China lackies spew over AUKUS

So says China Development Bank advisor, Paul Keating:

“If the United States military with all its might could not beat a bunch of Taliban rebels with AK47 rifles in pick-up trucks, what chance would it have a in a full blown war against China, not only the biggest state in the world but the commander and occupant of the largest land mass in Asia.”

“When it comes to conflict, particularly among great powers, land beats water every time.”

Mr Keating said it had to be remembered that the United States was a naval power and the US supply chain to East Asia would need to span the whole Pacific from San Diego and other locations on the West Coast.

“Australia, by the announced commitments, would find itself hostage to any such commitments,” he said.

Silly old coot. Afghanistan is irrelevant in every possible way.  It’s true that US war in the Western Pacific is a long way from home but only if it has no allies, which it does. We can do nuclear if we want to.

And Hugh White:

“This is a significant step forward in the amplification of American expectations of Australian support,” Professor White told The Australian. “The big question is whether that is going to work. The American strategy is to attempt to deter China from challenging the US …. and to defeat China if deterrence doesn’t work.”

“My reservation is that it won’t do either of those things. Eight Australian nuclear powered submarines will make no difference … For that reason it’s the wrong move.”

Meh, there is clearly a deeper engagement going on here than subs. It’ll be personnel, planes, boats, bases, you name it.

The simple fact is Australia is going to do its bit within the US liberal empire which is eminently preferable to doing its bit within the Chinese illiberal version.

The China lackies should never have steered us so close to it in the first place.

Houses and Holes

Comments

  1. People seem to forget how uncomfortable many (most?) Asian nations are about China’s soft power ambitions, and actions to-date – this isn’t just about the US feeling threatened (though I concede that’s part of it).

        • Exactly, not unlike three Chinese warships showing up in Sydney Harbour a couple of years ago unannounced.

          The problem with diesel subs is that a clever colander only needs to track refuelling ships to know exactly where they will be at a certain point in time. Distances limit operational capacities, therefore their use defending Australia very limited.

          • “Exactly, not unlike three Chinese warships showing up in Sydney Harbour a couple of years ago unannounced.”
            They were announced. It’s just that the LNP couldn’t run a government to save their asses so there was a lack of communication of the visit.

            “The problem with diesel subs is that a clever colander only needs to track refuelling ships to know exactly where they will be at a certain point in time. Distances limit operational capacities, therefore their use defending Australia very limited.”
            The German option in the original bid had a range greater than that of the Collins class (22000kms)and the Jap option still had a decent 11000k range. If you have friends in the region that pretty much means any ship or port is a potential refueling point. That’s a lot of tracking needed and the US will probably take out Chinese satellites at the very start of any confrontation. You could buy six of the German Type 214 subs for every one Virginia class boat. They are ultra quiet and well suited to coastal operations anywhere in the region. I could run through a few options with the Jap boat but, I’m sure you get the picture.

            As usual, the decision has been made without a lot of discussion of alternatives (So much for the transparent bidding process lol). We’ll just have to live with it now wont we.

        • ”Why is China so upset if they don’t intend to go warring?
          Why are you asking this question Alex Q?
          In any case, I’d say they are probably upset for a number of reasons. I have no doubt at some level their intentions are probably no different from the intentions of the US when they invaded Iraq. They see themselves as a great power like the US now and as such they want what they believe they are entitled to. As they have observed the US ignore the rules based order when it suits them, they are undoubtably going to do the same themselves.

          • Hey, I recall being concerned when the USA invaded Iraq and the precedent this set, Bush’s (and John Howard’s) corrupt behaviour however does not excuse China and its belligerence

          • @Alex Q
            ”Hey, I recall being concerned when the USA invaded Iraq and the precedent this set, Bush’s (and John Howard’s) corrupt behaviour however does not excuse China and its belligerence”

            No one said it did. The point is the Chinese wont give a sh!t who it is that gets elected. They see the same corporate elites pulling the strings that many of us here see as well. What they will see though is that the US can and often does, choose to ignore the rules-based order when it suits its interests (ie: the interests of its elites). They will also see that they (the US) get away with it. So much for the rules-based order. They see the world as a grab bag of goodies that the powerful can enjoy thanks to this history.

