Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian readers condemn the Morrison government’s AUKUS deal

Below are just a few of the many comments that readers made, on the article about Australia’s devious nuclear submarine diplomacy.

My own comment – going to the issue of whether the nuclear submarines would be obsolete before ever in use, was not published.

Still, the overwhelming content of the published comments was condemnation of the AUKUS deal. (I’ll publish more comments later, on this page)

KEEPITREAL Super power toys and massive debt.

Social D-Greaser benefit of the termination of the contract with the French will flow to the UK or US or both. Naturally, they both will be happy.
The new nuclear sub contract either with the US or UK, could cost Australia hundreds of billion dollars more than than that with the French.

In thirty/forty years time when we could expect the delivery of these nuclear subs, the technology could already be obsolete. China could operate their subs from the moon by that time, because they make things themselves.
All these maneuvering (changing the diesel propulsion to nuclear) is aimed to scare China. Does Australia think that it will have to face China in a war really? Why are we then, unnecessarily annoying the Chinese where our business interest heavily lies. Therefore AUKUS is all loss – loss for Australia.

Trim the cat The whole world now knows you can’t trust the duplicitous Australian government.

KEEPITREAL. Just get one thing straight, me may get into a hard and bloody conflict with China , however our Trade Minister is sure that our major exports of Coal and Iron ore to China will not be affected

Petra665 Way to go Mr Morrison. You’re duplicitous handling of this I suspect is related to your quest for your own power ambitions and hanging with the “big boys”.

You managed to put a key strategic partner in an embarrassing situation damaging their diplomatic relations with a key NATO member which Biden was keen to repair. Particularly as one of his key promises to the US electorate was that he would seek to mend the US relationship with NATO after Trump had trampled all over it. Well Done clap….clap…..

No vision- No policies- No direction – How good is that! This is Morrisons $5 billion lie.
He doesn’t care as it is not his money.

Figment. Anyone who is considering employing Morrison after 22 May should think again after reading this article.

Sir Rex So the short version is… the Morrison government was willing damage a range of long-standing and critical international relationships to play wedge politics for personal advantage on the home-front.
Gee Scotty, I hope those triumphant headlines uncle Rupert gave you were worth selling-out your country for…

Social D-Greaser Remember, the Chinese will be on Solomon Island now. If they have a military base in Solomon Island with 300 fighter planes, 20-30 nuclear propelled subs fitted with nuclear missiles, will we think of fighting with China. The US has a power rivalry. The US would want to dominate in the South China sea, China is aware of it. China is unstoppable, it will find its way out to reach its goal.

Australia joined the US in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and any other wars the US asked for, led the Covid -19 investigation on its origin (thereby annoying China), terminated the 90 billion dollar sub contract with the French (only to please the US and UK) etc, still the US Secretary of State failed acknowledge the Australia’s contribution in the Afghanistan war.

Every time the US asked Australia to jump, Australia did not ask why but asked how high. That’s a bit shame. Nobody will give you respect, you have to earn it. The US would, probably, respect NZ more than Australia. Late NZ prime Minister David Lange (rest in peace David) resolutely opposed the entry of US nuclear arm ships in NZ port and still a good friend to the US. The US now , probably, considers NZ, a country with some backbone.

Question: Do you do anything that doesn’t involve how it can benefit yourself?

Alan This is a decision that needs to go to the Australian people, as the country’s political class in particular Morrison and Dutton who have shown the contempt they hold us in given the lies Morrison told the French in backing away from the conventional sub deal last year leaving us with a $5 billion compensation bill all for Morrison to be seen as a winner on a tiny world stage.

This is one decision that should never have been made by the partisan Morrison who has made the play just to further his time as prime minister which has only made us a target of the Chinese, has pissed off most of our Asia Pacific neighbours including France and has the potential to contaminate and make an Australian city off limits for decades if there is a operational or maintenance accident with the submarines – all of this because the erstwhile prime minister decided that it will help him remain the favoured incumbent after this election.

Morrison’s wedge tactic over the nuke sub deal failed with the small target stance of Labor, but it leaves the country in a horrible scenario, one that should never have been allowed to happen without every voter being consulted over.

Morrison has saddled the country with a ticking time bomb likely to blow up in 2040, long after he is booted in 7 days time.

Relotra No matter how you look at it, it was poorly done by the ‘only-ever-announcements, no-substance-ever’ incompetents of the Coalition led by a man who cannot apologise for his mistakes even in the face of his own unrelenting incompetence.
The Coalition’s eternal claim to be the masters of national security (& the economy) has been shown quite substantially to NOT be the case whatsoever. And when has it? Only ever in their own opinion.
And for the PM of Australia to be called a liar by another country’s leader is just extraordinary. Unheard of in public & the point made most clearly to the press. What an embarrassment for Australia.
It’s Time!!!!!!!!

May 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

AUKUS nuclear submarine fallout: double-dealing and deception came at a diplomatic cost

When this masthead’s then Europe correspondent Bevan Shields asked Macron if he thought Morrison had lied to him, the French leader replied: “I don’t think, I know.”

In the White House, everyone who’d worked on the deal felt let down by the Australians. Biden felt blindsided

AUKUS fallout: double-dealing and deception came at a diplomatic cost,   Scott Morrison’s efforts by stealth to secure the AUKUS deal had global ramifications, with the French president enraged and the US president blindsided. SMH, By Peter Hartcher, MAY 15, 2022  

While Scott Morrison was secretly pursuing the AUKUS deal with Washington and London, the French ambassador in Canberra was starting to fret. President Emmanuel Macron had charged him to act with “ambition” in expanding the relationship with Australia, yet Jean-Pierre Thebault was finding it impossible to get access to cabinet ministers except for fleeting handshakes and “how-do-you-dos” at cocktail parties.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne would not agree to see him, nor would then defence minister Linda Reynolds. Yet the nations were supposed to be strategic partners on a high-stakes, $90 billion “Future Submarine” project. As 2020 became 2021, Thebault was feeling stonewalled. What was going on?

Morrison was confidentially exploring the prospect of nuclear-propelled submarines with the US and Britain. Yet a Defence Department official says: “The PM was still telling us, ‘I’m not cancelling anything ……… The Defence Department handled the duality – or perhaps duplicity – of the two projects by setting up compartmentalised working groups.

One, led by former submarine skipper Rear-Admiral Greg Sammut, continued working with the French towards the delivery of 12 French “Shortfin Barracuda” subs.

