JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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David Archibald: Australia Defence Policy (plus Perth speech Weds 7pm)

Australia's Defence

Perth readers: Free Public Lecture Australia’s Defence
By David Archibald, 7:00pm at the Irish Club, Perth, WA.  Wednesday 25th May 2016

[Hear the 2GB interview with David last October]

__________________________________

David asked to crowdsource policies for the upcoming election, so China, Subs, RAAF, F-35s and more below…

Defence Policy

by David Archibald

The world is becoming more dangerous as US predominance recedes. A revanchist Russia is not expected to trouble Australia. The biggest near term threat is Chinese aggression in East Asia. Chinese attempts to expand its territory are quite likely to lead to war with a number of southeast Asian states, Japan and the United States. Australia will become involved because of our treaties with Japan and the United States. The worst outcome is that China wins a conflict in East Asia and dictates terms to Australia and other countries. A war in East Asia, whatever the outcome, is likely to result in countries acquiring nuclear weapons to counter aggressive hegemons like China.

Australia will return defence spending to 3% of GDP, below Cold War levels but up from the current target of 2%.

Australia will further develop our defence ties with Japan and the United States.

Australia will also participate in the long war against Islamic extremism as entities like ISIS use their territory to undertake attacks on the West.  As long as the likes of ISIS do not have ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile systems capable of reaching 20,000 feet then this war should be conducted by low cost aircraft (turboprop transport aircraft dropping GPS and laser-guided munitions) rather than fighter aircraft.

Thus Australia should prepare for a dichotomy in operations:

  1. Against high-level threats such as China.
  2. Low cost containment operations against ISIS and its analogues.

The RAAF is the first line of defence. Control of the airspace over Australia and the gap to the Indonesian archipelago is vitally important. That cannot be achieved with the current intended purchase of F-35 aircraft. The F-35 is a light bomber which will be shot down by more capable enemy fighter aircraft. Australia will limit its purchase of F-35s to those we are currently contractually obligated to buy.

In terms of cost and performance, the best fighter aircraft available to Australia currently is the Saab Gripen E. Australia will replicate the deal that Brazil did with Saab for manufacture of this advanced jet in country. In the interim Australia will acquire existing Gripen C and D (two seater) aircraft from stocks in Sweden and/or South Africa to provide Australian aircrew experience in operating from remote airfields in Australia’s north.

Australia also requires a far larger transport aircraft fleet. To build on the existing fleet, Australia will acquire C-295 aircraft from Airbus and the PSL M28 Skytruck. The latter would be built in Australia.

Australia will also convert transport jet aircraft to deliver anti-ship cruise missiles and land attack cruise missiles.

The RAN’s primary offensive weapon will be submarines. The Collins class submarines are unreliable and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Australia will develop submarine bases on the east coast and more on the west coast. To build our submarine force quickly, more than one type of submarine might be acquired.

A stretched version of the Soryu submarine is the optimum conventional replacement for the Collins class because of its quality, price and the fact that it will be available almost immediately. Virginia class nuclear submarines would contribute to the force structure. [*David wrote this before the deal with the French was announced on subs. - Jo]

Surface presence will be provided by frigate-sized vessels.  Surface vessels these days are pre-occupied with self-defence against missiles and torpedoes that can be launched from considerable distances away. The task of sinking enemy combatants will be undertaken largely by aircraft and submarines.

The larger the Australian Army, the larger any invading force has to be. Currently Australia can only field one armoured brigade at a time. The size of our armoured forces needs to be increased at least five-fold. Australia will adopt the doctrine of detecting enemy forces at as great a range as possible and to destroy enemy concentrations at as great a range as possible.

_____________________________________________________________________
Perth Wednesday:  7:00pm at the Irish Club, Perth, WA.  Wednesday 25th May 2016

61 Townshend Road, Subiaco
(between Hay St and Churchill Avenue)
Doors open at 6:30pm

David’s book ‘Australia’s Defence’ (Connor Court). The lecture includes 126 slides and will take one and a half hours. For a copy of the slide presentation, email: davidarchibald AT australianliberty.org

_____________________________________________________________________

ABOUT: David Archibald is a long running big-thinker skeptical friend who has written great books, and interesting papers on all kinds of things including the correlation between solar cycle length and global temperature in the next solar cycle which (fits with David Evans’ work on the 11 year delay). He is standing for the ALA in Curtin  in the coming election.

His writing on Defence is getting attention. The top link probably is the quickest short summary of his themes. As usual, no punches pulled!

Some other posts by, with, or on David Archibald:

Archibald is always provocative and entertaining.

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71 comments to David Archibald: Australia Defence Policy (plus Perth speech Weds 7pm)

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘It is time for Australia to awake from its torpor and prepare for what is coming. We need more submarines and quickly. The F-35 will be shot out of the sky, but there is a better alternative.’

    If the Donald becomes president it would be prudent to join the non-aligned movement.

    The F35 is an expensive lemon but the French subs we have ordered are sufficient to create the right impression. The reality is that China’s submarine fleet could nuke every US city in the blink of an eye.

    Archibald has the dictatorship all wrong, China will take over the world through commerce and not war.