            Greater independence for Australia is going to be more important going forward than it has been in the past and we need to place a greater value on our loyalty. Just my 2c

    • Stop reading the Australian mate. This website has never gotten anything right on China – ever – not once.

      During the trade war right up until a few months ago it was claiming China was dependent on Australia and there is nothing it could do – and on that basis was advocating slashing all other areas of export to China.

      The single dumbest thing I have ever seen in my life.

      Do you seriously think – for one SECOND that the countries in Asia that have been repeatedly- not just once or twice, invaded, bombed occupied and slaughtered by the western axis would prefer the west over China who has never invaded anyone and has only sought to increase prosperity amongst its neighbors

      There really is some seriously delusional people around here who have been sucked in by propaganda HOOK LINE AND SINKER.

      Its incredible just how gullible you are.

      • Delusional? you say “China who has never invaded anyone” think Tibet, Vietnam, India and Korea and the Philippine fishermen unable to access their waters, propping up the Myanmar regime because it suits them, using Pakistan to attack India, and what about the stated aim to annex Taiwan, the Senakus and then on to Okinawa?

        • Agree, Lord Elgin 8th, sounds like the typical liberal White who hates the West, who assumes he knows what Asian people in Asia think of the West vis a vis China, and assumes they view it through the same lens as he.

          What he fails to understand, because he hasn’t spent extensive time with the Asians he is talking for, except through his own progressive Western elite circles, is they actually don’t think like him, or have a great concern about what the West may have done in the past… because their modern and immediate concerns trump them. They aren’t afraid of a resurgence of a Western imperial order, for one thing, like us, they see that this is beyond us, but they KNOW it isn’t beyond China, and see China’s belligerence as much more relevant to them, and their nations, than failed imperial Western adventures in the Middle East.

          They have 50 years or more experience with the West, burying the hatchet, and prospering through trade, very much in their favour and against that of the interests of Western people. They’ve done very well out of trade with China as well.. but also had lots of penalties extracted from them on that side, and been forced to make many concessions.

          Lastly, when Westerners visit their country, despite some yobbos, they mostly see respectful people – talk to people in Asia about Chinese tourists, and see what they say about them.

          Most of Asia leans towards a Western counterbalance to China, at all levels of society except those directly captured by or in service to China. That doesn’t mean they will all stay that way, or that China can’t pressure them over to their side… but it does mean for now, many have an interest in a hedge against China having the region to itself without opposition.

          • He’s the hypersonic quantum laser death-ray rail gun guy. He displays that foaming at the mouth type of writing common with pro-CCP nutters.

            Your descriptions of where Asia stands now re China I would say are very accurate, speaking after over 25 years living and working in Asia.

      • Oh C’mom non-member new account Chinese intelligece Astroturfer dude who appears here when there’s something happening the CCP doesn’t like. That’s the worst astroturfing I’ve seen from you guys in years. I thought you Chinese were supposed to be masters of subtlety…you know…Sun Tzu and all that sh1t.

        This is hopeless. Seriously. Do better.

      • Frank DrebinMEMBER

        Yes indeed, China’s neighbours definitely see them as a benevolent force for good and not evil. Just ask the punters in Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Tibet, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Possible I missed some.

        Reaching just a touch there mate.

        Sticking it to the French probably earns Australia more credit points than siding with the US and UK.

  2. Hugh White never changes. The answer’s always China, from there you work backwards to the question.

  3. Land beats water every time?

    Of all the stupid things Keating has ever said, that may be the stupidest.

    As a counter f’rinstance, Churchill said that the U-Boat peril was the only thing that frightened him during WW2.

    As another, how would China physically take over Taiwan without ships?

    Shipping, commerce, navies, power and influence all go hand in hand. No wonder the country is so r00ted, after having imbeciles like him running the show.

    Strategically, the main thing that hinders China is that it’s largely land locked, and it’s access to world trade is via the South China Sea which makes it easy to bottle them up and strangle them. Their might army won’t threaten anybody if it can’t get on ships and go places.