Sammut had no knowledge of the other project, led by one-time clearance diver Rear-Admiral Jonathan Mead, who was pursuing the idea of nuclear-powered subs with the Americans and the British.

The two were kept in strict separation. Both reported to defence secretary Greg Moriarty and the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell…………..

Morrison saw an opportunity. US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be at a G7 summit in the quaint English seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall in June. Australia, not a member of the G7, was invited as a guest, along with India and South Korea.

Morrison used the meeting of 10 democracies to highlight the China threat………..

Morrison organised a smaller meeting with Biden and Johnson to drive his submarine ambition. Biden and Johnson had been briefed.

Morrison pitched two ideas. One was the request for the two countries to help Australia get nuclear-propelled subs. The other was a wider project for the three nations to develop other, cutting-edge technologies crucial to future warfare, such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and other undersea capabilities…..

Morrison wanted a commitment; he didn’t get it. Biden’s big concerns remained. He said that he needed to be satisfied that the three countries would meet their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He wanted more work done on this in the White House.

The British were keen to proceed. Johnson even told Morrison that the UK would be prepared to build nuclear-propelled subs for Australia….. Johnson also saw it as an opportunity for British industry.

Morrison started to think of a British sub – smaller than the American nuclear-powered subs (SSNs) – as the working model for Australia’s fleet………

But the nuclear-propulsion technology was American and veto power rested with Washington…………

After Carbis Bay, Morrison had a dinner date with Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris. ………  he might have been honest, but not fully so……………..  He left open the prospect of walking away. Deliberately.

That gate was three months away. Morrison pushed hard to get the assurances Biden needed. He had a vital friend at court: Kurt Campbell, the White House’s Indo-Pacific Co-ordinator and the man the Lowy Institute’s head, Michael Fullilove, calls “Mr Australia in Washington”.

Agreement had to be reached between the three countries, but, just as importantly, within the US group. The director of the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, Admiral Frank Caldwell, custodian of the late Hyman Rickover’s crown jewels, had to be thoroughly satisfied. It took four consecutive full-day sessions to complete the work.

The nuclear Navy, once committed, committed fully………

Each government sent a team of 15 to 20 people drawn from multiple agencies. They were told to set aside eight to 10 business days.

Secrecy was paramount. The naval officers, led by Mead in Australia’s case, were told to wear civilian clothes so as not to draw attention to themselves in the streets of Washington.

………..They met at the Pentagon in August………………

The delegations initially sat in national groups around the room, co-chaired by Campbell, Mead and Vanessa Nicholls, the British government’s Director General Nuclear. 

One by one, Biden’s four big concerns were met. Experts on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were consulted. They agreed that if the reactors on the submarines were run as sealed units, installed and later removed by the US or UK at the end of their 30-year life, then the treaty would not be breached. Australia may have use of, but not access to, the nuclear technology and materials. “The Australians will never have to handle any of this material, it can’t be lost or stolen,” a US official explained…………..

The second concern was China’s reaction. “We assessed with our intelligence community that blowback from China would be manageable,” says a White House official……..

Third was Australia’s capacity. There were questions about Australia’s ability to recruit, train and retain the talent needed to maintain SSNs. However, the Americans’ biggest reservations were over Australia’s finances and politics. 

The US wanted to avoid being entangled in any local budgetary disasters. A preliminary guess at the price of acquiring the nuclear subs ranges from $116 billion to $171 billion, including anticipated inflation, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Incidental extras would include the $10 billion cost of a new subs base on the east coast, as flagged by Morrison in March. The cost of training, crewing, operating and maintaining the boats would not be small

………. Ultimately, Washington decided that Australia could manage the cost, but it was an act of faith in Australia’s future economic strength.

Of the hot potatoes tossed around by the US administration, Australia’s political commitment was the hottest of all. The Americans had tested their own political support. The White House confidentially consulted Trump-aligned Republican senators. They found them supportive, even enthusiastic.

But Biden’s people had reservations about Australia’s political stability. There were concerns about the Labor Party, about the churn of prime ministers in both parties in the last decade, and about the Coalition’s serial dumping of submarine agreements, first with Japan and now with France.

The cone of silence prevented direct US contact with Labor. They called on a National Security Council staffer who’d been posted to Australia, Edgard Kagan, for his view. He consulted the US embassy in Canberra and observed that the Australian government seemed confident that Labor would support such a deal when they were eventually informed.

The Americans could see that if Labor baulked, Morrison would use it as a wedge against opposition leader Anthony Albanese in the approach to an election, to frame him as weak on national security……………

That just left Paris. The White House had pressed the Australians on the need to consult closely with the French. To satisfy the Americans, Canberra went so far as to give the NSC a list of all dealings the Australian government had had with the French on the submarines.

In the end, France’s Naval Group gave Morrison no excuse for detonating the deal. It delivered all its contracted work on time. Australia’s Admiral “Greg Sammut reported that we’d received the report from the French and it met our requirements,” a department official said. “The reply was, ‘very good, the government will be advised’.”

………..  Macron felt set up nonetheless. Payne and new Defence Minister Peter Dutton had met their French counterparts just two weeks earlier and given no sign of what was to come.  Admiral Morio de l’Isle had been in Canberra just a week earlier to make sure that Naval Group was delivering as agreed, and the Australians had certified that they were. It was scant comfort that Moriarty confirmed that “the program was terminated for convenience, not for fault”.

It was a harsh blow to French pride and to Macron personally. He felt the US had connived with Australia against France. He withdrew his ambassadors from both countries in protest. When this masthead’s then Europe correspondent Bevan Shields asked Macron if he thought Morrison had lied to him, the French leader replied: “I don’t think, I know.”

In the White House, everyone who’d worked on the deal felt let down by the Australians. Biden felt blindsided. He mollified Macron. It was “clumsy, it was not done with a lot of grace,” Biden said. “I was under the impression that France had been informed long before that the [French] deal was not going through.”

Macron relented with the Americans. Morrison could not bring himself to show remorse. Macron has not yet forgiven him…….    https://www.smh.com.au/national/aukus-fallout-double-dealing-and-deception-came-at-a-diplomatic-cost-20220513-p5al95.html


May 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Remote NT community not told about $5m contract to fix uranium in water supply

Remote NT community not told about $5m contract to fix uranium in water supply

Laramba residents have no details of when treatment system will be ready and are forced to pay for bottled water while they wait

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DEMOCRACY IN DANGER — Declassified Australia

Upon leaving parliament, former Liberal party Defence Minister Christopher Pyne was immediately employed with corporate consultants EY Defence (Ernst & Young) to help them grow their defence business, and Adelaide-based arms industry lobbyists GC Advisory.