    63

    • #
      AndyG55

      At least Brisbane and Sydney are safe….

      …China is hardly likely to nuke its own people.

      92

    • #

      The best way to avoid war is to make everyone rich. Capitalism is the only way to do so. All other ways are based on appropriation of someone else’s riches through force like Japanese and Nazis 70 years ago. Even today’s peacetime robbery of taxpayers won,t last forever.

      However, I believe China, just like Russia, needs the west, and it’s culture of individuality that allows innovation. From my personal experience: 1.3 billion people in China and I did not come across many geoscientist that think out of the box. This is cultural and this skill no amount of money can buy.

      80

      • #
        Mike

        Dariusz, very few people/corporations/countries purchased with cash, most borrowed and the amount of money/debt that can be borrowed is seemingly limitless.

        From: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-23/were-eye-global-financial-hurricane
        We’re In The Eye Of A Global Financial Hurricane
        “– Extraordinary wealth and income inequality, as those closest to the central bank money/credit spigots can scoop up income-producing assets first at much lower costs than Mom and Pop Main Street investors.”

        40

        • #
          Mike

          I disagree “The best way to avoid war is to make everyone rich.”

          In my opinion, the best way to avoid war is to make usury a crime again.

          60

        • #

          What you discribe is “crony capitalism” which is an affront to the world capitalism. This has nothing to do with capitalism which champions free competition etc. Creation of growth based on debt or no value has nothing do with the system that we all have in mind.

          The reason why i said about the wealth is simple. If you have nothing you have nothing to loose. China and Russia wealth growth has reduced the risk of war considerably.

          20

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘The best way to avoid war is to make everyone rich. Capitalism is the only way to do so.’

        We can’t all be rich at the same time, capitalism would grind to a halt.

        China wants to create a middle class world, giving Africans and Outer Mongolians equal opportunity to strive upwards in a free enterprise system.

        When you look back over the past few hundred years its clear to see that the Europeans first exploited Africans as slaves and when that fell flat they exploited the continent’s other natural resources.

        In all capitalist nations a minority of people hold most of the wealth. Do you have a problem with this?

        24

        • #

          The wealth that the west posses came from hard work and innovation. Nothing to do with slavery. Industrial revolution was not nor based on slavery either despite the images of kids working long hours in the factories. Within less than a generation Germany became a superpower just before the 1st war and after 2nd war. No African slaves involved.

          30

          • #
            el gordo

            ‘Nothing to do with slavery.’

            Rubbish, the slave trade was huge up until is was banned just before the Industrial Revolution. Do some reading and take off those rose colored glasses.

            02

            • #

              Good old wiki.
              Again Germans did not have any slaves, the same with Japanese.( and don,t give me the 2WW examples as this is irrelevant and this contributed destruction). American strength is not based on slavery. Just campare how backward was the South with the north. Britain strength is based on industrial revolution and pls don,t tell me that Jamaican sugar was pivotal in Britains wealth. Oz wealth has no slave labour.
              Capitalism and not just the crony variety is solely responsible for wealth creation.
              Next time you tell me when I came over here with just one backpack and 20 years later paid millions of dollars in taxes is because of getting better off by using slaves.
              Capitalism is freedom of choice. If you don,t like it, stop whinging and change your job. Mutual agreement, no one was forced including the children of the industrial revolution.

              30

              • #
                el gordo

                ‘Slavery transformed America into an economic power. The exploitation of black people for free labor made the South the richest and most politically powerful region in the country. British demand for American cotton made the southern stretch of the Mississippi River the Silicon Valley of its era, boasting the single largest concentration of the nation’s millionaires.

                ‘But slavery was a national enterprise. Many firms on Wall Street such as JPMorgan Chase, New York Life and now-defunct Lehman Brothers made fortunes from investing in the slave trade the most profitable economic activity in New York’s 350 year history. Slavery was so important to the city that New York was one of the most pro-slavery urban municipalities in the North.’

                Atlanta Blackstar

                ———-

                Australia was built on the backs of convicts, only a slight step above slavery.

                [This is all way off topic. Please let it end here.] ED

                01

            • #
              nightspore

              el gordo,

              You’re not speaking to the point; essentially you’re making an ad hominem argument. If slavery were so essential to the capitalism, why did the West lead in its abolition? (And were the Arabs better capitalists – is that why the slave trade continued there after the Western slave trade was abolished?) Some people seem to find it convenient to point to problems that are part of the human condition and ascribe them to a particular economic system that they don’t care for.

              00

          • #
            el gordo

            Abolition in fact happened at different times and different places.

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

            00

        • #
          Mike

          In all nations with private banks, the banks hold most of the wealth. Big corporations, big oil, big energy are all in debt slavery to banks. The banks even own the currency.

          Inexorably, each country could be named according to which creditor owns the greatest number of debt and Carbon slaves,

          Good grief!!

          00

      • #
        ianl8888

        … not come across many geoscientist that think out of the box

        I have to agree, somewhat reluctantly. I did work with a few that had that ability but I had to prod most of them towards their “Eureka”-type moments.

        00

    • #
      J.H.

      “Archibald has the dictatorship all wrong, China will take over the world through commerce and not war.”

