Australian news, and some related international items

Peter Dutton enthuses – weapons to Taiwan, nuclear submarines ASAP

Peter Dutton flags Australia sending weapons to Taiwan, acquiring nuclear submarines before 2040, ABC 6 Mar 22

By political reporter Henry Belot and Jane Norman  Defence Minister Peter Dutton has indicated Australia may send weapons to Taiwan in response to any future Chinese military aggression, drawing a direct comparison to support currently being sent to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Key points:

  • Mr Dutton said China was acquiring nuclear weapons and amassing “huge” forces
  • Labor said it was wrong for the Defence Minister to answer hypotheticals about military action
  • Mr Dutton said Australia could acquire nuclear submarines earlier than 2040

Mr Dutton also revealed Australia might acquire nuclear submarines earlier than the expected 2040 timeline, with details on design and construction to be announced “within a couple of months” and possibly before a federal election.

Federal Labor has criticised Mr Dutton for previously saying it would be “inconceivable” for Australia not to join military action if the US defended Taiwan.

“It would be completely wrong and wrongheaded for us to be answering such hypotheticals, and we think the Defence Minister made a mistake in that regard,” Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor said on Sunday.

“I don’t recall any defence minister in our history, certainly recent history, that would ever answer a question in the positive about a hypothetical question about whether we would find ourselves engaged in a full-blown war with a nuclear superpower.”……………….

Mr Dutton confirmed that missiles and ammunition supplied by Western nations – including Australia – had now arrived in Ukraine.

Submarine timeline condensed

Mr Dutton also revealed the government would announce “within a couple of months” which nuclear-powered submarines it planned to acquire as part of the new AUKUS alliance with the United States and United Kingdom.

When AUKUS was unveiled in September last year, torpedoing Australia’s $90 billion submarine contract with France, the government said it would take 18 months to identify the best way to acquire and build the new fleet, using either US or UK technology.

However Mr Dutton is now indicating that timeline has been dramatically condensed, raising the prospect of a pre-election announcement.

“We will have an announcement within the next couple of months about which boat we are going with, what we can do in the interim,” he said………..

March 7, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war

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