Brendan Nelson, former Liberal Party leader, Defence Minister, and director of the Australian War Memorial, is now president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, a top five contractor to Defence. Nelson is also on the board of defence advisory and weapons lobbyist Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Former Labor senator and chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Stephen Loosley joined the board of French arms multinational Thales Australia.

Former Liberal defence minister  Robert Hill is on the  board of German weapons-maker Rheinmetall’s Australian subsidiary, which is supplying Defence’s $5 billion of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles.

Former Labor defence minister and Labor leader Kim ‘Bomber’ Beazley joined the board of Lockheed Martin Australia and was the chair of EY Defence lobby group

State capture’ by private interests explains why, no matter which major party forms government in Australia, powerful and well-connected industries always seem to win

FELICITY RUBY and SCOTT LUDLAM16 MAY 2022 ‘State capture’ by powerful corporate and political players is a major existential threat to democracy and communities across the world. It is fast becoming […]

DEMOCRACY IN DANGER — Declassified Australia

State capture’ by fossil fuel, defence and other powerful industries is more systematic and entrenched than corruption but falls short of the definition of oligarchy, or corporate dictatorship. It exists in a distinct place in the middle, where private sector actors get hold of democratic levers to shape policy in their interest, no matter the outcome of elections. 

The World Bank coined the ‘state capture’ phrase when observing private sector actors in former eastern bloc states shaping policies to serve their narrow interests. The power comes through control over resources, the threat of state violence, or other forms of influence on the judiciary, bureaucracies and government. 

In Australia, state capture explains why no matter which major party forms government, powerful industries always seem to win. 

Fighting state capture at election time means voting for people who don’t bank cheques from the huge companies, and who are not part of the revolving door between industry and politics.

Opinion polling and the surge in volunteers working to elect independents and Greens indicate that more Australians understand that a big, uncaptured and raucous crossbench can restore some integrity to parliament and fight corporations undermining democracy.

Early in 2022, the Australian Democracy Network published a report titled ‘Confronting State Capture’ which outlined six channels of state capture: financial, lobbying, revolving doors, institutional repurposing, research and policymaking, and public influence campaigns. 

The foundation of state capture is money: using it to fund political parties, buy access to decision makers and wage third party attack campaigns. Lobbying is then used to build relationships, either through consultancies, direct CEO-Minister contact, or peak bodies.

Revolving doors, the great merry-go-round or golden escalator, sees people working as Ministers or advisers one day and company directors or lobbyists the next, providing familiarity with process and people in decision making roles. 

The mostly observable work of policy and research involves the think tanks, the ‘Big 4’ professional services consultancies, and industry peak bodies. They allow these companies to cover every Senate inquiry, every piece of legislation, and infiltrate every regulatory body – unlike affected populations, community groups or social movements.

Institutional repurposing occurs when public authorities like the CSIRO or Bureau of Meteorology, or environmental protection authorities or universities are hollowed out through placing industry people on the board, changing underpinning legislation, gradually diverting them from the public interest to serving private industry. Finally, there are the public influence campaigns that are run on traditional media platforms and social media.

Revolving doors and golden escalators

When senior public officials and politicians ‘retire’ from public service and move into lobbyist roles in industry, they take with them an extensive contact network, deep institutional knowledge, and rare and privileged personal access to people at the highest levels of government.

Their presence in the private sector entrenches the influence of industry over policymaking and government procurement decisions – decisions that should be entirely unmoved by commercial imperatives.

The ministerial code supposedly requires ministers to not lobby government for industries connected to their portfolio for a period of 18 months, and yet some politicians don’t even wait before they have left office.

In defence of the realm 

  • Former Liberal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb on the day before his resignation, took up a job with Chinese-owned developer Landbridge, the leaseholder of the strategically important Port of Darwin.
  • Upon leaving parliament, former Liberal party Defence Minister Christopher Pyne was immediately employed with corporate consultants EY Defence (Ernst & Young) to help them grow their defence business, and Adelaide-based arms industry lobbyists GC Advisory.
  • Former Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop overseeing the Australian Aid agency, became a director with private aid contractor Palladium.
  • Labor MP Mike Kelly went in 2020 directly from the powerful Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security into the arms of Palantir, a creepy US global surveillance consultancy.
  • Brendan Nelson, former Liberal Party leader, Defence Minister, and director of the Australian War Memorial, is now president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, a top five contractor to Defence. Nelson is also on the board of defence advisory and weapons lobbyist Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
  • The former Labor defence minister Stephen Smith, chairs the Perth-based cybersecurity company Sapien Cyber.
  • Former Labor senator and chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Stephen Loosley joined the board of French arms multinational Thales Australia.
  • Former Liberal defence minister  Robert Hill is on the  board of German weapons-maker Rheinmetall’s Australian subsidiary, which is supplying Defence’s $5 billion of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles.
  • Former Labor defence minister and Labor leader Kim ‘Bomber’ Beazley joined the board of Lockheed Martin Australia and was the chair of EY Defence lobby group.
  • Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer had been closely involved in negotiations on the Timor Sea boundary, to the ultimate advantage of Woodside Petroleum. As an ex-MP, he established a political advisory consultancy, Bespoke Approach, which was contracted by Woodside to lobby the East Timorese government to accept the basing of Timor’s LNG processing in Darwin rather than in Timor. Downer’s former departmental head also retired and joined the board of Woodside.

It’s not just ministers who seem to struggle on the Commonwealth pension, but also senior military and intelligence heads who pick up work with their former clients.

Former Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin, exactly a year after he retired as Defence Force Chief, was appointed as ‘non-executive director, defence and national security policy’ at BAE Systems Australia, one of Australia’s top three defence contractors. BAE Systems is in the running to provide Australia’s planned nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS military pact.