      Really El Gordo?….Which is why they’re pumping 215 Billion (US)dollars into their military, officially (and probably 2 or 3 times that unofficially), while building military bases on reefs and threatening their neighbors… because they’re gonna do it ” through commerce and not war”, ‘eh?

      As for the French Subs… You do realize that Australia is buying a nuclear submarine design with a novel propulsion system, none of it proven in the field….. and then converting it to diesel electric? It has no choice than to be a Lemon. The whole deal is almost guaranteed to provide a disaster.

      20

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘…because they’re gonna do it ” through commerce and not war”, ‘eh?’

        Yep.

        ‘The whole deal is almost guaranteed to provide a disaster.’

        Perhaps we should buy Chinese submarines?

        00

  • #
    Peter C

    Very few comments here about David Archibald’s book : Australia’s Defence. (I moved this comment from another thread Peter, software glitch – Jo).

    I bought it and read it and I have become a bit disturbed about the possibility of conflict erupting in the South East Asian Region due to Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea. Chinese fort building on the Sprately Islands has no discernable purpose except territorial expansion in seas which are crucial to trade with some SEA countries.

    Austrlia is not well prepared for such a conflict and our diplomacy does not seem to be focused on the issue. Archibald’s proposes a system of alliances among south east Asian countries to contain China. That might work. Some one should tell our foreign minister Julie Bishop that she has more important things to do than visit the UN.

    Japan is crucial to such an alliance and Japan needs all the friends it can get. Choice of the Japanese submarines might have been a good one on both technical and strategic grounds. Archibald’s does not discuss the merits of the Fremch submarine design.

    Of course Archibald’s might be quite wrong and I hope he is. To understand his conclusions you have to read the book (see reference above in headline post)

    70

    • #
      Peter C

      Headline News in USA Today;
      “Russia, Cina Air Threat Gowing. – our concern is …a very very aggressive China …with China focusing much of its effort over the South Cihina Sea said AirForce General Herbert Carlisle, Their intent is for us not to be there … So that the influence in those international spaces are controlled only by them.”

      40

  • #
    Reasonable Skeptic

    It is truly sad that such tragic events happen, but risking your life means risking your life.

    41

  • #
    Jaymez

    David Archibold is a pragmatic intellectual with diverse and detailed knowledge in a wide range of subjects. I have enjoyed his books and while I hope he is wrong with some of his predictions, he mounts a very good case in support of them.

    I’ll be interested to see this presentation, and what he has to say not just about the joint strike fighters, but the decision to build the new subs in Adelaide given the atrocious history of the Collins class subs, and the already over budget and delayed AWD ships.

    51

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    In my aged opinion, US citizens admire Aussies a great deal. A considerable part for this dates back to WWII, and your part in the alliance doing disproportional work while actually under the guns of the enemy and at risk of invasion. This morphed into the archetype of an independent sort who would fell right at home on the American frontier, and more recently a better adjusted, happier, and more free civilized type resembling us before our racial troubles and leftist induced class warfare.

    Its now hard to tell who is farther along on “the Road to Serfdom”, or which of our quite different political systems will prove able, if either, to reverse the trend.

    Seeing to our defence, or not, is major in our election. Apparantly in yours as well.

    To me, the global threat is as real and tangible as it was in 1939. There are folks who want to take over everything and kill everybody whoi isn’t like them.

    Young people have been ‘educated’ that “all war is bad”. Yes, but the ones you lose are worse…a debate we need to have.

    A history lesson or two would be nice too.

    100

    • #
      el gordo

      The battle of the Coral Sea saved Australia from being taken over by the Japs, we thank the Americans for that, but on the ground at the time the US troops flooding into Australia caused great animosity among the troops and there were large punch ups over the girls.

      ‘Seeing to our defence, or not, is major in our election. Apparently in yours as well.’

      Nope its not really an issue, pretty much bipartisan, but of course South Australia would be a basket case if not for the submarine builds, apparently.

      ‘To me, the global threat is as real and tangible as it was in 1939.’

      That is incorrect, the Great Depression and a beggar my neighbour policy eventually led to WW2, China is going out of its way to prevent that happening again.

      20

      • #
        delcon2

        I seem to remember my Grandfather telling me that the Japanese didn’t want to attack Australia because they new we were armed and the sheer expanse of our country,would make it very hard to occupy Australia.The attacks were only to keep us occupied while they were busy elsewhere.

        30

      • #
        Len

        Someone said that the submarine deal in South Australia was to save 2804 jobs. 2800 workers and four Liberal politicians.

        20

      • #
        RoHa

        The battles along the Kokoda trail, at Buna, and Milne bay did a lot to keep the Japanese at bay, as well.

        But, as delcon2 says, it is by no means clear that the Japanese actually planned to invade Australia.

        10

        • #
          el gordo

          Yamamoto wanted to invade Australia with two divisions and take over the western half of the country, but Tojo said no until Burma was secured so they could team up with the Indian dissidents.

          As it turned out the battle of the Coral Sea was a decisive victory for the new US alliance.

          10

  • #

    I added in a large section of Defence policy points that David had sent me earlier in relation to another long post which really fits best with what was a little note about his speech on Wednesday. So for those who want to discuss Defence Policy, there is a lot more meat to the post.