    Sea power is what it’s all about.

    • Nick the GreekMEMBER

      Agree 100% – you don’t need to invade China to win a war – you need to cut off the sea routes and starve them out – the belt and road to nowhere won’t save them going through some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world – where a few strategically placed bombs could wipe out their road and rail networks almost instantly – good luck getting your goods over the Hindu Kush emperor Xi…

      • The best thing is, their sea routes don’t need to be cut in the South China Sea where they have ships and fortified islands out the wazoo. They can be cut in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, where their piss weak little coastal navy will be laughed to scorn and then sunk. Can you image the Chinese navy trying to control the seas from South Africa to Cape Horn? It is to laugh.

        Let them sail in pointless and angry little circles in the SCS, waiting for their stupid fortified islands to turn into clouds of dust. Think of a fortified island as an aircraft carrier that has been stuck in a well known location with a broken engine for many years, and you’ll start to understand why the western missile targeting people are so chipper these days.

        The Chinese are so fcked, and I suspect they know it, which is why they are behaving like naughty, spoiled children on the international stage. Their recent wolf-warrier idiocy speaks of their weakness, not strength.

        If there was to be a shooting war with China, it would be short and hilarious.

        Ultimately, China, as it always does, will sink back into famine, civil war, chaos and irrelevance. That’s just what they do.

        Finally, how do they expect people to take them seriously when their Great Leader is the spittin’ image of Winnie the Pooh?

    • Agreed. Which is also what makes Australia vulnerable as we import 90%+ of our refined petroleum.

      • Yep. If any middle power needs an outside navy, it’s Australia. We’re an island FFS, just like Britain.

        The thing is, China doesn’t have enough Navy to blockade Australia and deal with everything else that would be going on at the same time.

        As I’ve said here previously, Xi has screwed the pooch massively, and will be lucky to end up having his organs harvested. The Chinese were doing well, smiling, nodding and gradually taking over the world. If they’d done that for another 50 years they would have succeeded. But Xi wanted to be the Great Man who lead China to its True Place in The World. He pissed off a lot of people, Trump happened, Covid happened, and the world woke up.

        Now, every country in the world is giving China the stink-eye. They have zero allies, and they’re stuck there in their land bound, polluted, fcked up sh1t hole knowing that nobody loves them.

        The men of the CCP Central Committee must be wallowing in a cold slimy muck-sweat every night, as they stare at the ceiling and think bout how truly fcked they are.

        • Even StevenMEMBER

          There is truth in what you say. If China had played the long game, they would be a global superpower with significant influence and perhaps even respect.

          As it is, they might yet be a superpower, but only from sheer force of numbers and economic heft.

        • Yes, but with the focus on electric cars, I see us screwing the pooch as well. We should be focusing on reducing our dependence on cars while electrifying our transport options

    • Soviets chills and cold did not get from winter, during ww2, it came from mention of Uboats.
      Of course a waning power of seas would fear subs, China is a country that would defend on land or near its border. Only thing stupidest than attacking Xina from seas to land is attacking US(SR) from the Gulf

    • “Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: “Do not go fighting with your land armies in China”. It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.”

      – Bernard Montgomery

      If there is a hot war with China, the US can’t fight it on land. It will have to strangle supply chains and access to oil. Kinda hard to do when China is a global supply chain and can retrofit factories for whatever is required and has the manpower.

  4. Folllow the money…

    I wonder what money these useful idiots are being pains to be traitors?

    Australia having nuclear attack subs is a powerful defence against war with China.

    And what’s the alternative they are suggesting? Raise the white flag and join the tibetans and Uyghurs as Chinese slaves and abandon everything our forebears built and did. Paul Keating can go screw himself. Arse…

      • Yeah, but armies are never for defence. It’s all linguistic bullsh1t.

        Before 1947, the US Defence Department was known as the War Department, and it was run by the Secretary of War.

        If you have guns and men to wield them, it’s not about defence. It’s about using the threat of death to make people do what you want.

        How many wars has Australia been involved in, and how many have been about defending Australia?

