Would you look at that…

2 05 2009

As I was about to call it a night, I happened to chance upon this little article tucked away that details the security plans for the Australian armed forces.  Given that I’ve already posted tonight, I thought I’d give you another dose of lovin’ by bringing the article to the attention of any wayward travellers that happen upon it.  To summarise the article, it basically states that the Australian Defence Force is going to be pumped up with millions of dollars more to increase its strength in the coming decades as American power and influence recede.

Joy.

This should come as no surprise to any Adelaidean with a conscience; South Australia is the go-to state for defence force research, manufacturing and construction.  We’re basically the ones contributing the most to all the bombing and shelling going on overseas.  However, try telling some people that maybe having all this defence spending in one state is not such a good idea.  Never mind that it’s totally immoral as it feeds of the death of other people and the destruction of their livelihoods.  Some may even be offended if you were to put forward the proposition that choosing drug dealing as an occupation would be morally preferable to manufacturing warships.  After all, defence spending creates jobs — though it could very well be argued that so does drug dealing.  In a way.

And yes I will probably wind up getting in the shit somewhere down the line for those statements.

But more to the point, here are some of my favourite extracts from the article.

It details the purchase of a massive list of military hardware expected to cost more than $100 billion. The weapons include a new generation of very long range submarines to provide “strategic strike” with cruise missiles and 100 state-of-the-art Joint Strike Fighters.

The plans outlined in the white paper will change the Australian Defence Force from a broadly defensive organisation with a bit of everything to a much more focused force able to launch damaging attacks vast distances from home.

The oceans closer to home will be protected by a new class of warships, Offshore Combatant Vessels. They will be used for border security, to protect offshore resources, to carry out hydrographic and environmental research and potentially, to clear anti-shipping mines.

The ADF is likely to get seven large unmanned patrol planes — probably the US-built Global Hawk — capable of staying airborne for days at a time and covering huge areas in search of terrorists, enemy forces and smugglers of people and drugs.

Australia’s agencies will also be given the resources they need to engage in cyber warfare — defending Australia’s computer systems against sabotage and attacking an enemy’s computer systems to cause economic chaos. Intelligence gathering resources also get a big boost.

And here’s the kicker.

By 2030 Australia’s annual defence spending is likely to have jumped from its present $22 billion to nearly $40 billion.

To help pay for it’s new equipment, the ADF has been told to find internal savings of $20 billion.

That would be enough to cover the $16 billion cost of the strike fighters and some of the submarines at $3 billion each…

Stimulating the economy by militarising it after a recession?  Not like that hasn’t been tried before.  Sure, it will create jobs, but one wonders whether the benefit derive from building new toys for the military may not have been better allocated by leaving the money in people’s pockets.  At least then they will decide for themselves where the money should go and society would see an overall benefit as positive investments are made; as opposed to negative investments whose primary function is to destroy and all to often go up in smoke themselves.

And last, but certainly not least, I wonder whose paying for this all?

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One response

2 05 2009
burstmode

You know who is paying for all of it.

I don’t think Australia has much choice. The world’s armed forces are becoming increasingly sophisticated and Australia cannot afford to become vulnerable in an increasingly unstable region.

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