Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Military leaders concerned about USA yanking Australia into war

Former lieutenant-general Peter Leahy, who headed the Australian army for six years to 2008, is watching it all with increasing alarm, urging Canberra to be wary about falling in with US ambitions to maintain ”primacy” in China’s maritime backyard……

”My concern is that we are so embedded in the US planning process, we are so interoperable with them, that there’s this expectation we will be involved in whatever [the US] does … 

Hugh White, a former senior defence official and author of the earlier 2000 white paper, also fears Australia being drawn too tightly into US brinkmanship with China…….White points out that almost everywhere but inside Australia, the arrival of US marines in Darwin for six-month ”training rotations” is being viewed as the effective establishment of an American land base here – for direct deployment to conflicts …. And this, too, is being largely driven by Washington’s ”strategic pivot” towards China……..

Defence ready to muscle up, THE AUSTRALIAN, July 7, 2012 Australia has a choice: spend big preparing for war or focus on smaller regional skirmishes. Deborah Snow and Hamish McDonald report. It takes the skills of a diplomat as well as those of a soldier to head the Australian Defence Force. So it was startling to hear unusually plain talk from the present chief, General David Hurley, at a low-key event at the Lowy Institute in Sydney one evening last month.

Touching on the delicate subject of growing Chinese-US rivalry in the region, Hurley revealed: ”When I am asked by my US counterpart what’s my major concern about the relationship between Australia and the US, I say the relationship between your military and the Chinese.”
For this audience, he didn’t need to elaborate. Within the defence
community there is a high awareness of the increasingly testy
cat-and-mouse game China and the US have been playing with each
other’s ships and submarines in the South China Sea…….. One
trigger-happy miscalculation fed by a series of cascading misjudgments
could bring the two giants, snarling, toe to toe.
Former lieutenant-general Peter Leahy, who headed the Australian army for six years to 2008, is watching it all with increasing alarm, urging Canberra to be wary about falling in with US ambitions to maintain ”primacy” in China’s maritime backyard……
‘I’m not satisfied that we have fully explained what our own national
interests are in resource and territorial disputes in the South China
Sea,” he says. ”My concern is that we are so embedded in the US planning process, we are so interoperable with them, that there’s this expectation we will be involved in whatever [the US] does … We have to be careful that doesn’t overwhelm our sovereign decisions.”
Leahy, now the head of the national security institute at the
University of Canberra, suggests clashes in the South China Sea are
the kind of problem the US might more aptly sort out with Asian allies
such as South Korea and Japan, rather than Australia.
South Korea and Japan, hosts of US bases, are muscling up to China
with Aegis anti-missile destroyers, new anti-submarine mini-aircraft
carriers and more of their own subs……
Cronin points out that Australia’s present and projected new
submarines are particularly useful to the US because America’s are all
nuclear powered, while Australia’s are not and can go places where
nuclear subs can’t – into shallower waters, for example…..
both Leahy and Professor Dupont worry that overemphasis on maritime
supremacy could invite neglect of Australia’s army, leaving it to
decline as it did before the 1999 Timor crisis…..
Hugh White, a former senior defence official and author of the earlier 2000 white paper, also fears Australia being drawn too tightly into US brinkmanship with China…….White points out that almost everywhere but inside Australia, the arrival of US marines in Darwin for six-month ”training rotations” is being viewed as the effective establishment of an American land base here – for direct deployment to conflicts …. And this, too, is being largely driven by Washington’s ”strategic pivot” towards China……..

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/defence-ready-to-muscle-up-20120706-21mdj.html#ixzz1zy9G5pdE

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July 7, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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