        • @ LSDCHP

          That strawman is dead for good… kudos
          however…
          As much as armies are indeed violence on display, a critical difference exists in its use as an offensive force and for defence. If someone attacked and invaded your country, then the use of the violence is defensive. If you sent your army half way across the world to fight a perceived threat on their own soil or their doorstep, that act has nothing to do with defence.

          “How many wars has Australia been involved in, and how many have been about defending Australia?”
          WW1, WW2… that’s about it.
          The rest is about tax in blood we had to pay our overlords and resident bully

          • C'est de la folieMEMBER

            Hey wow, its Djenka the Russia troll. I thought you’d gone over to some other site…..

            My thinking on the China response to the AUKUS announcement.

            There are an awful lot of questions to ask – and I would be starting with Australia’s ability to afford and sustain the commitment it seems to be buying into – but there is a lot of complete baloney in the Chinese angle too…..

            New Aukus alliance yet another threat to peace and stability
            American, British and Australian security defence pact aims to counter Beijing’s growing regional influence and strength, but is more likely to trigger an arms race
            https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3149212/new-aukus-alliance-yet-another-threat-peace-and-stability

            The mutual trust and cooperation essential for Australia to have good diplomatic relations with China have been all but dashed by its prime minister, Scott Morrison. There is little chance of President Xi Jinping taking up his offer of talks after his joining with American and British leaders Joe Biden and Boris Johnson to form a new security alliance aimed at countering Beijing’s growing regional influence and strength.

            The deal means a sharing of technology that will enable Canberra to have its first nuclear-powered submarines and long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles and formally acknowledges a perceived Chinese military threat.

            OK. I can buy much of that. Whatever trust there was is gone and there is something more formal in terms of acknowledging Chinese ‘threat’……

            But lets be a touch realistic. It isn’t as though the threat didn’t exist, and it isn’t as though China doesn’t amplify that threat at whatever point of irritation comes – lets start with:-

            expressions of concern about the treatment of Uyghurs and the peoples of East Turkestan (Xinjiang)
            – any form of engagement with the Dalai Llama or expression of concern about the treatment of the peoples of Tibet.
            – expressions of support for democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong,
            – acknowledgement that there is a very large island off the coast of China called Taiwan which has seemingly created a relatively prosperous plausibly ‘democratic’ society of the type the Americans (and us) keep banging on about which they (and we) would prefer was not subjected to a military invasion of the type China sees as a ‘right’
            – questioning about China’s approach to militarising and laying claim to areas of the South China Sea which other nations have claims to, and though which large amounts of global trade flow

            and of course that is prior to considering the state of human rights inside China for the Chinese people, concerns about very very obvious corruption in China which is also obviously flowing to places like Australia, the UK and the United States, and rising questions in those locations and jurisdictions about whether that type of ‘investment’ [particularly into residential real estate] is unquestionably a good thing. It is also before any look at whether Chinese security types walk the streets of other countries looking for military and technological information which they can use, often ‘policing’ and maintaining pressure on the Chinese populations in those nations, and reasonably regularly ensuring a security presence at demonstrations either by these peoples (notably students) or about issues China espouses are China’s alone to consider.

            Ensuring peace, safety and stability in the Indo-Pacific were cited as the reason for the pact, although it could have the opposite effect; it is more likely to trigger an arms race and perturb some neighbouring countries.

            Biden stressed the submarines would be nuclear-powered, not armed.

            Note the use of the word ‘could’ rather than ‘would’ or ‘should’ or ‘will’. It could also have lots of effects ranging from providing some sort of support for nations which feel they have issues with Chinese territorial claims and military threats – that would start with Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, in the Southern regions, and Korea and Japan to the North.

            Presumably it will make the Chinese at least consider the implications of their regularly bellicose behaviour towards all of these. Countries believing the word ‘perturb’ could encapsulate their thoughts about the strategic environment are probably already ‘perturbed’ by quite a lot, and the discomfiture of the AUKUS announcement is going to be a reflection of acknowledgement that 30 years after we thought the last cold war was over, we fairly obviously have a new one – meaning they need to make strategic calculations they had got used to not worrying about.

