbius Ecko

    When posting with Links the spam filter does (sometimes) hold Comments …. ya just gotta be cool and either wait for it to appear or hope that it hasn't disappeared into the ether.

    Just like you I could post many Links unfavourable to the F-35 …. not so much airframe, engineers have got that down to a fine art …. the criticism I follow is the tech side and this is the part that is going to see it updated to the wazoo and then be outdated before its hypothetical time (40 years).

    The F-111 capabilities were highly appreciated by the RAAF and when taking into account the FA-18 crashes already the F-111 doesn't look too bad.

    THe cost of the F-35 is universally recognised as expensive.

    lets agree to disagree and see what time and tide tells us about the F-35.

  58. Neil of Sydney

    I have heard RAAF people say they trust the Coalition but not the ALP. Most of the major RAAF acquisitions were made by the Coalition and most of the time they got it right. It may be because aircraft are not as complex as say submarines.

    Most of our stuff ups have been with the Navy and Army. And a lot of them were ordered by the ALP.

    People should google what was said about the F-111, ordered in the 1960’s by i think Menzies. They were saying the same thing about the F111 that they are now saying about the F-35.

  59. Kaye Lee

    The armed forces just LOVE the Coalition because they give them more money than they can spend Neil. This year, they increased their funding by so much that the ADF will be investing $8.6 billion as they have nothing to spend it on. This will add to the many billion they already have stashed away. What a waste.

  60. Möbius Ecko

    Yet pilots who have flown the F-35 are stating they are appreciative of its capabilities. I believe our pilots after getting hours up on it will be doing the same. You won’t hear about it as the results will be classified, but our F-35 on FA-18 engagements will be interesting to say the least and which one consistently gets the first Fox calls.

    Every major platform is outdated by the time they become operational. The difference with the F-35 is that because of its complexity and capability no single nation can afford to produce anything as capable for a fair time to come, even China is more than a decade away from doing it and only if they pour huge amounts of resources into it.

    I believe the next generation will be the first of the unmanned fighters, but they are also a long way off in having the capability of the F-35, though without the limitations of a pilot they will go a way to being able counter high speed AAM’s in performance.

  61. John Fraser

    <

    @Neil of Sydney

    When the F-111 was conceived no one had a home computer and the computing power of that aircraft was something that people did not understand …. hell even the comics couldn't begin to guess what was coming.

    Now computer technology and what the future holds is so far in advance of what the F-35 represents its staggering.

    In America its the Republican John McCain who is rubbishing the F-35 :

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/17/us-lockheed-fighter-mccain-idUSKBN0ES01E20140617

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/11/military-jet-spending_n_5575045.html

    Try Googling Senator John McCain to see what he did before becoming a U.S. Senator.

  62. Möbius Ecko

    That’s right Kaye Lee and the biggest Defence stuff ups and cost overruns have been by the Coalition, and none more so than Howard.

    In 20 major projects he had 12 that were significantly over budget and time, one that ended up being scrapped altogether at massive cost, and another 6 that were over budget and time. He reformed DMO at a huge cost that failed and had to reform it again, which also failed. To give him his due he mostly got it right the third time, but that was the way the experts were saying it needed to be done in the first place.

  63. Möbius Ecko

    Oh and let us not forget Howard’s great computer network upgrade fiasco. What a massively expensive cock-up that was.

  64. Anne Byam

    @ Kaye. You are right about the Coalitions’ great waves of money thrown around for the Australian military.

    In the years of Bob Hawke, I worked for the greatest profile ( then ) technology company in the world. They invented and produced some of the most highly innovative cameras, surveillance equipment, editing facilities plus broadcast equipment, tapes of all kinds. All expensive high tech. stuff, but desired above all others by our military, especially the RAAF.

