Rumour has it

Australia boosts defence spending with eye on South China Sea tensions
HMAS Canberra after completion of exercises off the New South Wales Coast.
Australia will buy £100 billion worth of equipment over the next decade – a budget increase of £13 billion – to address China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea

Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

Two stories one after the other in The Telegraph. And rumour has it that they will buy some charts of the rocks and reefs with that 100 billion.

20 thoughts on “Rumour has it”

  1. The US military industrial complex is completing its very own ‘pivot to Asia’ having worked out that it can’t sell much more in the way of weaponry to the Middle East. It is now busy declaring that China seeks ‘hegemony’ in the South China Sea and trying to bounce Aus, Japan and ASEAN to buy lots of US kit and join the latest theatre for “freedom and Democracy” (and guns).

  2. Skipworth, a colleague from the Antipodes, avers that the Aussies are having to spend so much more because the RNZN have more or less given up. This may of course just be Southern Hemisphere sneering.

  3. I dare say that NZ has realised that it can sponge off Oz defence spending just as the Republic of Ireland does off ours.

  4. Another Telegraph subs thing:

    Headline on the front page of the website, about a fashion show article:
    “army of debutantes cum-biker-babes”

    I’m not sure what a cum-biker-babe is, but I’d like to meet one.

  5. Mark T. China is dictatorship expanding its military into, and occupying un-militarised disputed international territory. You blame America and “freedom and democracy”?

  6. “I dare say that NZ has realised that it can sponge off Oz defence spending just as the Republic of Ireland does off ours.”

    This is not new. NZ stopped pretending have a navy or an airforce years ago. On the grounds that a couple of rocks in the Southern Ocean are well protected by a continent to the north west of them.

    Mind you, part of that is the ANZUS Treaty. We Aussies sponge off the US defense budget too.

  7. ‘Australia will buy £100 billion worth of equipment over the next decade’

    This will not make them competitive with China. They are starting from way too far behind. Cos they have depended on UK and US for military security, though I hope this means they are realizing this is not such a good idea any more.

    The only practical way Australia can make itself unattractive for Chinese (or Indian) adventures is to arm the citizenry. They currently have a token military and an unarmed citizenry. Australia is naked. £100 billion won’t fix it.

  8. “The US military industrial complex is completing its very own ‘pivot to Asia’ having worked out that it can’t sell much more in the way of weaponry to the Middle East.”

    That is an interesting theory that I have pondered as well. The sudden rush to defend Vietnamese and Filipino interests comes at a suspicious time. If the territorial disputes between these two countries had been solved years ago there would be no opening for the Chinese to exploit. DefenseNews lays out the case for the defense industry to desire conflict fairly well.

    The most important question is why is China even bothering to build islands in the SCS. While fishing rights are indeed important this is not an economic justification for the cost of the islands. Oil is a different story completely. Currently China is the only country that believe the SCS contains enough oil to commit extensive drilling resources. It is safe to say the oil industry hopes the Chinese estimates are incorrect but it is in their interests to have a way to increase the costs of SCS operations are wrong. Having China pay for a substantial military presence is a good way to increase production costs. Big oil also has a strong case to push for an aggressive narrative.

    Militarily it makes sense for the US to increase tension in the SCS. This forces China to defend an extended front taking pressure off of our allies in Japan and South Korea. When added to the economic interests of major American industry it becomes possible to explain why tensions should be artificially increased from the American standpoint. What is needed is a more in depth analysis of possible Chinese motivations to an extend not currently available in western popular media.

  9. This will not make them competitive with China.

    Well, no. Nothing will ever do that. We’ve only got 25 million people, and despite being a relatively wealthy Western democracy, limited resources. Australian defense strategy has been pretty consistent since WWII (the execution has sometimes been spotty). Basically, air/sea denial. Hence the focus on subs and fighter/bombers. The idea is to make it bloody expensive for anyone to cross the Timor Sea, and to hold out until the Yanks get here. That’s pretty much it.

  10. you’ve got it all wrong.
    There is no desire to actually use the weapons.
    The state has forbidden all such activity. Australia has multiculturism. You are not allowed hate anyone.
    The weapon purchase is to create jobs. As manufacturing dissappears this is needed . The unions say so..

  11. It [the US military industrial complex] is now busy declaring that China seeks ‘hegemony’ in the South China Sea…

    How convenient for them that China seems to be playing along in their little deception. Or maybe this is just about the stupidest thing ever written on this blog – and yes, I’m including quotes from the Murphaloon.

  12. Gamecock

    The only practical way Australia can make itself unattractive for Chinese (or Indian) adventures is to arm the citizenry.

    That’s what the snakes and spiders are for 🙂

  13. It is safe to say the oil industry hopes the Chinese estimates are incorrect but it is in their interests to have a way to increase the costs of SCS operations are wrong. Having China pay for a substantial military presence is a good way to increase production costs.

    Please be assured oil companies really, really do not want production costs increased any more than necessary. And they also don’t want to work under the supervision of the Chinese military, we did that already in Myanmar.

  14. Tim you misinterpret what I poorly communicated.

    Western oil companies had no plans to drill in the SCS because they believe that it isn’t profitable. If they are wrong and there is enough oil to make a profit the Chinese will already control the oil fields. No matter how the Chinese government does the accounting to pay for military expansion in the SCS the costs do still need to get paid.

    “Please be assured oil companies really, really do not want their production costs increased any more than necessary.” Increased production costs to the competitors is actually very desirable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *