Friday, March 1, 2013

Dueling governments compete to ruin Defence

Jim Molan has some good reading. Some good. Some bad.

He is quick to blame the current government with today's Defence woes. He gives a large free pass to the past government.

“To the credit of the Howard government, it recognised the true state of the ADF and started remedial action.”

How? By committing billions to the no-analysis F-35? By committing billions to the questionable Air Warfare Destroyer? By committing billions to the questionable Amphibs? By committing billions the questionable Super Hornet purchase?

It was the Howard government that removed Australia's long-range strike capacity.

How about M-1 tanks? They are not very useful for the region. And, they are fuel hogs. But we got 'em.

There are other examples. Throwing money at the rent-seekers by a larger volume does not make a credible measuring stick of a government’s commitment to the nation’s defence.

“The Rudd Defence White Paper 2009 was welcomed by the public because it was comfortingly robust.”

Maybe "robust" if one is in the rent-seeking business, but not for one interested in true defensive value of the nation. And otherwise, a sham of a product for looking in total: ignorant to the facts of life.

So as for the current government’s history of Defence Ministers since 2007, it is a mixed bag.

They did a follow-on with the previous government in destroying Australia's ability to defend itself from the air.

They did kill the Sea Sprite and bring to attention that the N90 torpedo program was stupid as the day is long and...dishonest.

Then too, we still have a seriously flawed helicopter roadmap.

Neither government has taken the disastrous DMO to the pound to have it put to sleep.

Other: Jim Molan brings up the flawed percent of GDP as it pertains to a Defence budget meme.

Again, this is an entitlement nation. Whatever is left over in the Federal Budget for Defence is...what you get.

And like it, Sir.

I suspect things aren't going to get better regardless of the government in power. For example: Senator David Johnston meets all the requirements for being fact free, low information and a useful idiot for Lockmart and the not very useful NACC.

As Australia becomes more of an entitlement society, Defence will have even less say, simply because the only thing senior leadership bring to the table are robust goals for having an ineffective military.

Who really wants to spend any money on that?


Albatross said...

I think there'd be very few in the defence forces who wouldn't agree that the Howard government got it horribly wrong with more than one of the decisions they made on defence acquisitions.

But when it comes to getting it wrong, Stephen Smith is in a class of his own.

Intently Curios said...

Howard government committed to the F35, and in hind site was a bad decision. However to their defence... So to speak, the F35 at that time was potentially 'as good' and or very close to characteristics of the F22 (on paper) with greater strike capabilities (I.e less of an the f22s air superiority function and a Multi Role craft). The linch pins, were f22 was protected by Federals law (US) and were not available to anyone outside of the US (could have been tested and I understand the f22 was a real potential for AU). But true to the Howard government, the F35 allowed Australian businesses to contribute to the development of the aircraft= jobs etc in AU. Made sence back then....pity the government were mislead as to the F35 design, performance capabilities, time lines and of course the cost! (One hell of a sales, babes and....maybe why the plane cost so much!)

Unless credible competative air threats emergs in the next few years, its unlikely the F22 will be built in the US again. Mainly due to their Catestrophic financial situation, US budget is huge and an easy target for cut backs....particularly airframe development.
This leads to my previous point., drop the F35 and role funds into the ongoing production of the f22 and variants...which work!. Even and international version as done with the F15.