  • Five months after leaving his post as ASIO chief, Duncan Lewis joined the Australian board of Thales, a French arms and security multinational and a top three Australian defence contractor.
  • Former defence secretary, head of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and director general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Nick Warner, joined the board of defence lobbying firm Dragoman Global, whose clients include French submarine company, Naval Group Australia.
  • Former defence secretary and ASIO boss, Dennis Richardson, joined the board of Vault Cloud, which provides high-security cloud infrastructure for government and critical industries.
  • Former chief of army, Lt Gen Ken Gillespie, chairperson of ASPI’s council, has joined the boards of Naval Group Australia and cybersecurity firm Senetas Corporation.
  • Retired Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib joined the board of QinetiQ, a British defence multinational that is deeply embedded with Defence’s weapons arm, Defence Science and Technology.
  • Former defence secretary Allan Hawke joined the Lockheed Martin Australia board as well as the military advisory and lobbyist group, ASPI.
  • Chief of Army Peter Leahy soon joined the boards of Codan, manufacturer of military communications equipment, and Electro Optic Systems, manufacturer of machine guns exported to UAE and Saudi Arabia, both at war against Yemen.

Fossil fuelled influence

 key weakness in the Lobbying Code is that it only applies to ministers, and has no application to senior public servants, nor to MPs who have spent years on relevant committees.

While the defence and intelligence industries are renowned for making astute appointments of former ministers and senior bureaucrats, the fossil-fuel industries are also keen to exchange personnel with governments to share the knowledge and contacts that secure their deep influence…………………………..

The use of ‘institutional repurposing’

One of the most threatening aspects of state capture is the manipulation or ‘repurposing’ of government agencies set up to serve the public interest, through a process of board appointments, legislative amendments or cultural drift.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have been persistent targets for repurposing by fossil industries……………….

May 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

No, Mr Morrison. Minority government need not create ‘chaos’ – it might finally drag Australia to a responsible climate policy

No, Mr Morrison. Minority government need not create ‘chaos’ – it might finally drag Australia to a responsible climate policy

Kate Crowley

Labor might be leading in the national polls, but a hung parliament after the May 21 election remains a distinct possibility.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Political leaders ignoring the biggest threat to our national security

Political leaders ignoring the biggest threat to our national security

Robert Glasser

 In a rapidly warming climate, geo-strategic competition between China and Australia will be like trying to manoeuvre chess pieces on a toppling chessboard

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The day one person was left to monitor nine river systems as floods swept the state

The day one person was left to monitor nine river systems as floods swept the state

Communities were left stranded by floods because a lack of resources meant the SES missed crucial flood triggers, an independent review into the agency’s response to the deadly March 2021 floods has found.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A climate secret leaking out in France. Already, before summer begins, global heating is affecting the output of nuclear reactors

Nuclear: “Global warming highlights the vulnerability of power plants torising temperatures” In recent months, the debate on atomic energy has focused on its low climate impact. But global warming also poses a risk to the proper functioning of power plants, explains Stéphane Foucart, journalist at “Le Monde”.

Summer hasn’t started it’s already too hot. EDF announced it on May 9: electricity production could be affected until Sunday May 15, in particular at the Blayais power plant. The temperature of the water discharged into the Gironde estuary no longer meets environmental protection standards.

This micro-event will only have a marginal impact on electricity production, but it highlights what an intense public relations and communication campaign has been trying to keep under wraps for several
months: presented as a solution major challenge in the face of global warming, nuclear energy is also vulnerable to it.

Today, it is at the beginning of May that the problems begin at Blayais. In August 2018, the
Saint-Alban and Bugey power plants were partially shut down for similar reasons. The following summer, the same as well as that of Golfech were also slowed down. In August 2020, for the first time in its history, the Chooz plant was in turn temporarily shut down for similar reasons.

 Le Monde 15th May 2022

https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2022/05/15/nucleaire-le-rechauffement-climatique-met-en-evidence-la-vulnerabilite-des-centrales-a-l-elevation-des-temperatures_6126175_3232.html

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The horrible dangers of pushing a US proxy war in Ukraine

If there is indeed a shift in strategy to another level of confrontation with Russia, we need to know what we’re getting into.

Responsible Stateccraft APRIL 27, 2022, Anatol Lieven,

To judge by its latest statements, the Biden administration is increasingly committed to using the conflict in Ukraine to wage a proxy war against Russia, with as its goal the weakening or even destruction of the Russian state. 

This would mean America adopting a strategy that every U.S. president during the Cold War took great pains to avoid: the sponsorship of war in Europe, bringing with it the acute risk of escalation towards direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO, possibly ending in nuclear catastrophe. The U.S. and NATO refusal to support armed rebellions against Soviet rule in eastern Europe was obviously not based on any kind of recognition of the legitimacy of Communist rule and Soviet domination, but simply on a hard-headed calculation of the appalling risks involved to America, Europe and humanity in general. 

……………………………… Lavrov compared the situation in terms of nuclear danger to the Cuban missile crisis. We might do well to remember in this context how very close humanity came to nuclear annihilation in the fall of 1962. At one point, the fate of the world depended on the wisdom and caution of just one Soviet naval officer on board a nuclear attack submarine: Commander (later Admiral) Vassily Arkhipov………..

LLoyd Austin. US SEcretary of Defense

Two of Lloyd Austin’s remarks are especially worth examining in some detail. The first is that weakening Russia is necessary in order to prevent it repeating its invasion of Ukraine elsewhere. This statement is either meaningless, hypocritical, or both. There is no sign that Russia wants to or indeed could invade any other countries. As far as an attack on NATO is concerned, the miserable performance of the Russian military in Ukraine should have made absolutely clear that this is a fatuous chimera. If Russia cannot capture cities less than 20 miles from Russia’s own border, the idea of an attack on NATO is ludicrous.

As far as Georgia, Moldova and Belarus are concerned, it already holds the positions it needs in these countries. Russia’s military presence in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh is at the request of the Armenians themselves, and is indeed essential to protect them against Turkey and Azerbaijan. When it comes to combating Islamist extremism in Central Asia and elsewhere, Russia’s interests and those of the West are in fact aligned. 

Lloyd Austin also stated that U.S. officials believe that Ukraine can “win” the war with Russia given the right equipment and support from the West. The question is what “winning” means.  If it means preserving Ukrainian independence, freedom to join the European Union, and sovereignty over the great majority of Ukrainian territory, then this is a legitimate and necessary goal. Indeed, thanks to Ukrainian courage and Western weaponry, it has already to a great extent been achieved.

Moscow’s original goal of overthrowing the Ukrainian government and subjugating the whole of Ukraine failed utterly. Given the losses that the Russian military has suffered, it seems highly unlikely that Russia can capture any more large Ukrainian cities, let alone conquer the whole of Ukraine. 