            The use of nuclear power actually has a logic for Australia – not the only logic, but a logic . Nuclear submarines actually remain operational longer, go deeper, and have a greater range. The importance of these attributes stems from Australia’s use of submarines – which revolves around the concept of ‘Strategic Strike’.

            Once upon a time Australia’s ‘strategic strike’ capacity was carried aloft in F111’s which could fly to wherever was plausibly required, deliver a payload, and make any potential adversary think ‘we would rather they didn’t do that’. That capacity disappeared as the nations of SE Asia became technologically advanced and developed capacity to blow F111s out of the sky. The Hawke government, recognising this, opted for future strategic strike capability to come from Australia’s submarines, which were converted from the Otway Class – essentially subs designed and built to go and shoot at other subs or ships – to the Collins class – which were more designed to remain at sea for long periods and have scope to launch something unpleasant at places a long way away. The Collins class are now old, and the new replacement will presumably mean Australia goes longer the subs are the strategic strike weapon of choice – anyone noting the difficulties in locating the wreckage of MH 370 and the interest of a whole load of countries in sending search capacity to the waters off West Australia would not be an idiot if they concluded ‘you could park a lot of things out there and nobody would find it’ They would also be on solid conceptual ground if they thought there was a lot of interest in seeing what other countries capacity to find things in deep water was.

            The partnership is momentous for Australia, amounting to the country’s most significant shift in defence and strategic direction for decades. Known as “Aukus”, the grouping seeks to strengthen the military capabilities of the three nations in the Indian and Pacific oceans region in the face of growing rivalry with Beijing.

            The deal comes ahead of the first in-person White House meeting of the leaders of the Quad countries, an informal alliance that on Friday will bring the United States, Australia, India and Japan together for what they contend are common regional challenges – again, with Beijing at the centre.

            Nothing much to disagree with there. It is a momentous decision for Australia and one which overturns a generations worth of ‘engagement’ with China which was the basis for much of Australia’s economic policy over the period from mid 1990s to now.

            Not surprisingly, Beijing’s response to the announcement was harsh. As with the Quad, it accused the three nations of having a cold war mentality and ideological prejudice.

            There is good reason for such a reaction; military alliances throughout history have caused more instability than safety. That will be especially so should Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, which are stealthier and faster than conventional ones and will boost the strength of its security alliance with the US.

            In turn, China and Russia could perceive a greater threat and boost their military capabilities and perhaps even form their own bloc.

            Of course the Chinese response is entirely predictable, and for good reason. Its views and actions in the world – which it tends to see as its ‘right’ and which it tends to see as entirely reasonable from a Chinese perspective, and in which it reaches ‘agreements’ with other nations with these factoring in Chinese military power – are now likely to be, at least at the margins, more questionable or more contestable. And those nations who have questions about Chinese actions or propositions, or would like to somehow contest them, are likely to have a more supportive reception, and may change their behaviours simply because of this. That doesn’t necessarily mean the other nations are right or the Chinese always wrong, but simply that there is an avenue for questioning and contesting what the Chinese do or say – and in this it may offer more support for those nations and their views than the processes China has engaged them with.

            China and Russia have been boosting their militaries for a generation now – often with good reason – and have already formed what the rest of the world sees as a bloc. Would the writers of this editorial suggest that if AUKUS didn’t go ahead then Russia and China would cease their militarisations? Part of the US reengagement with the UK and Australia surely rests on the idea that the US (having had its Trump moment) doesn’t think going it alone is a viable strategy, and that if it is to rejuvenate its alliances then nations with whom it shares a common language and broadly similar cultural and legislative approaches is as good a place as any to start. The real, and mounting risk for China is that other nations – notably Japan and the EU, but also likely Mexico, Canada, and India – will come to some form of agreement with AUKUS on strategic matters. And it is this ‘threat’ China is most concerned about

            The US and its allies claim China is being more aggressive and assertive. Chinese are increasingly nationalistic, but their military is modernising to protect sovereignty and interests.

