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  VANGUARD  
 
Treading the imperialist war path
 
 

Bill F.
Incoming Liberal Senator, retired Major General Jim Molan, has been promoting himself as an expert on Australia’s strategic defence policy, but in reality is only regurgitating the demands of US imperialism.

Molan has already proven his allegiance to imperialism as chief of military operations in Iraq, collaborating in the illegal US invasion that has left that country devastated and the people in misery. The horrors of the ISIS terrorist gang are a continuing legacy of this dirty war.

Within weeks of Trump demanding that US “allies” contribute more for their own “defence”, Molan was calling for even more tax-payer money in the national budget than the 2% GDP that Trump had demanded. “If 2% of GDP was the aim when America dominated the world… then there is probably a different amount now that America has reduced its own defence spending and defence capability and those that challenge it have increased theirs.” (ABC Jan 20 2018)

While the Turnbull government has obediently committed to the 2% GDP target - $30 billion over 10 years – Molan is pushing for even more. “Australia should be thinking about the level of defence expenditure that we are prepared to commit ourselves if America was the centre pole of our defence policy and now may not be as strong as it once was.”

Taking up Trump’s message (to the US diplomatic corps and others) to promote and sell more US made weaponry, he goes on to clamour for more F35 Strike Fighters and sophisticated missile systems, all to slot neatly into the “interoperability” role US imperialism has fashioned for Australia. He whines, “America has been carrying a quite disproportionate burden of the kind of defence spending that creates the stability that makes us all prosperous. Now the Americans will be expecting more of us”. (ABC Jan 20 2018)

The next war?
US Defence Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis has just declared that terrorism was no longer the greatest threat to America. Rather, according to the latest US National Defence Strategy document, “China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within.”

Molan readily embraces the idea that there will be another war, and is quite happy with the notion that Australia will tag along with whatever dirty work US imperialism dumps on us. “You can see what the next war is likely to be if you look at the national security strategy and the national defence strategy of the US and prepare for a role we might have in that.” (ABC Jan 20 2018)

While Molan may be under the illusion that US military power is in decline and retreating from the region, China and northern Korea only see encircling US bases and continual military exercises on their borders. They are likely to take much more notice of Trump’s recent statements about boosting US forces and upgrading US nuclear weapons.

On two questions, however, Molan gets it right
Firstly, he is correct on the issue of Australia not having a strategic oil reserve like most other countries. According to him, and he should know, if there was a sudden conflict the Australian military would have only 19 days before stockpiles of petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel ran out. Dependency on imported fuel is a major reason used to justify the Australian Navy having long range warships and stealthy submarines “to protect the vital sea lanes.” These hugely expensive and sophisticated vessels can be integrated nicely within the US Pacific Command, and regular training exercises are held to ensure this can be done.

The lack of a strategic oil reserve just shows that the government does not really believe there is any foreseeable threat to Australia, and that all the military spending is purely to enhance our “running dog” status with US imperialism. In fact, the biggest and most immanent threat to Australia comes from hosting US bases in Pine Gap and Darwin, and slavishly endorsing every US foreign policy position, up to and including imperialist war. These bases have nothing to do with the defence of Australia, but are there to maintain US military power in the Asia-Pacific region.

If Molan was more concerned about the defence of Australia, he would be joining the campaigns to shut down the US war bases in Pine Gap and Darwin, and calling for the nationalisation of the rapacious oil monopolies, such as Esso, who are ripping off Australian oil and gas reserves and making vast profits tax-free! Then we could have our own guaranteed reserves if required, and also have some control over phasing out fossil fuels.

Secondly, Molan is correct in his reported warnings that military support to Australia from the US is not guaranteed. The government hype about the US Alliance and the ANZUS Treaty might give the impression that Australia and the USA are mutually obliged to defend the each other in the case of an attack, but all the ANZUS Treaty requires is “consultation”. Reality is, Australia can be dragged into any war on America’s side, but US imperialism only defends its own interests.