    Unfortunately all the usual limits to moderation resources apply, but comments that stick strictly to Defence regarding ISIS / ISIL / Daesch will be approved (though they may be delayed, sorry).

    50

  • #
    Russ Wood

    Of course, if the RAAF wants Saab Gripens, they could always buy some second-hand from South Africa – after all, at least half of ours (RSA) are mothballed because of lack of finance and qualified pilots…

    51

    • #

      Gripen E are only useful for protecting small territory.Single-engined. Relatively short range. Designed more for air to air combat than for supporting surface combat.

      Far better would be the T-50 PAK-FA. Dr Carlo Kopp has an analysis on the JSF and comparable aircraft. Including the F-105 Thunderchief. ;-)

      00

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Chinese attempts to expand its territory are quite likely to lead to war with a number of southeast Asian states…’

    That’s all wrong, the area they are taking over is disputed territory and theoretically belongs to nobody.

    To be perfectly candid China is sick to death of being surrounded by the Alliance and is breaking out, so the Pontus spends days in Vietnam and lifts the arms embargo on that communist nation in an effort to contain a large dragon now aroused from its slumber.

    The greatest danger to world peace is the United States of American.

    43

    • #
      RoHa

      “Chinese attempts to expand its territory are quite likely to lead to war with a number of southeast Asian states, Japan and the United States.”

      So far China is expanding its territory by increasing the size of islands which it already owns. (If you accept the Cairo Declaration of 1943.)

      “Australia will further develop our defence ties with … the United States.”

      And thus get dragged into the stupid wars that the US wants to fight with just about everyone.

      “Australia will also participate in the long war against Islamic extremism as entities like ISIS use their territory to undertake attacks on the West.”

      While the US, Turkey, and Israel keep supplying and supporting ISIS, it will certainly be a long war. If we can persuade them to stop, the Russians and the Syrians will be able to deal with them fairly quickly.

      “The F-35 is a light bomber which will be shot down by more capable enemy fighter aircraft.”

      That’s if you can get the damned thing off the ground at all. Australia should tear up the contract.

      “In terms of cost and performance, the best fighter aircraft available to Australia currently is the Saab Gripen E.”

      Or we could buy MIGs and Sukhois. We know they work, we know they are good, and they are comparatively cheap.

      22

    • #
      Eddy Aruda

      That’s all wrong, the area they are taking over is disputed territory and theoretically belongs to nobody.

      First, they are not “taking over” the disputed seas. The United States and its allies are regularly conducting Freedom of Navigation exercises to impress upon China that there claims to international waters will not stand. If the US allowed China to hijack a waterway that is so vital to world trade it would leave the world, particularly those in the area, at the mercy of China’s whims.

      The greatest danger to world peace is the United States of American.

      The United States of America is far from perfect. At the end of the Second World War the United States had the military might to conquer the planet. Instead, she rebuilt her former foes to keep the world from living under communist oppression. Can anyone cite an historical precedent for that?

      The days of America paying more than its fair share to safeguard our allies are coming to an end. We have wasted money on wars in the middle east in a misguided attempt at nation building while our infrastructure crumbled. To be sure, Australia has always been an honorable and reliable ally but their are many countries and their citizens that complain about the Pax Americana that are going to start singing a different tune when they have to spend more of their GDP on defense.

      52

      • #
        el gordo

        We won’t have to spend more on defence, without any enemies we could buy fighter jets from China at half the price.

        Anyway the South China Sea has been China’s playground since the time of Christ and the US Alliance should take a cold shower.

        http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-05/24/c_135382327.htm

        20

        • #
          Eddy Aruda

          The rule of law must be obeyed. The Japanese thought that the Sea of Japan was their playground, too.

          And if the American navy doesn’t force China to comply with international law China will become more assertive and the Australian economy will never be able to absorb the costs of increased defense spending necessary to deter the Chinese.

          Go ahead and buy inferior warplanes from China. Without the US to have your back as they did in the Battle of the Coral Sea I don’t see things working out so well with your “friends” the Chinese. The Malacca Straits are a vital trade route and the Chinese will eventually attempt to conquer Australia to control it. They are communists and they would love to have Australia’s natural resources.

          Do you think they would sail their fleet to Australia to hold hands and sing songs?

          21

  • #
    john

    I did mention China (Gold Wind) in my latest. They really like the PTC (production Tax Credit) extension and have the blessing of some treasonous b@#T@s.

    http://dailybail.com/home/fire-breaks-out-at-worlds-largest-solar-plant.html

    40

  • #
    Glen Michel

    Obtuse defence procurements have been a chronic problem in Australia.The SAAB Grifen comes in 2 seater and single and is mult-role- a better decision would be to have purchased these instead of the F-35 which when delivered will have no ascendency over the latest Chinese and Russian aircraft.The Army, in my opinion,would be better organised into integrated”battle groups” not unlike the German “kampfgruppe” which constituted 2000-3000 personel in armoured reconnaissance, artillery and assault troops.It is high time we as a nation started to get things right.