    The ALP had strict rules as to how much each military department received to spend, and it wasn’t much. Was divided up into quarterly allowances ( from memory – although not sure how often per year, it was adjusted ) availability of funds. So … one particular military arm, decided to get around the budget strangles, by purchasing ‘parts’ at a time to fit in under the budget allowable for that time – and assembling them later on – with help from our firm. It was not difficult for our company.

    Not sure if that was the right way to do things, but the ALP in those days, being cautious with funds, did not throw money willy-nilly at the military. And there were ways around it. Everybody seemed happy enough in the end though. !! Personnel I worked with, thought the whole thing was a hoot – as to just how the military got around their limitations in budget.

  65. abbienoiraude

    Of all the comments it was @ stephentardrew that spoke for me.
    The discussion on this plane verses that and how much and who and why and bullcrap bullcrap comes down to toys for the boys measuring game.
    Thanks Kaye, for the great summation on Iraq and that Retired Molan. What a friggin’ mess and this lot want us to go back and mess around in the blood and guts of a broken nation once again. What is it about Conservatives that they feel the need to show how big their dicks are? (And that includes Julie Bishop).

  66. Kaye Lee

    Interesting graphic ME

    Australia has the 4th largest per capita defence spending…more than Britain or France, more than double Russia or Germany, and over ten times the per capita spending of China ( mind you, they have a LOT of caps)

  67. mars08

    The amounts governments say they allocate to “defence spending” is usually nowhere near the real amount. I suspect the major powers spend much more than they actually reveal. For example, I recall reading that the US does not count military expenditure associate with homeland security or intel ops as part of it’s defence budget. Does the Australian govt include stopping the boats as part of defence spending?

  68. Kaye Lee

    I think defence allocated $60 million this year for stopping the boats. Customs and border security bear the brunt of the cost I think.

  69. mars08

    BTW… it’s amazing that we still call it defence spending… considering all the attacking we’ve done recently.

  70. Kaye Lee

    Well, it’s clear that there’s an emerging pattern I think to the way that Tony Abbott is responding to international security events and in the way that he’s using the military as a tool of international policy.

    Staff in his office are talking about an Abbott doctrine and some of the components of that are becoming visible.

    It’s doctrine that’s reactive, it’s doctrine that leads with the military and it’s doctrine that’s very values driven.

    I think the danger with this doctrine is twofold.

    The first is that your rhetoric gets well out ahead of your capability. Australia, though it is a middle power, is a small country, there are limits to our power, and at the moment the Prime Minister’s rhetoric against some of these international leaders is very strong indeed.

    Whether we’re able to back that with military force is another question.

    And there is a danger that we overreach. We’re committing ourselves to taking a stake in a number of different conflicts far from home.

    Whether we can manage those conflicts simultaneously if they turn hot and keep an eye on our own region remains to be seen.

    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s4080846.htm

  71. Anne Byam

    Very well expressed Kaye Lee … your succinct summaries are much appreciated. …. seriously. Thank you…. .

    Abbott’s ‘taking on the world’ stance, tells me that he is very dysfunctional in many ways, especially on a deeply personal level. He would be a psychiatrists ‘perfect’ patient. Imagine being a shrink taking on his deeply seated demons ????

    He wants conflict – any way he can get it, be it internationally or here.

    And that IS dangerous – not just for us, but for any country in this world today with a dictator at the helm. While I don’t think he reaches quite the extremes of terrorism, he certainly displays degrees of certitude towards that form of confrontation … fight at any cost, and for any reason.

    It’s the power hungry syndrome. In spades.

  72. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    …there is a danger that we overreach. We’re committing ourselves to taking a stake in a number of different conflicts far from home.

    Oh what utter tosh!!! These is absolutely NO danger of overrech. None! That’s because Commander Crapfest won’t put a big bunch of troops in harms way. His tough talk and chest-thumping is entirely for the domestic audience. The numbers deployed will be just enough to ensure that it’s regularly covered by the MSM. It’s a freak show for the ignorant, distracted, frightened bed-wetters in the electorate.

