By Joe Montero
The message coming out from early G7 connected talks between Australia and the United States, is that there will be an expansion of joint military activity. A new joint brigade made up of U.S. Marines and Australian Defence Forces (ADF) is to be based in Darwin. Although there is talk of rotating the command on the ground between the two nations, real control will remain in the hands of the United States.
There will be a naval build up and no doubt, communications and spying facilities dotted round Australia will focus on the current priorities.
Photo from the Queensland Times: U.S. marines on exercise in Australia last year
Defence Minister Peter Dutton justifies this using the China threat argument. The talk is about ‘Chinese economic coercion’. There is no way, of course, that he can point out a military threat. endangering Australia’s security. There isn’t one.
The accusation of economic coercion relates to the trade relationship and Dutton cannot draw the line between this and military up scaling. This goes to show that there is something else here.
China is not about to invade Australia. Chinese military ids not threatening Australia’s waters. There is no sign of any Chinese military activity, except inside China or on Chinese borders.
In contrast, United States military activity covers the entire planet, including, from the Chinese border to Australia’s doorstep, and Australian soil.
This is about maintaining United States dominance and trying to block the rise of China as an economic power. It is about offensive military action and not defence.
US President Joe Biden admitted this, when ordering U.S. to dominate the Indo-Pacific region. In Biden’s own words, ensuring “the footprint of American service members…” .
One way to try and contain China is to control the shipping lanes. Another is to impose a range of trade sanctions. Both are Washington policies.
Sanctions are not so easy with an economy and market as big as China’s. They hurt exporters and investors, who lobby for their easing. The United States talks sanctions, and at the same time, negotiates for more exports to China, even sometimes taking over Australia’s share. Difficulty in imposing sanctions and making them work drives the shift to greater reliance on military means to contain China’s rise.
United States military aimed at the South China Sea in the Indo-Pacific region and from Australia
The louder Australia shouts, the more Washington can hide behind this and make us the patsy when something goes wrong.
This is a nation that has the capacity to defend itself. Australia’s involvement in provocation and military exercises to this end is dangerous involvement, which contributes to increasing the risk of war.
In a political sense, this is already happening. The United states uses the ranting and raving by Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton on the world stage, to deflect some off itself.
. If anything goes wrong, Australia can get the blame. Behind this Washington writes the words and Morrison is the puppet. Dutton joins hm as fellow puppet.
There is an irony in encouraging Australia to rage against China, while representatives of the United States are talk to their Chinese counterparts to replace Australia’s exports there. Australia gets to pay the price.
Dutton declared during an address to a recent Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) conference, “We have a respectful relationship with China from our own perspective. We are a peaceful nation, we seek to support our neighbours particularly in a time of need, and we have a need for that in response”. These words pretend that Australia is the victim when it is Australia that began blocking trade. These words deny that the Australian government will only talk under its own terms.
He also talked about increasing the number of U.S. naval ships in Australian waters and Marines on Australian soil. “I think that is in our own security interest, and I think it is in the interest of the US as well,” he said. He made much of building even closer military ties with the United States.
The U.S. Ambassador Michael Goldman was also at the conference. He talked about the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), a vehicle used to drive the militarisation process.