If however what is meant by victory is Ukrainian reconquest — with Western help —  of all the areas lost to Russia and Russian-backed separatists since 2014, then this is a recipe for perpetual war, and monstrous losses and suffering for Ukrainians. The Ukrainian army has fought magnificently in defense of its urban areas, but attacking entrenched Russian defensive positions across open country would be a very different matter. 

Moreover, since Russia has annexed Crimea and the vast majority of the Russian people believe that this is Russian national territory, no future Russian government could possibly agree to give it up. A goal of complete Ukrainian victory therefore does indeed imply the destruction of the Russian state — something that Russia’s nuclear arsenal exists to prevent.

There is however a fatal ambiguity involved in such statements. For if what they suggest is a U.S. commitment to help Ukraine to go on fighting until Ukraine has reconquered all of the territory taken by Russia since 2014, including Crimea, then this implies a permanent war with the destruction of the Russian state as its goal; for short of the collapse of the Russian state, no Russian government will surrender Crimea, and for geographical reasons, no Ukrainian victory on the ground can bring this about. Furthermore, while China has so far been very restrained in its support for Russia over Ukraine, Beijing could not possibly tolerate a U.S. strategy aimed at the destruction of the Russian state and the consequent complete isolation of China.   https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/04/27/the-horrible-dangers-in-pushing-a-us-proxy-war-in-ukraine/

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poisoned legacy: why the future of power can’t be nuclear

Warfare, economic collapse, climate change itself – all of these increasingly real risks make nuclear sites potentially perilous places. Even without them, the dangers of atomic fission remain, and we must ask ourselves: are they really worth the cost?

the reactors promised by Gates’s TerraPower company are still at the computer-simulation stage and years away from construction. But his claim that in such reactors “accidents would literally be prevented by the laws of physics” must be taken with a pinch of salt, as there are no laws of war protecting either old or new reactors from attack. There is also serious concern that the rapid expansion in the number of plants, advocated as a way of dealing with climate change, will increase the probability of accidents. While new technology will help to avoid some of the old pitfalls, it will also bring new risks associated with untried reactors and systems. Responsibility for dealing with such risks is currently being passed on to future generations.

This is the second great risk from nuclear power: even if a reactor runs for its lifetime without incident, you still have a lot of dangerous material left at the end of it. Fuel from nuclear power plants will present a threat to human life and the environment for generations to come

The problem is that the underground store will still be contaminated in 300,000 years, and no one can predict what language our descendants will read or speak at that time, or what messages might convince them not to dig

Billions that would otherwise go to new nuclear infrastructure, with all the attendant costs of cleanup that continue for decades and beyond, should be pumped instead into clean energy.

Guardian, Serhii Plokhy, Sat 14 May 2022 

On 10 October 1957, Harold Macmillan sent a letter to President Dwight Eisenhower. The question he asked his US counterpart was: “What are we going to do about these Russians?” The launch of the Sputnik satellite six days earlier had carried with it the threat that Soviet military technology would eclipse that of the west. The prime minister was hoping to boost British nuclear capabilities, and was desperate for US cooperation.

On that same day, however, the UK’s most advanced nuclear project went up in flames – putting the knowledge and bravery of its best scientists to the test, and threatening England’s peaceful countryside with a radiological disaster.

Britain’s first atomic establishment had been hurriedly put together after the second world war. It had turned the small village of Seascale, on the Cumbrian coast, into one of Britain’s most highly educated places, brimming with nuclear scientists and engineers. At the centre of this rarified new world were two buildings: Windscale piles No 1 and No 2. They were Britain’s first nuclear reactors, on a campus that for decades afterwards would be used to produce energy for the grid, but their primary purpose was to produce the material for a British bomb.

One atomic energy official would later refer to the piles as “monuments to our initial ignorance”, and it was ignorance about one particular nuclear phenomenon that almost led to disaster. “Wigner energy” is the energy that accumulates in the graphite blocks that make up the main body of the reactor while the fission reaction is taking place. If it’s not released in time, the energy can build up to such an extent that it ignites the graphite. Periodically, a special operation called “annealing” has to be undertaken in order to release the excess energy.

Macmillan wanted Windscale to produce more plutonium and tritium for a hydrogen bomb as quickly as possible. But annealing required stopping the reactor. The Windscale Technical Evaluation Committee decided it would be safe to do it less often. Managers had scheduled the annealing of Pile No 1 for early October 1957, but it was long overdue.

It began at 11.45am on 7 October, under the supervision of physicist Ian Robertson. Everything seemed to go according to plan, ……………… Robertson was back at the pile for 9am the following day. …..The temperature in the pile was not behaving as predicted and it was a challenge to keep things stable. The operators managed to maintain control for the rest of the day and night, but on 9 October the temperature began to rise again. As the situation became critical, no one could tell what was going on inside the pile…………there it was – a fire at the face of the reactor.” Normally it was dark, but now the channels were glowing bright red from the soaring temperature.


Aratcheting up of tensions with Russia, a global pandemic and a scramble for nuclear energy with potentially deadly consequences. The echoes of 1957 are powerful, and though much has changed, we would do well to heed them.

When Russia launched its missiles at targets deep inside Ukrainian territory on 24 February, 2022, the shockwaves were felt far beyond that country’s borders. Outside politics, nowhere was the impact stronger than in the energy markets.. Prices that were already hitting historical highs jumped even higher. European countries immediately saw the need to wean themselves off dependence on Russian gas.

………… Nuclear energy – which, after all, provides France with 70% of its electricity – was quickly touted as a solution. In fact, a few weeks before the start of the war, President Emmanuel Macron had already announced a programme to construct 14 new nuclear reactors. In neighbouring Belgium, which had originally planned to phase out nuclear energy by 2025, a decision was made to extend the life of two reactors by an additional 10 years.

In the UK, Boris Johnson’s rhetoric extended even further. He announced “nuclear is coming home” (Calder Hall, right next to Windscale, was among the first civilian nuclear reactors in the world) and pledged to make it 25% of the nation’s electricity mix by 2050.

On the surface, the switch to nuclear makes sense. ………..

But the invasion also provided a chilling reminder of just why so many governments have treated nuclear power with great caution over the years. On the first day, Russian troops in unmarked uniforms took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the worst ever nuclear disaster. On the following day, electronic monitors in the Chernobyl exclusion zone indicated sharp spikes in radiation levels as heavy equipment and trench-digging by Russian soldiers threw up contaminated dust.