            Beijing prefers to use diplomacy to resolve problems with other countries. State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made that clear during his latest trip to the region, saying during his stop in Singapore that the US needed to view China’s development “in an objective and rational way”.

            Countries need to cooperate with China, not see it as a danger. Aukus, the Quad and similar alliances pose a threat to stability.

            I read this paragraph as acknowledgement of China being more nationalistic and assertive, which does often come across as aggression. How do they expect the rest of the world to respond? Simply roll over and buckle? Would they respect those nations that did roll over and buckle? And what forms would that respect take?

            Of course Beijing prefers diplomacy – all nations prefer diplomacy until the point where they don’t, and it is generally their capacity at that point which determines their positioning and cut out points within the diplomacy. While Wang Yi is no doubt right that the Americans should view the Chinese development – much of which they have openly facilitated and which they have, like the UK and Australia, subordinated domestic interests and capacity (notably in manufacturing) to facilitate – “in an objective and rational way” would it also be true to say the Chinese should view the rest of the world in the same manner? And at that point would global dispute settling and consultative fora, of the type China disparages when these come to conclusions China disagrees with, where everyone can set out what their objective and rational interests are and how they can come to agreement with them?

            The answer to this ultimately comes in the last sentence, AUKUS and the Quad may well pose a threat to stability, but they pose no threat to stability that the Chinese haven’t been posing for a long time. And while countries may we need to cooperate with China, it is no less true that China could bring itself to cooperate with them as well.

            ……and presumably now that everyone around those strategic tables is unwrapping their rejuvenated hardware, the first thing they will all be able to agree upon is ‘we would all rather not use any of this’…..

  5. Doesnt China have 40 of these?

    I guess it sends a message to China if they ever decide to mess with Australia. ” We dont take sh*t “.

    Hurt our mainland and we hurt yours. Sounds fair.

  6. The Brits have managed to build one attack sub every three years or so ……… First one laid down in 2001. They have 4 out of the 7 ordered. Get real guys. No nucular subs for us in the foreseeable future unless the Yanks lend us a couple of theirs. Or the Frogs might. 🙂 This denouement should have been planned for and carried through when we launched the first Collins class sub way back when. Massive fail guys. Jingoism now is a poor substitute.

  7. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/programs/breakfast/rogerb/13546476

    “Modelling from a number of researchers at ANU suggests that by 2050 it is likely that our oceans will become so ‘transparent’ thanks to technology advancement that submarines will become useless as deterrent weaponry.”

    It’s not about China. It’s not about deterrence. It’s about profit.

    France knows. It just lost the ‘deal of the century’ to the US and UK.

    Straya. Milked.

    • Nick the GreekMEMBER

      Because modelling is always so accurate. I think we would be in the great freeze by now no? At least according to the climate scientists of the 70’s and 80’s.

      But that’s not the point – think big picture – China has tried for the last 15yrs or more to pull australia into its orbit via trade. We have decisively picked a side and the dye is cast. There was only ever one option for australia as a liberal democracy – but we have at least made it official now and thrown our cards onnthe table. The next great power struggle begins – the game is afoot. There is no more pretending where we are headed – and I thank that. We are decisively for the liberal empire as it should be.

      • ye… transparent as a glass of shandy they’ll be.

        https://www.amna.gr/en/article/585928/Greece-China-Year-of-Culture–Tourism-in-2021-event-held-in-Athens

        But Greece has the right idea.

        The whole EU will now play this stupid deal to its benefit.

        Oh, and Straya ….

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/aukus-australia-nuclear-target-china-b1921649.html

        “Australia could be ‘nuclear war target’ in new Aukus defence pact”

        Milked. Dudded. Abused. Straya!

        By Boris and a US president who can’t even remember Scomo’s name.

        There’s lots of laughing going on.

        • Nick the GreekMEMBER

          Australia was always a target of China – either by coercion or potential occupation. Coercion has failed and occupation has become a whole lot less likely thanks to AUKUS.

          We are dealing with an illiberal empire that enslaves and kills it’s own citizens – there is no middle way. I’m happy we are all the way with the USA. The alternative – an illiberal slave state is unthinkable. time to get onboard.