    31

  • #
    Walt Allensworth

    By a large margin, the largest consumer of Chinese goods is the US.
    It’s pretty unlikely that China is going to risk that relationship any time soon.
    It’s always good to be vigilant, however.
    Clearly they are spending newly-earned money on nation building and defence, and expanding their sphere of influence.
    So is Russia, of course, and Russia has shown itself to be a bit more impulsive.
    The real wild-card is North Korea.
    Just my $0.02.

    20

    • #
      Analitik

      The same trading relationship existed between Germany and the UK just over a century ago and there was the same tension over resources. So there is a precedent. Niall Ferguson has written some very good analysis of the situations.

      00

  • #
    ROM

    If anybody wants to get a good roundup and a wide analysis of foreign relations between nations from highly qualified commentators particularly on the Central and East and South Asian political, military and diplomatic relationships then I would recommend the very interesting and comprehensive The Diplomat site.

    Unfortunately the article limit per month per reader is limited to about 4 articles per month unless you are a subscriber so choose your articles carefully.

    10

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    What good are diesel submarines ?

    A single torpedo can take out a 5 billion dollar submarine .
    Or are we now hunting terrorists beneath the sea ?
    This whole proposal is nothing more than a massive waste of money .
    And against an imagined future enemy in China … a major trading partner .
    Just more military paranoia manifesting itself in an arms squanderthon .
    If the military had their way , all nations everywhere , ours included would be flat out building Nukes ….and we all know how that would end up !

    I see that the Chinese are becoming more like us each day .

    They like wealth and just want a good life like the rest of us .

    Who cares about a couple of insignificant islands in the middle of nowhere.
    The only real threat is allowing the sale of Aus property to overseas interests , including Chinese interests .

    Our idiotic government cannot see the difference between investment from overseas and ownership from overseas.

    But now they want to rattle their war sabers.

    Just like the Climate Scam ….massively inflate a minor or non existing issue to enable the squandering of massive amounts of money towards a supposed solution …..our money .

    I am sick of being told how all this is to keep us safe , and yet we are not allowed to directly arm ourselves , unlike many other nations .

    Apparently dropping a bomb per week in Syria is the way to go ! More lunacy.

    If someone dropped a bomb on us each week , we would also become hateful to say the least.

    Sticking our noses into the middle east has not worked out for us , so what are we doing there ?

    We and everybody else should adopt the best foreign policy i have heard of …that is the policy of the American founding fathers … ‘No Foreign Entanglements’

    We bring our troops home and defend our borders against aggressors only .

    No offensive behavior in foreign countries.

    We can never again afford to unleash the dogs of war , or it will be all over for all of us.

    Has history not already taught us this !

    32

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘The only real threat is allowing the sale of Aus property to overseas interests, including Chinese interests.’

      Yeah but party members and close associates need to get their money out and buy something real before its too late.

      ‘Chinese banks are looking down the barrel of a staggering RMB 8 trillion – or $1.7 trillion – worth of losses according to the French investment bank Societe Generale.

      ‘Put another way, 60 per cent of capital in China’s banks is at risk as authorities start the delicate and dangerous process of reining in the debt-bloated and unprofitable state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector.’

      ABC

      10

  • #
    Michel Lasouris

    Why does everybody seem to ignore the role of India in all of this? I just cannot see India either joining with China, or standing on the sidelines. India is nowhere as advanced as Chine technologically, but it has huge and innovative population. Australia needs to forge closer links with the Worlds Biggest Nation; or it will be when China’s population starts to decline as predicted

    20

  • #
    David Archibald

    Thanks Jo for posting. If anyone would like a pdf of my lecture on defence (Wednesday night at the Irish Club in Subiaco, Perth), email me at davidarchibald@australianliberty.org

    20

  • #
    Eddy Aruda

    I have often read comments on this site prophesying about the waning of American military power and the rise of China and the resurgence of Russia. Certainly the US military is currently underfunded and the Chinese and Russians are closing the technological gap with the US.

    There are a few things to remember.

    The US has always downplayed its abilities and exaggerated the threat posed by the militaries of other countries. How else could they get the taxpayer to keep financing the US military budget that dwarfs all others?

    A good example of this would be the cold war. The US doctrine called for the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the soil of our allies in order to stop an advance by the then Soviet Union. The US and NATO believed that the overwhelming numerical advantage the Warsaw Pact enjoyed in battle tanks and warplanes would make the outcome of a conventional war an almost certain loss for NATO.

    As it turns out, the lack of battle readiness and technological inferiority of the Warsaw Pact’s tanks and warplanes would have spelled disaster for them. The US had an overwhelming advantage in command and control and electronic warfare capabilities. The only troops the Warsaw Pact could have counted on were Soviet and East German troops.

    After the Soviet Union witnessed the manner in which the US dispensed with the Iraqi army during Operation Desert Storm, the Kremlin declared that it would totally rethink how it would fight a conventional war with the US. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union was no more.

    Now, it is China that everyone is talking about. As with the former Soviet Union, the PLA has an incredibly deficient command and control system. The Chinese army hasn’t been battle tested since their poor showing against Vietnam in 1979. The PLA is a private army under the control of the communist party and is rife with corruption. Most of their weapons systems are reversed engineered and their capabilities are more exaggerated than their finance minister’s latest GDP figures. Their only aircraft carrier is incapable of combat readiness because the Chinese can’t build an engine capable of providing the necessary thrust to enable a takeoff. They use foreign built engines and their carrier program is plagued with other critical problems.