The world woke up to an even more nightmarish reality a week later, when news arrived from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Reports suggested that Russian forces had shelled the plant and set one of its buildings on fire. Russian troops left Chernobyl once they lost the battle for Kyiv, but they remained in Zaporizhzhia, further endangering the operation of Europe’s largest nuclear power station. On 26 April, Ukraine’s state-run atomic energy company reported that Russian missiles aimed at the town of Zaporizhzhia flew at low altitude over the reactor buildings.


What the Russian takeover of these nuclear facilities exposed is a hazard inherent in all nuclear power. In order for this method of producing electricity to be safe, everything else in society has to be functioning perfectly. Warfare, economic collapse, climate change itself – all of these increasingly real risks make nuclear sites potentially perilous places. Even without them, the dangers of atomic fission remain, and we must ask ourselves: are they really worth the cost?

The Windscale fire was eventually brought under control through a combination of scientific guesswork and sheer luck. Had it not been, the consequences could have been devastating. As it was, in 1982, the British National Radiological Protection Board estimated the death toll at 32 and attributed more than 260 cases of cancer to the fire. Windscale workers and engineers directly involved in the accident were more likely to die of circulatory system diseases and heart disease than the population of England and Wales as a whole. But there was virtually no difference in the disease rates of workers and their immediate neighbours in northwestern England, suggesting that the fire and other accidents at the complex affected not just the nuclear personnel but many who never crossed the threshold of the nuclear plant.

The dangers of atomic fission remain, and we must ask ourselves: are they really worth the cost?

Continue reading

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pentagon-Funded Think Tank Simulates War With China On NBC

 https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/05/16/pentagon-funded-think-tank-simulates-war-with-china-on-nbc/ 16 May 22

the mass media are now openly teaming up with war machine think tanks to begin seeding the normalization of a hot war with China into the minds of the public

As we’ve discussed previously, citing war machine-funded think tanks as expert analysis without even disclosing their financial conflict of interest is plainly journalistic malpractice. But it happens all the time in the mass media anyway, because the mass media exist to circulate propaganda, not journalism.

This is getting so, so crazy. That the mass media are now openly teaming up with war machine think tanks to begin seeding the normalization of a hot war with China into the minds of the public indicates that the propaganda campaign to manufacture consent for the US-centralized empire’s final Hail Mary grab at unipolar domination is escalating even further. The mass-scale psychological manipulation is getting more and more overt and more and more shameless.

This is headed somewhere very, very bad. Hopefully humanity wakes up in time to stop these lunatics from driving us off a precipice from which there is no return.

NBC’s Meet the Press just aired an absolutely freakish segment in which the influential narrative management firm Center for a New American Security (CNAS) ran war games simulating a direct US hot war with China.

CNAS is funded by the Pentagon and by military-industrial complex corporations Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, as well as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp has described as the de facto US embassy in Taiwan.

The war game simulates a conflict over Taiwan which we are informed is set in the year 2027, in which China launches strikes on the US military in order to open the way to an invasion of the island. We are not told why there needs to be a specific year inserted into mainstream American consciousness about when we can expect such a conflict, but then we are also not told why NBC is platforming a war machine think tank’s simulation of a military conflict with China at all.

It happens that the Center for a New American Security was the home of the man assigned by the Biden administration to lead the Pentagon task force responsible for re-evaluating the administration’s posture toward China. That man, Ely Ratner, is on record saying that the Trump administration was insufficiently hawkish toward China. Ratner is now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs in the Biden administration.

It also happens that the Center for a New American Security has openly boasted about the great many of its other “experts and alumni” who have assumed senior leadership positions within the Biden administration.

It also happens that CNAS co-founder Michele Flournoy, who appeared in the Meet the Press war games segment and was at one time a heavy favorite to become Biden’s Pentagon chief, wrote a Foreign Affairs op-ed in 2020 arguing that the US needed to develop “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours.”

It also happens that CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine has been featured all over the mass media pushing empire narratives about Russia and China, telling Bloomberg just the other day that the war in Ukraine could serve the empire’s long-term interests against China.

“The war in Ukraine could end up being bad for the pivot in the short-term, but good in the long-term,” Fontaine said. “If Russia emerges from this conflict as a weakened version of itself and Germany makes good on its defense spending pledges, both trends could allow the US to focus more on the Indo-Pacific in the long run.”

It also happens that CNAS is routinely cited by the mass media as an authoritative source on all things China and Russia, with no mention ever made of the conflict of interest arising from their war machine funding. Just in the last few days here’s a recent NPR interview about NATO expansion with CNAS senior fellow Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a Washington Post quote from CNAS fellow Jacob Stokes about the Chinese threat to Taiwan, a Financial Times quote from CNAS “Indo-Pacific expert” Lisa Curtis (who I’ve previously noted was cited by the mass media for her “expert” opposition to the US Afghanistan withdrawal), and a Foreign Policy citation of the aforementioned Richard Fontaine saying “The aim of U.S. policy toward China should be to ensure that Beijing is either unwilling or unable to overturn the regional and global order.”

As we’ve discussed previously, citing war machine-funded think tanks as expert analysis without even disclosing their financial conflict of interest is plainly journalistic malpractice. But it happens all the time in the mass media anyway, because the mass media exist to circulate propaganda, not journalism.

This is getting so, so crazy. That the mass media are now openly teaming up with war machine think tanks to begin seeding the normalization of a hot war with China into the minds of the public indicates that the propaganda campaign to manufacture consent for the US-centralized empire’s final Hail Mary grab at unipolar domination is escalating even further. The mass-scale psychological manipulation is getting more and more overt and more and more shameless.

This is headed somewhere very, very bad. Hopefully humanity wakes up in time to stop these lunatics from driving us off a precipice from which there is no return.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US atomic bombs back in Britain? — Beyond Nuclear International

Speaking recently about the risks of the Ukraine war turning nuclear, I said that it was precisely these weapons, at bases across Europe, that would be likely to be used first in a nuclear war over Ukraine – that the US/Russia war will be fought in Europe. 

Endangers prospects for peace in Europe

US atomic bombs back in Britain? — Beyond Nuclear International Move puts UK on front line in a NATO/Russia war
By Kate Hudson
News that US nuclear weapons may already be back in Britain, at RAF/USAF Lakenheath in East Anglia, makes Britain once again a forward nuclear base for the US in Europe.
110 US/NATO free-fall B61 nuclear bombs were removed from Lakenheath in 2008, following sustained protest at the base by CND and the Lakenheath Action Group. US nuclear bombs had been located there since 1954. 