  73. Anne Byam

    @Mars08 …. how on EARTH could you possibly trust the Abbott NOT to go overboard … here, there and anywhere else in the world ?

    If he thought it would earn him more political kudos, he wouldn’t think TWICE about putting troops in harms way, or our own lives in harms way ( which is in fact what he is trying very hard to do ). Admittedly his inane rhetoric is designed to keep ‘his people’ in line – but with communications being what they are today, do you honestly think that other countries don’t pick up on his theories and aggressive tendencies. Of course they do – AND they take note. They might not publicise his ravings, but other Governments surely take note of this pompous ass and his proposals.

    Only need one example – that is of his admonition that ‘science behind climate change is crap’ …. an arrogant statement in the extreme, and one that goes against a very very large % of other Governments / countries’ beliefs in this world.

    Admittedly, he will do anything to get in front of the camera’s …. to ensure not so much specifically about troops being deployed ( at the moment ), but rather to feed the well known divisive measure of FEAR into the hearts and minds of many Australians, in order to keep them compliant ( he thinks ). That does NOT make people in electorates ignorant bed-wetters …. we happen to be much more intelligent than that – thank you.

    You have a problem or three, Mars 08, and I suggest you address those problems fairly quickly, before they get the better of YOU.

  74. mars08

    Anne Byam… who is this “we” you speak of? Is that the same “we” who ignored all the warnings against attacking Iraq in 2003? Is that the same “we” that wants harsher and nastier treatment of asylum seekers because they threaten our way of life? Is it the same “we” who believed that carbon pricing was driving the electricity prices up? Is it the same “we” who get all their news from channel 7 or the Murdoch press? Is it the same “we” who fears that gay marriage with shatter our society? Is it the same “we” who thinks welfare cheats are causing a budget emergency? Is it the same “we” who thought that Gillard’s misogyny speech was an unfair attack on men in general?

    True enough Anne… I have a problem or three. And aggressive, reactionary, rude pinheads like you are one of them.

  75. Kath Malcom

    Yep Mars08 you have a point the “we” out there are not the smartest lot, cos the “we” voted for the biggest Nuff Nuff in the country to be PM, the night of election was the night I lost hope in the Australian people, how could they vote for the Lizard of oz, but they did to my horror…

  76. I Am God

    Yon ignorant Anne. Verily I say to thee: child, hush and heed and try to comprehend before going off all half-cocked, or vagina-ed. Desist thou thine attempts to be thine site’s matriarch for thou lackest the capacity to be thus. Heed the wisdom of mars08 for thine subject doth speak with sufficient prudence such to attract the Lord’s blessing. Cease thou in thine claims that those not of your disposition are behanced of some odorous malady of the demon’s work. Study thou the archfiend of passive aggression and always be ready to spare thou small change in the name of your Lord.

  77. Anne Byam

    Mars08 …. You have lost it !! I only mentioned ‘we’ once : ” we happen to be much more intelligent than that – thank you.” You are obsessed with ‘we’s.

    You know bloodywell what I meant, and you also know bloodywell, that I did not include all those warnings, harsh treatments, news from Channel 7 … and yada yada yada ad nauseum… that you have absolutely raved on about with all the ‘we’s’.

    In fact, what I did do was have another go at Abbott. That seems to have annoyed you intensely ? Makes me wonder – again, about your true leanings.

    Aggressive, reactionary, rude pinheads ‘like me’ is one of your problems. You should be so lucky.

    What a very rude little man you are. I think it just might be past your bedtime.

  78. Anne Byam

    @ I am God ( so sayest you !!! ) …. I have absolutely no idea what you are raving on about. But I do get you are in Mars08’s corner, or perhaps are one and the same person.

    I think you should heed your own words mate ….” Study thou the archfiend of passive aggression ” ….. you seriously are the best example of passive aggression I have come across in a long while.

    I am done with both you and the Mars fella. Go rant on an extreme conservative site somewhere.

  79. keerti

    A veritable Valkyrie Anne! long may you ride!