    To be sure, China has made advancements, particularly in the area of cyber warfare and missile technology and could inflict a lot of damage to US bases on Guam, Okinawa, South Korea and Japan-assuming they could successfully launch a surprise attack. This is doubtful considering US intelligence capabilities.

    In the event of a conventional war, the US would overcome China’s A2/AD strategy within a few days, if not hours. her navy would be destroyed in less than a week and her air force and military bases the week thereafter. China would sue for peace within two weeks or she would suffer such damage to her economy and the infrastructure that supports it that she may actually need to utilize her ghost cities.

    Nuclear war would not be a viable option for the Chinese because of the massive superiority in numbers and variety of delivery systems the US has and the flexibility in war planning they provide. Most of China’a long range missiles are liquid fueled and take hours to prepare for launch. They would be taken out by by a massive first strike. Anybody that thinks the US doesn’t have a first strike policy is either ignorant or delusional. Although China has a few submarines equipped with nuclear missiles they would never get a chance to fire on the United States. Trust me, if the US was able to shadow every Soviet missile boat during the cold war with an attack submarine, and they did, they can easily do the same with the Chinese. It would be ridiculous to think that the US doesn’t track every submarine the Chinese have, especially ones that could launch a nuclear strike. Any missiles that the Chinese would have left would be vulnerable to the US antimissile shield. If they did succeed in a limited strike on the US the Chinese know to a certainty that the US would respond with an overwhelming counterstrike. Not that the communist party is overly concerned about civilian casualties but losing their grip on power is something they are very concerned about.

    Last week, the United States activated a portion of its missile defense shield in Romania and is about to begin constructing another one in Poland, ostensibly to protect Europe from Iran and other rogue states. Ever paranoid Russia is infuriated and perceives these facilities, along with Aegis equipped US and NATO warships in the waters of the Baltic and Mediterranean seas as a direct threat. And so they should. In the event of a first strike by the US, Russia’s counterstrike would be almost entirely thwarted by the US missile shield.This would render the doctrine of mutually assured destruction meaningless and place the Russians in a lose/lose scenario.

    Five year ago a nuclear war between the US and Russia was almost unthinkable. Now, it is not only a possibility but in the eyes of many foreign policy wonks an inevitability. I pray it is not a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Usually after one party in the US has the white house for two terms the other party wins. The upcoming US presidential election is eerily reminiscent of the Carter Reagan campaign of 1980. Americans overwhelmingly think the US is on the wrong track and this bodes well for Trump. The US will probably once again rebuild its military and the world will be a more dangerous place than ever.

    Hopefully, if Trump is elected he can write a new version of the Art of the Deal and the risk of war averted.

    What does this mean for Australia? Why, don’t worry! If there is a war and the damage is catastrophic it will be confined to Asia, Europe and the US. Australia would become the de facto superpower by default.

    For the US, Europe and most of Asia? As REM sings, “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!”

    Will there be a nuclear war? Unless the world rids itself of nuclear weapons there almost certainly will be. Low probability events, over time, will occur. I pray to God the world comes to its senses before it happens!

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Nice analysis Eddy, and well presented, thankyou.

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      Richard Ilfeld

      The thing that worries me is that lots of stuff, and theory, fails on first contact. Past wars have allowed time for revision & correction. This time the second or third line forces may resolve things in the second or third week. May not have time to rethink strategy or rebuild hardware.

      Also, war is no longer symmetrical. A small country led by a megalomaniac placing a single devastating weapon in a city is a risk of perhaps 50 possible enemies. Can an incident be another Sarajevo?

      It isn’t fun to be a strategist when the think tanks seem to think the (possibly imaginary) capabilities of the F35 are required, while our troops,time after time, need A10 & C131 support.

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    Gamecock

    One critical thing Australia can do is to recognize all citizens as part of the militia, ditch it’s gun laws, and work toward a well armed populace. Ten million armed adults is a far superior deterrent than a token army.

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      Egor TheOne

      I agree 100% .
      Disarmament and dis allowance to defend your self because of the actions of one nut in Tasy is lunacy .

      Imagine how stupid and suicidal a group would have to be to try and invade the U.S.A. for example , even if they were able to defeat their military , when most of its inhabitants are heavily armed .

      You don’t build a strong country with a defenseless population .

      I imagine how quickly the ‘no gun advocates’ would hide under tables if we were ever to be invaded and how such crybabies would expect always someone else to defend their miserable appeaser (the greens) existence !

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      The problem with militias is the lack of the “3 Cs”: “Command, Control, and Communications”. They invaribly end up shooting at each other.

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        Egor TheOne

        yes , just like friendly fire in the military .

        where is the difference?

        better a fighting chance than the ‘nanny state’ no chance .

        being unarmed is being totally vulnerable …. just as a Marxist/Totalitarian government prefers it .

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        philthegeek

        They invaribly end up shooting at each other.

        Hmmmmm….our American friends seem to have had lots of practice at that bit.

