Last year we learned from UAS magazine that Australian pilots had been ‘drafted to help fly UK drones over Middle East’.
Australian government use of RAAF personnel as crew for RAF drones on combat operations in the Middle East is a remarkable development which should have been revealed to the Australian public ̶ as the UK government did for its constituency – before announcing such arrangements.
Many questions remain about this evolving strategy for global combat-drone capability. We consider
that the engagement of Australian military personnel in this way, without proper disclosure or debate,
reinforces the need for the war powers to be transferred to the Parliament.
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Unfortunately, the ANZUS Treaty became defunct back in the mid-1980s
ANZUS remained operative until the nuclear ships row of the mid-1980s. When the Labour government announced its decision to ban nuclear-powered or potentially nuclear-armed ships, New Zealand was effectively frozen out of ANZUS by the Americans. While there was a gradual thawing of bilateral relations in the early 21st century, the treaty relationship was not revived.
Australia’s current situation gives the illusion that our nation has its own military command that can function as its own contingent defense mechanism. Yet, our military defense capacity is largely restricted to what is best described as the non-supply of weapons hardware; there is no immediacy of military hardware arriving into our nation when ordered through the USA arms and weapons manufacturers.
ANZUS had remained operative until the nuclear ships row of the mid-1980s. When the NZ Labour government announced its decision to ban ships that were nuclear-powered or potentially nuclear-armed. New Zealand was effectively frozen out of ANZUS by the Americans. While there was a gradual thawing of bilateral relations in the early 21st century, the treaty relationship was not revived. In my recent research into the ANZUS Treaty, both the USA and Australia perpetuate the myth that ANZUS is as strong as it was first intended.
Then I must add the major stuff-up with Howard’s ordering 72 X F-35 Strike Fighter jets…immediately following after some secret herbs and spices meeting took place between he and George W Bush, immediately after said meeting, Howard had emerged from the George W love-in to be strong-armed by Lockheed Martin sales enforcers into an adjacent room to gain the Howard signature on a purchase order for the above referred to aircraft. Also signed was an R & D package that would permit Australia to be a contributor during the development of the F-35 aircraft but at the cost of $300 million per annum. Again I use the word; unfortunately, the posture adopted by Lockheed Martin was not to heed any input from Australia’s Defense officials. That resulted in a minimum of some 3 Billion dollars ending up in Lockheed Martin’s vaults.
In the early 2000s, I had crafted a letter to Australia’s military headquarters with a recommendation that the East Coast and West Coast of Australia permit or invite a Chinese and a Russian military base to be located on both ends of Australia, leaving a strip up the middle of Australia to the USA. This strategy had Australia under the protectorship of the 3 World Powers as a deterrent to any foreign military forces’ incursions. (This practical recommendation is likely to have been ridiculed.)
The USA is currently free to augment any contingent defense operations in this South Pacific region.
Meanwhile, there is no independent Australian military defense program that can be controlled by Australia alone.
I believe that the pandering to the USA by former PM Howard had neutralized Australia’s freedom to develop its own defense capabilities. Even now, under the leadership of the present L/NP political party, the lion’s share of Australia’s military budget is pre-destined overseas to the USA’s continuing wiles.
Bloody appalling mess – that’s the best that can be said of Australia’s security after decades of mishandling and “sucking-up” to a misguided US Government