          • Absolute BeachMEMBER

            Well said Nick. And none of the Chyna Shills above have even mentioned that we were about to pay for diesel subs- which was beyond stupid. I am glad my tax is paying for 15 years of service from viable nuclear subs- and weapons systems easily re-armed with US tech.

          • Even StevenMEMBER

            Completely agree, Nick. The number of people who are prepared to give away their freedoms for the hope of making themselves a small target is disappointing.

            Enough countries do that and indeed, China will prevail.

            As others have said, I’m entirely happy for my taxes to go towards the procurement of nuclear subs. I’m also secretly happy at thumbing our nose at the French who by all accounts felt they had Australia over a barrel in Naval Group negotiations.

            They appeared to forget the golden rule: the client is always right.

        • Nick the GreekMEMBER

          Nick the Greek – was a gambler – perhaps the greatest gambler the world has ever seen – he lost and won hundreds of millions of dollars in Vegas – that’s what the name refers to – not that I am actually Greek. I’m not – but I do love the double headed Phoenix.

          • Nick the GreekMEMBER

            “The game is already lost Nick.”

            You only lose the game if you refuse to play.

            For a (presumed) aussie you have little faith in the enduring power of democracy – which has continued to assert itself over more than 5,000 years – starting with the Greek city states and lasting to this very day.

            A lot longer than any communist regime I would bet.

          • I see, thanks. I worry about Straya though. Easily influenced, swayed, shafted, abused. Drawn into another long-term rolling farce with this deal. All the way with the USA. But it may not end as nicely as the Afghanistan humiliation. China ain’t Afghanistan.

            I wish Straya stood on its own two feet. Made its own decisions for once.
            But no.

          • Greece was ruled by Tyrants – its LITERALLY where the word came from – and Rome devolved into Autocracy almost as soon as it was formed.

            Outside of that there has been – literally NO DEMOCRACY anywhere in the world for all of your stated period – right up until the founding of Republics post Revolutions.

            It is the single LEAST consistent form of governance in world history.

          • Nick the GreekMEMBER

            Maybe is we increased defence spending to 10% of GDP we could stand on our own two feet. But unless we go ‘Toal war’ we. As a middle power will always be dependent on a big brother. That big brother is the US. I’d rather that outcome than China as our big brother / overlord.

            Good to know your hearts in the right place though!

            However geopolitical reality will always trump utopian ideas.

          • “Outside of that there has been – literally NO DEMOCRACY anywhere in the world for all of your stated period – right up until the founding of Republics post Revolutions.
            It is the single LEAST consistent form of governance in world history.”

            I don’t think that’s quite correct?

            The Vikings had democratic traditions dating back to prehistoric times, which spread to the British Isles culminating with the Magna Carta in 1215.

            Scandinavia has practiced democracy for millennia, and Australia’s democratic foundations lie as much in Norway as they do in Greece.

    • Ah…look…I have some knowledge of this field, and those ANU models are as reliable as Treasury economic forecasts. Those boffins will sit there for decades poring over their models, and constantly being surprised at how the world must be wrong because it doesn’t match their models.

      Seriously…there are chaotic aspects to the propagation of signals through

      • Frank DrebinMEMBER

        Must be a six sigma event which our models show is an impossibility of ever happening (eg, the GFC ?).

        Forecasting – you can never be proven wrong and no-one is held to account. Unless it’s the repercussions of an unauthorised pub excursion of a Friday afternoon….

  8. Nick the GreekMEMBER

    “Greece was ruled by Tyrants – its LITERALLY where the word came from – and Rome devolved into Autocracy almost as soon as it was formed.

    Outside of that there has been – literally NO DEMOCRACY anywhere in the world for all of your stated period – right up until the founding of Republics post Revolutions.

    It is the single LEAST consistent form of governance in world history”

    Sure I’ll give you that. They were overtaken by tyrants and fell. Interesting that 5,000 years later the idea still endures no?

    As Churchill once said – “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”

    I’m backing the US empire to endure.

    • The US will endure if we keep paying it to endure. Which is why the French are so annoyed, they wanted the dosh! It was their deal!