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        Mike

        Probably the software for “command, control, and communications” has a virus or a trojan that has become embedded.

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      MudCrab

      Okay, ignoring the massive logistics problems on how we raise, train, equip, and then retrain every 18 months a militia, as well as ignoring the massive social implications, THEN what?

      We have 10 million troops under arms (or at least able to be under arms on short notice). What do we do with them? Finally reverse annex Tasmania? Send them all overseas to fight Islamic State?

      Reality is that there is no rational need to have 10 million half trained and poorly equipped troops sitting around doing nothing.

      ‘Oh, but what if we get invaded?’ I hear you counter.

      Who by?

      Name a country with the means, the political will and the political need to invade Australia NOW. Not some vague time in the future, now. If there is no country that can do this now, then there is no point in creating a 10 million strong force of armed rabble, NOW.

      A militia would be an utter waste of money, distract from the more important role of overseas power projection and play into the Leftist mindset of not actually having a defence force in the first place.

      Parabellum.

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    el gordo

    TRUMPED

    ‘One thing that China currently does seem to be fixated by is the idea that its moment of greatness is just over the horizon. The demise of the United States, which many in China see manifesting itself in these elections, happily coincides with China’s own ascent. Trump works into this narrative – the leader of a broken estate, heralding the moment for the next power-in-waiting to step forward.

    The Diplomat

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    Gone are the days of excellent decisions about Australian Military hardware options.

    In the 60′s, here in Australia, the decision was made to replace the aging Canberra Bomber. The 2 options were the English TSR2 and the American F111. Everyone expected the English aircraft to win, as it was a superior for the time, and a very capable aircraft, and, well, you know, Australia had always sided with England.

    However, the decision was made to go with the F111. This virtually finished off British aircraft manufacturing, and virtually all further military combat aircraft were sourced in conjunction with European consortia, and only 2 of TSR2′s were ever constructed, and flown for some years in minor roles.

    Australia was roundly snickered at for accepting this F111, as it was so complex, and Australia wanted further complexities added.

    The English leased some of them from America for a short time, but Australia was the ONLY Country to actually place orders for them, as the costs blew out, and they were perceived as too expensive, and any way, Australia only purchased 24 of them, a tiny little amount really.

    This was in an age when the U.S. replaced Military combat aircraft almost on the same scale as they did with their cars, a new model each year. There was a plethora of U.S. military aircraft manufacturers, and airframes on those aircraft hardly made it to a thousand hours before they were replaced with a new fighter or bomber.

    We finally got our 24 F111′s, and if the truth is really told, they made Australia not an option for any invading force who might consider Australia a military target.

    That F111 proved to be perhaps one of the single most capable combat aircraft ever built. Mach 2.5 (2655KPH). People complained that the variable geometry wings made them accident prone, but again, no combat aircraft in history has a better loss record than the F111 during the process of testing till delivery status, and also from then forward.

    Again, in the American idea, aircraft could be replaced regularly, and the F111 was also considered to be in that mould, flown for a few years and then retired.

    The aircraft itself, that F111 was constructed in a factory at GD Fort Worth in Texas. That factory was one mile long. The aircraft was begun to be built at yard number one, and the ‘construction line’ extended for 1760 yards, a full mile in a straight line, and at the yard 1760 mark, the final completed aircraft rolled out for flight testing and delivery.

    The Americans built and flew them in great numbers. When the time came to replace them, bean counters found out that they just could not design the one plane to replace the F111, and that it would be two or possibly three to replace it.

    So what did they do?

    They knocked a hole in the side of that factory at Fort Worth, flew in F111′s and rolled them into that factory, and refurbished them, and ‘modded’ them up. A lot of that they learned from what we were doing here in Australia, where our F111′s had to do everything, the true MRCA. We modded them for every contingency, Photo Recce as well. They all got the Pave Tack treatment. The Americans saw what we were doing and then did similar with theirs. They then proceeded to fly them almost as long as we did, something unheard of before with combat aircraft of this genre and type, (B52 notwithstanding) and now that has carried through to the F-15, and some others.

    Here in Australia those F111′s we had WERE “the preeminent weapons system in the Asia-Pacific region” throughout their service and provided Australia with “a genuine, independent strike capability” for their whole of life, and the only reason we stopped flying them was each sortie became too expensive, because even when they were ‘killed off’, they were still state of the art for purpose, an aircraft almost 50 years old when we closed them down.

    Those days are gone forever now. While Australia was waiting for the F111, due to over-runs on what Australia wanted, we got some F4 Phantoms on lease. We lost one at Evans head, and one of them landed wheels up at Amberley, something the Americans shook their heads at, because they would have just recommended ejection. Mac Doug sent out their experts to assess the aircraft and they wrote it off. The Australians asked if they could, umm, have a go at fixing it. MD said, literally, who cares! They rolled it into the 3AD hanger, fixed it, and then returned it to service flown back to the U.S. and remaining in their inventory.

