Australian news, and some related international items

Australia is complicit in the new nuclear arms race

New nuclear arms race brings higher risk of global catastrophe, The New Daily,   

Veteran defence and security analyst Brian Toohey has warned that talk of war between the West, and China and Russia, along with brinkmanship with North Korea and Iran, has escalated the conditions that can lead to catastrophic accidents and mistakes.

Adding to the potential for disastrous nuclear consequences, Mr Toohey’s latest book – to be published this week – reveals that “many missile control systems can now be hit by a wide range of previously unknown cyber-warfare tools available to terrorists, hoaxers and governments”.

Mr Toohey’s book, Secret – The Making of Australia’s Security State, outlines a terrifying situation where nuclear weapons continue to exist in massive numbers………

Australia is complicit

Mr Toohey said Australia continued to rely on the US “nuclear umbrella” and was directly complicit in the US nuclear program through the Pine Gap and North West Cape intelligence and communications bases linked to US submarines tasked to detect and destroy Russian and Chinese nuclear-armed submarines.

Coalition governments in Australia had declined to push for nuclear disarmament, with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull refusing to support a 2017 United Nations resolution to establish a legally binding treaty prohibiting the development or possession of nuclear weapons.

The Turnbull government refused to congratulate ICAN after it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2017.

Mr Turnbull later declared that Australia and the US were “joined at the hip”.

The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons concluded in 1996 that “the proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used – accidentally or by decision – defies credibility”.

The only complete defence was the elimination of nuclear weapons with a strong international verification regime to convince the existing nuclear powers to disarm.

Calls for Australia to join the race

Current calls for Australia to consider a nuclear arms capability for its submarines to deter an invasion from China re-emerged from strategic think tanks and academics.

“It is doubtful if China’s relatively small nuclear forces could survive a US attack. The US has a total of 6550 warheads –1350 deployed on long-range missiles and bombers – compared to China’s total of 280,” Mr Toohey writes.

“Ever since George W Bush unilaterally abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the US has deployed conventional missiles on ships and land that can destroy nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.”

“Its attack submarines can track and sink China’s four ballistic-missile submarines. This means China must expand its nuclear forces to ensure that enough retaliatory missiles would survive to deter a first strike”.

Quentin Dempster is a Walkley Award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. He is a veteran of the ABC newsroom. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1992 for services to journalism nuclear-arms-race/

September 3, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war

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