  80. I Am God

    In fact, what I did do was have another go at Abbott. That seems to have annoyed you intensely ? Makes me wonder – again, about your true leanings.

    I said the same thing to McCartthy when he started wearing dresses. He heedeth me not. Look where it got him

  81. I Am God

    I have absolutely no idea what you are raving on about.

    No, you don’t, honey, no more then when my poor son got all cross and forgot whom he was. You know, got all cross. That’s a God joke. Get it?

  82. Kaye Lee

    I should have made it clear – my previous comment was a quote from James Brown of the Lowy Institute who “has served as a military officer in conflicts around the world, including in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and he says that Tony Abbott needs to be careful that his enthusiasm for military action doesn’t lead to posturing that blinds him to a rational consideration of the security trade-offs.”

    I got the impression that he meant Tony was drawing attention to himself by the tough guy talk and that this could have the unintended consequence of making us a target. I agree with mars08 that we are unlikely to commit to significant ground engagement though the Islamic State may well require someone to do so to stop this blood lust rampage. It would be far preferable if other Muslim countries led that campaign to underline that it is not Islam that is the problem, but a band of crazy ignorant men who have whipped themselves up into a killing frenzy. I find it quite bizarre that Julie Bishop rocks up to the NATO conference to offer our help. Does she really think the NATO countries would reciprocate in a conflict far from their arena? Couldn’t she let them have their own meeting – I am sure they could ring us if they want some help, but that wouldn’t give her a photo opportunity. Jules seemed most chuffed with her medal from the Dutch.

    I also agree with Anne that, whilst the talk may be directed at the domestic audience, it is definitely heard and not appreciated by other countries. Julie Bishop was very quick to call in and castigate both the Chinese and Russian ambassadors – something that did not go over well. Foreign press does occasionally report Abbott’s intemperate remarks though at this stage it is more in bemusement/amusement rather than taking him seriously.

  83. Kaye Lee

    “Newport, Wales: The US is drawing together a coalition of nations for new military action in Iraq, including air strikes against the Islamic State extremists, and Australia is ready to play its part, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

    “We are keen to play our part in ensuring that this heightened terrorist risk to Australia can be tackled head-on,” Ms Bishop said.

    The Australian military are already drawing up contingency plans to send forces into the region to deal with the global threat posed by Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-ready-to-join-us-coalition-on-iraq-julie-bishop-says-20140905-10d8c8.html

    Keen??????

  84. Terry2

    “We are keen to play our part in ensuring that this heightened terrorist risk to Australia can be tackled head-on,” Ms Bishop said.

    Keen to play our part, we are absolutely busting for a fight : Abbott sees it as the modern Crusades and he can’t wait to stick it up the infidels.

    Abbott insisted that he would have an Asian focus “Jakarta not Geneva” – so what are our neighbours doing – from China to Indonesia , from New Zealand to Thailand, from India to Malaysia to Singapore – do you hear anybody else rattling their sabres or beating the drums of war – I don’t.

  85. stephentardrew

    Satan’s Child, oops I mean I Am God, go play in a minefield.

  86. I Am God

    Subject Stephen – I doth playeth in a minefield. What doest thou imagine this place to be?

  87. mars08

    @Anne Byam.

    Sooo… I apparently “know bloodywell” what you meant, yet you seem to “wonder” about my true leanings? Interesting.

    Seems to me that most people on this forum know bloodywell my true leanings, and manage to be civil and not go off half-cocked.

  88. Kaye Lee

    Abbott reminds me of those soldiers heading off to WWI – a great adventure, we’ll show those Huns, put the kettle on, we’ll be home for supper.

    Does he at any stage think of the consequences to the civilian populations in the countries we choose to bomb/invade? Does he think of the consequences of slashing foreign aid? Does he think about the consequences of giving uranium to a country with a poor regulatory record who refuses to sign the non-proliferation treaty? Does he think of the consequences of giving millions of dollars to a corrupt regime in one of the poorest countries in the world to take asylum seekers who have no language, religious, cultural or ethnic ties to that country?