    Even that venerable old Mirage we flew the wings off as the French just shook their heads. They were originally slated for 1500 Airframe hours, and we had a number of them flown out to 4000 airframe hours. An E Servicing is the single major servicing for this aircraft and is done every 600 airframe hours. I’m actually one of the few electricians in the RAAF to be qualified for every servicing (BF, AF, BTF, A, C, D, E, and E3) on the Mirage aircraft, all the way up to E3 Servicings, which at 1800 hours was never even scheduled to happen in the first place. We had to actually write the servicing schedule for that one, and when I did mine, it was only the third aircraft to reach this target. If you can imagine a servicing for your car, then this E3 took just under 8 Months, and the aircraft goes back to bare metal, a virtual rebuild from scratch. That’s where you learn your trade, on something like that.

    There were actually a dozen or so fighter pilots who got to 3000 hours on type for the Mirage, also unheard of anywhere else in the World.

    Australia has had wonderful service from it’s military aircraft, and in fact, other Countries have learned from that, even the original aircraft manufacturers.

    As I said, those days are now long gone.

    Tony.

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    el gordo

    China wants peace and prosperity for the whole world but …

    ‘Xi told the officers to closely follow the trends of global military revolution and strive to build a joint battle command system that meets the need of fighting and winning an informationized war.

    “All must be done with the ultimate goal of improving battle command capacities and measured by the standards of being able to fight and win wars,” Xi said, urging a focus on solving conflicts and problems limiting joint battle command.’

    China Daily

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    philthegeek

    That cannot be achieved with the current intended purchase of F-35 aircraft.

    Yeah, Stealth that does M1.6 combat loaded, 6-700nm radius. How useless is that.

    Australia will acquire C-295 aircraft from Airbus

    Yeah we can sell the C-27′s (and write off their partial commonality with the J Hercs) being inducted no probs. Not a waste of time at all.

    A stretched version of the Soryu submarine is the optimum conventional replacement for the Collins class because of its quality, price and the fact that it will be available almost immediately.

    Ok, now we are seriously off in la la land….

    Apart from Japanese build schedule making the “available almost immediately a giggle”. A Soryu derivative would have only been able to be delivered in much the same timescale as the TKMS/DCNS bids, and would have been a VERY different boat. The design changes to meet our needs were not trivial and there are some quite fundamental features of the Soryu construction to do with acoustic isolation that are well behind current best practice and really, cant be changed without a complete redesign. Its no where near any kind of “off the shelf” or proven solution. All said, i am a bit surprised TKMS didn’t get the nod, and really, there is still a ways to go on this issue.

    His writing on Defence is getting attention.

    It certainly got mine. But then i am an avid fan of silliness and Jensens. :)

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      Bloke down the pub

      At last, a bit of sense on this post. The Grippen is a fine aircraft, and ideally suited for customers such as Brazil or South Africa, where any opposition is likely to be limited. Try using it against China and you’d better be prepared for the casualty toll.The biggest factor in choosing a suitable aircraft is finding one that you can get to the fight. If you’re only interested in defending your own airspace then fine, but if you want to be able to confront the Chinese on their doorstep, when you have no guaranteed access to airfields in the region, your only option is the vstol F35B as has been chosen for the Royal Navy. There are plenty of armchair critics of the F35, but, when it is in frontline service, those countries that chose a cheaper option are going to be left feeling rather silly.

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      MudCrab

      Archibald lost me on his cover art.

      Gripen? Seriously?

      The more you look into the differences between the 20 odd year old Gripen family and the brand new F-35 the more you have to wonder if Archibald has any defence idea at all about what he is talking about.

      For simple starters, the Gripen is a very small aircraft with a matching small range and payload. By comparison, if you chopped a Gripen up and put in into some streamlined canisters, you could carry one with a F-35 and still have capacity for a few drop tanks.

      They are, to put it very simply, VERY different aircraft with VERY different abilities. To say the RAAF should get Gripens over F-35s is like saying that you shouldn’t buy a brand new PC next year because your mate is going to sell you his old smart phone. Might be a very good smart phone, but it is not a brand new PC.

      The rest of Archibald’s dot points seem to revolve around bring back the long discredited ‘Dead On Arrival’ policy. Also known as the Defence of Australia (DOA) policy, it had all the money being given to the RAAF so they could shoot anything approaching Australia and the RAN entire role was to sail around collecting POWs from all the life rafts before handing them over to the Army.

      All very good in theory for defending Australian shores, but in practice it left the ADF nearly unable to do anything else, like say ducking across a short stretch of water to ensure East Timor was allowed to develop without foreign military oppression.

      Australia needs to be able to fight overseas. Sending a few thousand troops overseas as part of a peace making mission, no matter how long it takes, is a lot better then having to have tens of thousands of troops fighting over Sydney.

      Still, having said all that about him with contempt and laughter, he would still probably be a lot better than Payne.

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    gh

    Gripen vs F35
    http://bestfighter4canada.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/fighter-jet-fight-club-f-35-vs-gripen.html
    Australia won’t be able to afford to fly the F35 – it’ll spend most of its time on the ground. The F35 requires much more maintenance than the F35. We can buy more Gripens than F35′s for the money.
    The SAAB-Boeing TX trainer may lead to a F16 replacement. The F35 isn’t up to it.
    I wonder if the chumminess with the French will lead to Dassault Rafales being purchased?

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