Monday, July 15, 2019

Australia: the subservient cats-paw of US imperialism

(Contributed)                                  16 July 2019


A recent report in the Australian has shown how thin the dividing line has become between US-led diplomacy and military planning for the Asia-Pacific region, and a real threat of escalation of exercises into real-war scenarios.

Other factors, including the economic decline of important US allies such as Australia, also contribute toward a heightening of tension toward perceived adversaries.

On 25 June the Australian used nearly a whole page for an article about defence and security issues, which included a thirty cm. column about a military simulation of a war between the US and China in 2040 and a further seven seventeen cm. columns about Conventional Defence Projects with the sub-heading, Battle Plan. (1) It was also accompanied by a fifty square cm. garish photograph of a science-fiction like military official using a touch-screen which included markers for action, engage and retreat.
The article left little to the imagination about the mindset of US-led military planners in the Asia-Pacific region. The military exercises taking place at the present time have little to do with traditional security considerations and the sovereignty of Australian borders: they form part of the aggressive US-led Cold War thrust which has swept the Asia-Pacific region.]
Military planners, interviewed for the Australian article, including former chief of army, Peter Leahy, now head of the National Security Institute at the University of Canberra, were also not ambivalent about their agenda. 'Warfare,’ he said, ‘is about occupying territory'. And there is little ambiguity about the role of Australia in US-led military planning. The US imperialist Boeing Corporation is developing its Loyal Wingman drone outside of Brisbane, the first combat-capable aircraft to be designed and built in Australia since the Boomerang in 1942. It is designed to accompany F-35 or Wedgetail planes with a range of 3,700 kms to fly over the South China Sea. "Loyal Wingman" quite appropriately describes Australia's subservient relationship to US imperialism.

The drones referred to in the Australian article aim to 'jam radar, gather intelligence and confuse Chinese air defences with bogus information'. (2) It was also noted the system of which they form part was designed to 'pass real time data' to US military vessels thousands of nautical miles away, 'safe from the fight'. (3) US imperialism seeks to avoid, as far as possible, an active role in their provocations against China, and expect others, like Australia, to follow their directives and be their cats-paw. 
In recent years the US has implemented triangular diplomatic facilities, linking the Pentagon with Australia as a major southern hub for 'US interests' with Japan as a northern counterpart. It is, therefore, no surprise to discover references to Japan in the Australian war simulation article, with military facilities at Honshu being used by Australian F-35s. 
During the final stages of the implementation Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Australia in what was noted in official diplomatic correspondence as 'finalising a historic defence agreement to facilitate greater military co-operation and resist' China. (4) It was stated that 'Japan and Australia are understood to be pursuing deeper and broader defence co-operation, including joint exercises, strategic visits, trilateral co-operation with the US and further sharing of defence equipment, science and technology'. (5)
Further information about the US-led triangular relationship was contained in a recent Indo-Pacific Strategy Report published in Washington which drew attention to 'investments in advanced missile-defence systems interoperable with allied systems in Japan and Australia'. (6)  
The developments have coincided with moves in the US to link United Technologies with Raytheon, to re-shape defence due to the rising economic and military importance of China. The linkage of the two organisations has created one of the biggest military-industrial defence and aerospace companies, with a combined market value of US$166 billion. (7)  Media coverage in the business press concluded with the statement that 'it is better to fight the next war than the last one', as further evidence of real-war scenarios being an agenda item.
The developments, furthermore, coincide with an escalation of a planned US military budget to US$750 billion next year. A large part of the proposed budget has already been allocated for the research and development of hi-tech military equipment.
If there remains any confusion why the military simulation article in the Australian focussed upon 2040 for hostilities, the explanation has not been difficult to establish. A recent survey conducted across 23 major Australian companies concluded that by 2040 unemployment, using the existing figures, will more than triple. (8)  The same report also found 'a decline in levels of trust in institutions, including government and business, which have slumped since the 1980s'. (9)
Faced with massive economic decline and the possibility of  social instability in Australia US-led military planning will escalate hostilities as a means of deflecting attention away from problems elsewhere.
We do, indeed, live in troubled times. We need an independent foreign policy!
1.     Age of the killer robots, Australian, 25 June 2019.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     Japanese PM set to visit sub war grave, Australian, 13 November 2018.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Risk and reward for Australia as US flexes its muscles in Asia, The Weekend Australian, 22-23 June 2019. 
7.     Defence and aerospace merge as global rivals close tech gap with US, Australian, 17 June 2019.
8.     Reform or lose $1.5 trillion windfall, Australian, 18 June 2019.

9.     Ibid.

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