Australian news, and some related international items

Tony Abbott wants Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence for Australia

Tony Abbott calls for Australia to urgently consider missile defence shield, The Age, Peter Hartcher, 11 Aug 17,  Tony Abbott has called for Australia urgently to consider a missile defence shield to protect against attack by nuclear-armed North Korea.

This means that Australia’s two most recent former leaders – one Labor and one Liberal – have now made such a call in the last four weeks. Australia has no defence against intercontinental ballistic missiles. The government has yet to indicate any interest in acquiring one.

After US President Donald Trump this week said he would deal with Pyongyang’s threats with “fire and fury”, North Korea said that “only absolute force can work on him”….

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said on Wednesday that a North Korean ICBM capability posed “an unacceptable existential threat to our country” although she said Australia was “not a primary target”.

She said that Australia’s strategy was to deter North Korea through international solidarity and called on “all sides” to step back.

But Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott separately are urging defensive steps:…..

This week the US Defence Intelligence Agency estimated that North Korea already has a miniaturised nuclear warhead to put atop the missiles, according to US media reports.

Mr Abbott said: “We should upgrade the capability of the air warfare destroyers so they’re not just able to track incoming missiles but shoot them down.”

“And we should look at the sort of system the US is installing in South Korea,” the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system. Mr Abbott said that the main argument against a missile defence was cost.

“Some would say that it would contribute to an arms race, but it’s a race that others are already running,” he added.

Experts point out that neither system nominated by Mr Abbott is designed for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles but for shorter-range missiles.

However, the most effective missile shields use multiple systems – including shorter and longer range defences – “layered” on top of each other to increase the odds of success…….

August 11, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war


  1. This is probably necessary now. Missile defense coupled with more sanctions seems to be the safest approach.

    Comment by GarryRogers | August 11, 2017 | Reply

    • There’s a lot of informed opinion that suggests that the THAAD would not be effective, especially in Australia. Also I understand that the THAAD can also be used as an offensive weapon – one reason why the Chinese hate it being set up on their doorstep in South Korea.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | August 12, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] defence system – perhaps the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD); indeed, two former Prime Ministers (Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott) have already done so.  Such a costly acquisition would be entirely […]

    Pingback by MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia’s AUSMIN invitations: clean the driveway, wash the dishes. Again | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations | August 10, 2019 | Reply

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