  89. Kaye Lee

    “The way they are treating refugees in Australia is a crime, and there has already been a reference put into the international criminal court complaining of that very treatment,” Mr Burnside said.

    “If you feel exhausted keeping up the pressure on the government, if you feel so tired you can’t keep going, just support yourselves with the vision of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison in the dock at The Hague.”

  90. stephentardrew

    Kaye Lee: No, No, No, No, No, No…… ad infinitum.

  91. stephentardrew

    Kaye: I would Like to see Howard join them at a war crimes tribunal. The resulting death and destruction in the Middle East is beyond anyones wildest imagination.

  92. Kath Malcom

    When I first joined up this site, I actually thought Mars08 was very articulate in getting his point across,
    I know exactly where he leans, you leaner Mars lol
    maybe “we” need to focus on commenting on article rather than focusing and attacking others comments unless they are a troll or god 🙂 but there are ways to disagree without the nit picking and personal attacks……

  93. John Fraser

    <

    @Kath Malcom

    +1

  94. Kath Malcom

    Um are those numbers good or not guys am I wrong about Mars or right, I know I right about Mars 08 he on our side 🙂

  95. Florence nee Fedup

    If Abbott loves war so much, why did he not take the opportunity to join in wren he was a young man. There were plenty of chances for him to do this.

    What was the reason his family fled England the first time., long before his birth. I read, but do not know the truth, that his family where so afraid of the bombs they were fleeing, prayed to god for their safety., Even promised to convert to Catholism., if they survived.

    Returned to England after the war, with the dentistry degree he obtained while here.

    I see Abbott as they little boy who never grew up. Still likes dressing up and play acting.

  96. Anne Byam

    Kaye …. ref : your comment ……… ” Does he think about the consequences of giving uranium to a country with a poor regulatory record who refuses to sign the non-proliferation treaty? ” ……

    One of the most frightening of Abbott’s ‘wondrous’ ideas to date. …… A totally irresponsible decision – even though he / the Government ( not necessarily us ) will benefit from the sale of this uranium. What the HELL does Abbott think he’s doing…. oh I forgot – he doesn’t actually ‘think’ does he.

    Ref. John Frasers post of the 10 most powerful bombs ever to be detonated …. all conducted by the Soviets and the U.S. – almost in equal proportions.

    While our own carbon emissions are causing misery across the planet, I have to wonder what these ‘bombs’ and their wide spreading radiation in the higher atmosphere, might ALSO have done to the earth’s atmosphere and climate changes over the years. After all residual radiation can linger for an excessively long time. And apparently what is in the upper atmospheres, eventually has it’s impact on planet earth – to varying degrees.

    A rather horrid contemplation.

  97. Anne Byam

    Kaye & Terry2 …. Agreed …. the use of the word ‘keen’ is one to be wondered at ( in Julie Bishops’ comment ). Another bombastic statement from the lady Minister for Foreign Affairs – or Foreign Gaffes more likely.

    Great to be ‘keen’ to look forward to e.g. a holiday or Christmas with family …. but looking forward to, or keen to engage in, any form of war or defense ??? Ms. J Bishop certainly has a tendency for ‘foot in mouth’ disease.

    She and her boss, really should go back to University …. preferably to ultimately major in the use of the English language, and NOT be let loose on our population until they have completed their studies, with top marks.

    Well – I can dream can’t I ? ( sigh ).

  98. mars08

    Thank youse .Want to articulate good. Make for happy. But is not lean…. old and fat.

    Questions about Abbott’s lack of consideration for the pain, loss, horror, destruction… and futility of war should take into account his attitude towards our less fortunate fellow citizens. If Abbott and and his slimy crew are so eager to inflict cruelty on the weak and powerless in THIS country… why would he care about some brown foreigners?

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