By Joe Montero
Scott Morrison has recklessly committed Australia to having hypersonic missiles. Let’s speak plainly. The issue is too serious for this. It commits Australia to be used to serve as a launching pad for military aggression against other nations. This is an escalation in preparations for war that will kill Australians and many others, should it come.
This act of gross irresponsibility is part of the AUKUS alliance, which is really a commitment to further integration into the United States Military machine and redirecting Australian resources towards it. The new missiles and the nuclear submarines are for this purpose.
The new missiles are built to be guided by satellites in space and will installed on aircraft and ships for a cost of $3.5 billion, Defence Minister Peter Dutton made public yesterday.
The pretence is that Australia needs increased security in the face of the conflict in Ukraine, and mostly, against a claimed threat from China. It is a manufactured claim to cover up that the moves are not defensive, but to impose United States control over the Pacific and Indian oceans and their trade routes.
This is an escalation of economic war by military means against the world’s fastest growing economy.
AUKUS is not an alliance between equals. It is under the command of the United States, designed to expand its sphere of influence. To a lesser extent, it serves the dream of the ruling elite of the United Kingdom to reclaim a lost empire. Australia’s role is to be no more than a servant carrying out orders and paying some of the cost.
If the Morrison government genuinely sought to protect Australia, it would first seek to prevent Australia being the servant of anyone else. Its military strategy would be designed to defend Australian territory against any invader, and it would fight for Australian sovereignty and independent action in its relations with the world. The Morison government and the wider political elite stand for none of this.
The missiles and submarines are significant parts of shaping the Australian Defence Forces as a weapon for aggression thousands of kilometres away from our shores.
Rising militarisation is being driven by two declining powers facing a re-alignment of the global economic and political balance. A shift is away from absolute dominance by a handful of western powers towards a rising of the east is taking place. The once dominant powers want to prevent this shift, and when this can’t be achieved economically and politically, the resort is to military means.
Australia can only lose by being part of this.
The immediate winners are American armaments manufacturers. In the case of the hypersonic missiles, it will be Raytheon and Lockheed Martin that will walk away with the bonanza.
Resources that would be much better devoted to other purposes are redirected to war preparations. Australia’s reputation as an aggressor in the region rises. A good current example is the bullying of the Solomon Islands over their relationship with China. Manasseh Sogavare, the Prime Minister of this small Pacific nation, said, “… We find it very insulting to be branded as unfit to manage our sovereign affairs…” This is diplomatic speak for ‘stay out of our business.’
Being the regional surrogate bully harms Australia’s capacity to build far better relationships with our neighbours.
Australia’s best interests are served through closer ties with Asia and a future benefiting from the new global economic powerhouse, instead of being rusted onto fading powers. By limiting Australia in this way, Australia’s political elite condemn Australia to mediocrity, economic decline, and longer-term isolation. Australia will inevitably be locked out of emerging trade opportunities.
Contributing to the rising of global tensions and the militarisation of politics is the worst crime of all. This raises the prospect of a global conflict with nuclear capability and destruction on a scale never witnessed before.
Everyone has the right and responsibility to say no to this.