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The Forum > Article Comments > On the dangers of selling 'defence assets' > Comments

On the dangers of selling 'defence assets' : Comments

By Babette Francis, published 28/3/2018

Canít we please stick to exporting vegemite, wool and yes Ė coal?

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I usually agree with Babette, but on this occasion In think she is being naive. But, of course, pacifism is the ultimate naivety. It is also dishonourable in my view, because pacifists know that they will be protected by non-pacifists.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 9:12:26 AM
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Ms Francis is long on applaudable sentiment but short on any actual knowledge of the area. Take the EF88 assault rifle now being adopted by the Australian military. It is being manufactured at the Lithgow Arms factory, near Lithgow, but that factory is owned by the giant European arms manufacturer Thales (pronounced Talis, I think) and the rifle is an adaptation/update of a long standing Austrian design. Lithgow is now competing for a major Indian army contract. Does Ms Francis want to block this sale? To what purpose? So the Indian army buys its assault rifles somewhere else - even another Thales owned factory? Most of the rest of Aus exports in this area really count as defence equipment (bullet proof jackets, land-mine proof vehicles, medical kits ect), rather than arms as such.
The real problem in defence spending is where Australia insists on trying to build the big-ticket items here - air warfare destroyers and submarines, for example, rather than buy them off the shelf from other countries for vastly less money and hassle - and then look for export markets. That doesn't work at all.
Posted by curmudgeonathome, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:07:30 AM
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As you've pointed out, you're no expert! And as a self declared pacifist, lacking any military expertise.

Our security is not dependant on numbers and with each technological innovation, even less so!

What will ensure our security is a robust and innovative high tech manufacturing sector and self sufficient fuel supplies! And the coal you want to export to a shrinking less and less profitable market could ensure that!

Particularly if we but used the brains we were born with and adopt nuclear technology as nuclear waste burning MSR's. And given they are powered by other folk's nuclear waste, who will pay us annual billions to store/dispose of, we could have power that cost us nothing and for centuries. And that power could convert coal to fuel, plus resuscitate a robust steel and metals smelting industry!

Both equally essential to our security! As for weapons sales, if they don't get them from us, they'll get them from those opposed to us, our way of life and belief system.

And or, possible future adversaries only made economically stronger with our foregone export dollars.

This classic pacifist claptrap/errant, waste of time nonsense, has nothing whatsoever to recommend it! Imagine if CHINA INVADED INDIA, would a few gurus and civil disobedience stop them.

As a few pacifists demonstrated so ably in Tiananmen Square or Tibet!
Nor as appeasers, any more successful in haling the tide of Nazi aggression!

Ghandi's civil disobedience campaign only succeeded because the British were all but bankrupt and war weary. Moreover, inherently decent and fair. And governed by their own self imposed rule of law.

Can't imagine civil disobedience or street marches or outspoken dissidents, stopping a completely ruthless China from taking what and who she wants! India is in China's crosshairs given her location, population numbers, current wealth and democratic institutions!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:15:19 AM
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If I am going to have to fight someone, I would prefer it was someone who was using arms we supplied.

In such a case we will know in advance all the weaknesses in the weapon, & perhaps how best to defend against it.

During WW11 the yanks were getting shot out of the sky in large numbers by the Jap Zero. It was only after they captured a zero in repairable condition, & flew the thing they found it's strengths & weaknesses. They then worked out ways to overcome it's strengths, exploit its weaknesses, & build a superior aircraft.

Knowing your enemy is a great advantage.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 3:20:13 PM
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"... I grew up in India idealizing the tenets of Mahatma Gandhi, the latter-day apostle of non-violence and of non-violent means to end British colonial rule in India".

The author starts off with a common misconception; the Mahatma preached non-violence but he used the violence that he knew that he would provoke to his own ends, without violence he would have achieved little; provoking violence in others to put them in a bad light is condoning violence.

On arms, the few rifles etc. that Australia can produce and sell are but a drop in the bucket compared to what is available on the legitimate International market let alone what is available on the 'black'.

The author ought to brew up a cup of 'Vegemite' and have a good lie down.
Posted by Is Mise, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 7:14:41 PM
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//The author ought to brew up a cup of 'Vegemite' and have a good lie down.//

Vegemite by the cup? Jesus, that'd put hairs on your chest.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 8:05:10 PM
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