As reported last week, the Coalition has ear-marked tens-of-billions of taxpayer dollars to local defence manufacturing, including a $10 billion to $15 billion-program for 1,000 locally produced armoured vehicles, as well as locally designed and built submarines for around $40 billion.
Today, The Australian provides further context, reporting have emerged that the Government is about to launch a new defence White Paper, targeting a near-doubling of the nation’s defence budget to $50 billion within a decade, with defence spending’s share of GDP also targeted to increase to 2% of GDP from 1.6% currently.
To put this defense spending surge into context, find attached a superb speech (and below if you prefer) by publishing legend Max Suich delivered last night at the Australian Institute of International Affairs probing Australia’s long term strategies for North Asia.
The main points include:
- Australia is betting on a Japanese alliance much more strongly than the US is
- we’re repeating Vietnam era blunders
- the TPP and boosted allied defense spending are US strategic initiatives as Chinese power overwhelms US reach
- Chinese economic reprisals are likely
- nobody is talking about any of it
I suggest you read it.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.