This blog looks past partisan politics to find solutions and provide insights into public policy. It is the companion blog to the author's on-line training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au
It covers a wide spectrum of issues from local to international concerns.
It was previously the support blog for the author's biography "Finding Home, An Autobiographical Account of a Child Migrant Growing on the Edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness” available from Amazon.
Erik is a public policy professional and owner of the online training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au
…explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military.
Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.
So why have I just posted five
articles on Australia’s vulnerability to invasion on a left leaning
environmentalist blog? The answer quite simply, is that you can only protect
what you can defend; be it the environment, human rights, or any other value.
On the rare occasions that
environmentalists talk about Defence it is usually in an eye rolling ‘I can’t
believe they spend so much money on this stuff for no reason’ kind of way. This
is usually followed by concerns over disposal of toxic stuff (aircraft fuel, depleted
uranium rounds, spent nuclear rods etc), the effects of sonar on whales, and
sometimes a grudging aside that the military can be helpful in disaster relief
because they have lots of helicopters…and that’s about it. This was, more or
less, the response I got from Christine Milne when I spoke to her recently at a
celebration of the World Heritage Area extension, (that’s the one Abbott wants
to repeal, and which environmentalists have been fighting for since 1973). The
Greens have a Defence Policy but it is really just a statement of principles
and lacks any real substance.
Underlying this intellectual sloth
is a kind of unspoken assumption that if we (rich Western people) were nicer to
the rest of the world wars wouldn’t happen, so we wouldn’t need to worry about
defence. Didn’t work so well for the Celts when the Romans showed up, or too
well for the Romans when the Goths showed up but hey…. After spending five
years trying to even talk to any Green politician about Defence without success
I have given up.
With all respect to the
eco-anarchists, if you want national parks, marine reserves, restrictions on
extractive activity etc, you need a nation state that is able and willing to
enforce those restrictions. It really doesn’t matter how many marine reserves
Australia declares in the Coral Sea, if there is no naval presence,
international fishing interests will just keep fishing.
War is indeed unhealthy for
children and other living things but war is a fact. In 1985 an Indonesian
official bluntly asked Kim Beazley what Australia would do if Indonesia invaded
Papua New Guinea. Beazley to his credit said that we would fight to the last
man. A key reason why Indonesia did not invade PNG, and did not send its army
against UN forces in Timor Leste, is because we had the F-111 bomber (that was
so beloved of Beazley). Now we don’t and on current trends Australia will not
be able to defend PNG in 2030. What of human rights? What of PNG’s super
diverse environment? Why do the Greens and the Left generally oppose
Australia having an offensive military capability? What exactly do they think
Facing no serious military threat
to their existence most Western nations now see military matters in terms of
policing, and coalition operations against developing nations. Australia does
not have that luxury. It’s an uncomfortable and unacknowledged truth that the
greatest threat to our natural treasures may not be global warming, but
Javanese expansionism. Invasion is the ultimate form of privatisation. War is
trade by other means.
So is there any real possibility
that the Javanese empire (aka Indonesia) could extend their transmigration
program to Australia, or as Indonesian generals prefer to call it “Iryan
Selatan” or “South Iryan”? The future intentions of any nation, and the
Javanese in-particular, are inscrutable. What the preceding five articles show
is that, on current trends, invasion is possible. If we do not build a defence
force that provides a reasonable power balance, we put at risk both ourselves
and the smaller countries to our north and east. It’s time the Left and the
Greens in-particular grew up, left the ideological sand-pit, and started
dealing with the world as it really is.
Indonesian special forces with the
bodies of the GAM guerrillas they killed. Photogaph taken near Nasi Besar
Island in May 2003. While Australian politicians and Defence bureaucrats play
their little games, the Indonesians play for real.
Tag line: Greens security policy, Christine Milne, Australian defence policy, pacifism, ABRI, TNI, transmigration, human rights Iryan Jaya, human rights Timor Leste, F-111 bomber, PNG security, Pacifc Rim security and strategic policy.