Their return – assigned to NATO – will increase global tensions and put Britain on the front line in a NATO/Russia war. B61s have continued to be sited in five other countries across Europe – Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey – in spite of strong opposition within some of the ‘host’ countries.

Now the UK has been added to the US’s list of European sites in line for infrastructure investment for storing ‘special weapons within secure sites and facilities’. Special weapons mean nuclear weapons and this is happening in the context of increasing tension with Russia and the current escalating war.

Their return – assigned to NATO – will increase global tensions and put Britain on the front line in a NATO/Russia war. B61s have continued to be sited in five other countries across Europe – Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey – in spite of strong opposition within some of the ‘host’ countries.

Now the UK has been added to the US’s list of European sites in line for infrastructure investment for storing ‘special weapons within secure sites and facilities’. Special weapons mean nuclear weapons and this is happening in the context of increasing tension with Russia and the current escalating war.

Their return – assigned to NATO – will increase global tensions and put Britain on the front line in a NATO/Russia war. B61s have continued to be sited in five other countries across Europe – Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey – in spite of strong opposition within some of the ‘host’ countries.

Now the UK has been added to the US’s list of European sites in line for infrastructure investment for storing ‘special weapons within secure sites and facilities’. Special weapons mean nuclear weapons and this is happening in the context of increasing tension with Russia and the current escalating war.

Since the weapons were removed in 2008, the empty storage vaults for the weapons have been on ‘caretaker’ status, but reports of nuclear exercises at Lakenheath increase the likelihood that nuclear weapons are back, or on their way; the base currently hosts F-15E fighter-bombers with nuclear capability but these are being replaced by the new nuclear- capable F-35A Lightning. The first of these new fighter- bombers arrived in December 2021.

Within the next year US/NATO nuclear bases in Europe will also receive the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb which is entering full-scale production in the US.

The return of US nuclear weapons to Britain and the upgrading of its nuclear weapons across Europe constitutes a further undermining of prospects for peace in Europe and beyond.

The US is the only country to locate its nuclear weapons outside its own borders and this major increase in NATO’s capacity to wage nuclear war in Europe is dangerously destabilising.

Whether they have already been returned to Britain, or their delivery is still in preparation, this is a huge challenge for the peace movement and we will do everything we can to prevent these weapons being sited here. 

Speaking recently about the risks of the Ukraine war turning nuclear, I said that it was precisely these weapons, at bases across Europe, that would be likely to be used first in a nuclear war over Ukraine – that the US/Russia war will be fought in Europe. 

This was our worst fear in the 1980s when millions mobilised across Europe against cruise and Pershing missiles being sited here. In the 1980s we got rid of all those weapons, and we have to have the energy, the commitment and the confidence to do that again.

To join the 1-3pm May 21 protest at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk and to find out about transport arrangements, see the CND website or contact information@cnduk.org for more information.

Join CND to protest against US nuclear weapons in the UK.

Kate Hudson is the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Doomed — Beyond Nuclear International

New reactors a false solution that would break state law

Doomed — Beyond Nuclear International New nuclear won’t make the cut in Washington State
By Roger Lippman
It was 108 degrees in the shade in Seattle last June; the climate emergency now has the attention of the usually temperate Puget Sound area. The following December’s cold snap may also have to do with climate-related disruptions that climatologists tell us are weakening the polar vortex. As the crisis grows, it attracts the nuclear industry’s purveyors of false solutions, with a barrage of calls for further investment in nuclear power.

As I write, nuclear promoters are trying to sell a group of small municipal utilities, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), on a “new, improved” nuclear technology, known as small modular nuclear reactors. 

Supposedly the reactors will be mass produced, but first they must be proven in the field, at high startup cost. Who will want to be the first to put up money that can never be recovered in electricity sales? Predictably, the project has already struggled with delays, design changes, and escalating cost projections.

Of the initial subscribers, about 10 have reduced their commitments or pulled out altogether in the past year and a half. That just leaves the rubes, who have signed up for only a quarter of the project’s electrical output.

An effective approach to climate change requires the quickest and cheapest choices to reduce carbon emissions. Nuclear power, the slowest and most expensive, takes time and resources away from the available solutions, namely energy efficiency, solar, and wind power. 

Furthermore, with rising sea levels and the wildfires that have already been a threat to the Hanford nuclear reservation in Eastern Washington, the climate crisis poses a threat to nuclear power itself.

Climate conditions simply do not lend themselves to slow, dangerous and expensive new nuclear technology, and yet the drumbeat goes on, and at our expense.

For example, the Bill Gates Natrium reactor project to be built in Wyoming would get half its projected $4 billion cost in federal subsidies. The design uses enriched uranium that would be an attractive target for terrorists. This highly speculative project, if it ever succeeds, will take years before it produces any power. These billions could produce quick results if invested in energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy sources.

Even the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission isn’t fully bought in. A November 2021 Seattle Times article quotes Peter Bradford, a former NRC Commissioner, who said, “I’m frankly speechless at the success that the proponents of these plants have had in bamboozling … a lot of government officials.” 

…………………………………………………… Of the billions that have already been wasted — and could be again — on failed nuclear projects, a tiny fraction thrown our way back then would have cured our plastics problem.

And yet today, would-be, should-be, wouldn’t-be, and wannabe environmentalists are instead being heard promoting new nuclear power stations as an essential part of the decarbonization process. But it’s time to take a close look at why that approach is doomed.

The scandal that the same Times article reveals is that Congress, and some local jurisdictions, are passing multi-billion-dollar giveaways to the nuclear industry for schemes unlikely to accomplish anything but propping up an industry that should be allowed to collapse of its own weight. 

They continue to promote unproven technologies that won’t provide low-carbon electricity in the next decade; that create nuclear waste with no disposal solution; and that take money away from clean, safe, renewable projects that could come online quickly.

Even if these projects could work (doubtful), they would not be legal in Washington State. The CEO of X-energy, quoted in the Times, cited the state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act, which calls for all fossil-fuel power to be off the grid by 2045 and sets firm limits on what can replace it. The law requires our utilities to pursue all cost-effective conservation, efficiency, and demand response before building new power plants.*

Energy Northwest, which operates the state’s only nuclear power station, and its member utilities, are subject to this standard. New nuclear power is not going to make the cut. 

Old timers in Washington remember that two of the five notorious Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS, now Energy Northwest) nuclear power plant projects went bankrupt, two more were abandoned, and only one was completed: WPPSS-2, now known by the sanitized name Columbia Generating Station.