      So in the end, it’s not so much about geopolitics as it is about greed.

      Nick, I think these subs will be completely useless well before they come into service (2037-2040 if things go to plan!). Advanced satellite technology will track all subterranean activity from space in real-time well before then. Which is another reason why the americans are finally happy to sell their technology. It has a use-by date.

      But, don’t worry.
      The fellow-from-down-under knows best.

  9. “The simple fact is Australia is going to do its bit within the US liberal empire……”

    “Liberal” is not the word I would use to describe the current paths of either the U.S. or Australia. “Empire” is about right, though.

  10. Like someone else said they never offer an alternative.
    Realisticly Australia standing on its own two feet would involve conscription or nuclear weapons possibly both i.e Israel .
    And at least a doubling of defense spending as a gdp % .

  11. Australia should start this agreement by leasing some of the older Los Angeles class ships. That gives us capability right away, it gives us time to have the new subs built, it gives us time to train the crews and learn tactics. And most of all, it makes it much harder for the ALP to back out, which being the spineless pack of bastards they are, they’ll try.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      I’m expecting something like this will be announced as an “interim” measure for training etc. We need to plug the gap.

  12. This is all reduces to zero the resistance to voting Labor as far as MB should be concerned. Choo chooo! Alll aboard the Labor express !

    • Even StevenMEMBER

      No. Hard for Labor to back out of the nuc sub deal, but wouldn’t surprise me if they seek to pull back from fully committing to the alliance (which could happen in myriad ways including being reluctant to have US forces stationed in Australia).

      It would be fairer to say my reluctance to vote Labor has only been slightly reduced.

  13. So the old fool is comparing a mission to surpress radical insurgents living amongst their own people, civilians who we try not to kill with fighting another states military? Why would anyone take him seriously.

    • Frank DrebinMEMBER

      What if – “they are already among us” ?!.

      Like that show “V” !!.

      Check under your bed tonight for good measure.

  14. Spare a thought for those workers in the sub construction industry in SA. Spent all those years learning the ropes and now? Likely to go the way of the car industry over there. What a clusterfuck this is turning out to be. Seventy five years ago we had a heavy manufacturing industry to be truly proud of. And now? Battleship grey Macmansion industry driven by a toxic mix of government-sponsored greed and desperation. Straya!

    • Even StevenMEMBER

      My understanding is much of sub construction will still occur in SA. Your source / link please?

      • Lead time for a new build is likely to be at least a decade (Check out the UK experience for a list of glitches). Guess they’ll play tiddlywinks in the meantime. All good. No worries. Have a nice day.

  15. The problem as I see it is if China has ambitions and thinks it can militarily stroll into Taiwan uncontested, any ensuing conflict pretty much has to go overwhelmingly nuclear on day 1 to be of sufficient deterrence and punishment.
    That is a frightening thought.

  16. I see in the news that AUKUS seems to be going very nicely for the Smuggo govt

    And I predict that the ultimate price Australia will pay in lost global and regional trade & respect will far outweigh the benefit that will come in 20 years time from totally obsolete boats. China has rovers on other worlds and its own space station ffs. But Oz will have subs in 2040! The Chinese are laughing their — off.

    Smuggo must be having second thoughts. If not, he will once he sees how the EU will exact severe economic revenge for this backhander.

    It will go down in history as one of the biggest uppercuts Straya’s ever given itself.

    And everybody knows it.

  17. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    “Eight Australian nuclear powered submarines will make no difference … For that reason it’s the wrong move.”

    This seems like broken marginal thinking at its best. By this logic, you could marginally dismantle the entire armed forces, because each piece you remove makes “no difference”. I don’t know much about Hugh White, but this sentence is very unimpressive.

      • I know a lot about Hugh White and that piece of logic struck me as odd also. Waterloo was ‘the closest run battle [the Duke of Wellington had] ever seen’. Battles are won by the people that turn up and a few more nuclear subs means a few more people turning up. In the unlikely and unfortunate event that they need to be used in anger … providence is on the side with the bigger battalions.