The city of Port Angeles buys all of its electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the output of WPPSS-2. That expensive power impacts Bonneville’s wholesale rates. A planner for the Port Angeles electric utility told me that, if Bonneville dropped nuclear power, the rate reductions could fund conversion of a substantial number of houses in his city from antiquated electric baseboard heaters to high-efficiency heat pumps. This is what energy conservation looks like.

The misdirection of energy investment continues, with a barrage of government-funded proposals without a chance of success (except to prop up their promoters). In April, President Biden announced a $6 billion subsidy to keep open a number of economically failing nuclear plants.

WPPSS/Energy Northwest, until recently one of the movers behind the UAMPS nuclear project described above, has jumped ship and is now promoting yet another new nuclear project at Hanford.

What are the chances of nuclear generation being designed, licensed, funded, built, and operating before 2030? Slim to none, based on past experience. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/4014951358

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How We Can Stop Lithium Mining From Depleting Water Resources, Draining Wetlands, And Harming Communities In South America” • To deal with climate change, we must move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. However, many green technologies depend on lithium, and extracting lithium can be destructive. [CleanTechnica] Uyuni Salt Flat (Samuel […]

May 15 Energy News — geoharvey

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today. A lot of scathing comments on the story of how the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal came about

I wonder for just how long will these horribly expensive nuclear submarines actually be useful to Australia, if indeed, they ever are.?    Australia needs submarines  of a shorter range to monitor its own coastlines, –   not long range ones that could be equipped with weapons,   (later on nuclear weapons) for attacking China.  


Meanwhile China is developing hundreds of swarms of much cheaper drones. that can detect nuclear submarines, and even attack them.  
Maybe the USA and UK are very happy to get Australia to pay the costs of soon-to-be-obsolete underwater monster,.  And the costs of disposing of them – a problem not yet solved by any country.

In today’s Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Harcher gives a detailed story on the secret negotiations that brought Australia to the AUKUS deal, and the plan to spend many $170Billion on nuclear submarines. Many questions on this – not least – where will the money come from?

Scott Morrison has the nerve to accuse Labor of financial extravagance, as Labor leader AnthonyAlbanese promises to spend a tiny fraction of that on fixibg our desperate health care system – as Australianhospitals struggle undervthe continuing onslaught of the pandemic.

Anyway – I’m not the only one to notice this. Many comments below that article. Here are just a few:

Misnomerthey could allow Australia to pose a direct threat to the Chinese mainland”

Exactly. Our war mongers in Canberra aren’t interested in defence, they want war with China. They have written a $100+ billion blank cheque for the “crown jewels” (seriously?), leaving us without subs and defence for decades so hairy-chested Morrison and Dutton can bang the defence drums for an election.

The subs are a political play from a reckless, spendthrift government beholden to the US, which is happy to take a huge chunk of our debt-fuelled cash and let us fight their war against China.

Ditch the subs. They are a folly from an out-of-control government and should be the first thing Labor axes in the name of debt repair.

Inner West Andrew….  The French option should not have been discarded so readily on what appears to be a political process instigated by scotty from marketing in secret and using notes on the back of a beer coaster. The lack of proper policy development on the AUKUS deal is truly astonishing. Neither Britain or America are likely to have the spare capacity to help us obtain a fleet of even just 3 nuclear submarines for decades. meanwhile we have a massive capability gaps, just as Dutton appears determined to start a war.

Budawang The momentous decision to bankroll the US projection of power against China in the Western Pacific for decades to come was made without any public debate and without even consulting with Labor. This is not the sign of a well-functioning democracy.

lets be frank. Since ScoMo didn’t talk to Albo . Albo as PM should bite the bullet and CANCEL THE NUCLEAR DEAL . Its too far above our budget and capability. It will bankrupt us . Scomo has shown himself to be the most incompetent reactive idiot in a conga line of LNP incompetent reactive idiots. This is what happens when you have amateurs in the Lodge

Ultracrepidarianist. Great article Peter. When the high financial cost was discussed the treasurer reaction was “Everything is affordable if it’s a priority. This is a priority.”
I now understand why major issues such as aged care are given superficial attention.
The Coalition does not perceive sorting out aged care issues as a priority.’
Shame on them. I no longer fall into the undecided voter category.

Alfie. There are a lot of quotes from private and sensitive conversations in this piece.
It wreaks of placement by invested parties to justify the most expensive and controversial defence project in Australia’s history.
Any further explanation on how all this information was obtained Mr Hartcher?

Oh well. So, “ScoMo” began the move to nuclear subs at least 2 years before the deal was announced, and the French informed. All so he could make the laughable boast that Australia could, once we got them, “threaten” China. This is what happens when you ask military people whether you should buy them more military toys.

SteveM. Just imagine Dutton as PM with nuclear powered attack subs to play with.

JF. Yet more proof that Scotty from Marketing is both overly partisan and hopelessly incompetent. Australia deserves much better than this appalling LNP clown show pseudo government. Time for them to go.

Phil 1943 Why wouldn’t the US and UK rush to accept the offer of a base – or bases, for their naval assets in Australia without the inconvenience of having to pay for them? If all goes as vaguely announced by the LNP, Australia will fork out big bucks for a smallish fleet of nuclear subs that will be serviced here in ‘joint’ facilities that will be shared with those two nuclear-experienced nations while we learn how to operate our submersible purchases.

During the twenty or so years while we wait for this questionable deal to coalesce, our allies will have new Australian bases to show on the maps of their global military facilities. And it’s going to cost us billions of dollars in the interim. We can only hope Albo says ‘no’.

mmanuel Can. The fact it makes us more of a target doesnt seem to have been given too much weight.

Allan Woodley. I guess that’s what he was doing in Hawaii during the bushfires.

Southerner. So this puts into perspective China’s reaction to Australia, the trade bans and the Solomons and China’s spy ships cruising in international waters off Australia’s coast. Why does Australia need an attack capacity? Why would a nation of 25 million seek to be a protagonist? Why didn’t Morrison and Co spend the time building constructive, healthy relationships with the Pacific, our SE Asian neighbours and all our trading partners including China? Once again Morrison was playing domestic politics, keeping Albanese out of the picture, pursuing a fait accompli to reap what he saw as glory. Has Morrison made Australians safer? That is uncertain. Hopefully, this very dangerous man and his very bad government will be gone in 7 days time

More comments tomorrw.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment