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Pondering the Defence White Paper

05 May

There has been so much said about the latest Australian Defence White Paper that I haven’t much to add, except that it would be a good idea to actually read the thing. Some of those below clearly have and some haven’t.

I am not at all surprised by some of the things therein. For example, it is hardly surprising that it takes into account the various larger countries in our region, which I see as inevitable rather than anti-Asian. Who’s to say what may happen over the next twenty-one years? It may be we find ourselves working closely with China in certain circumstances, complementing their superior forces with our own, or we may find ourselves working with Indonesia, or India, or whoever. The USA may well not be such a power in our region by 2030. We can hardly project no change in our defence capability by 2030, can we? Of course there is a very good chance, personally, that I will be dead by 2030 so won’t get to see our shiny new military gear, and it may also well be that costs and dates will blow out so that some of it doesn’t arrive in due time.

But can you imagine in 2030 our having our present capability unchanged, whoever is in government? Imagine someone in 1920 planning ahead to 1941. They didn’t, of course…

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5 responses to “Pondering the Defence White Paper

  1. Benjamin Solah

    May 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Of course you can’t project things, but you have to look at Australia’s whole history. Anti-Asian racism has been almost constantly part of Australian history, but of course it doesn’t stop Australia from creating alliances with these countries in the future.

     
  2. Neil

    May 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I am well aware of the history of the “Yellow Peril” and, interesting to me at least, the way my own father, very much a man of his time, saw through the wartime anti-Japanese propaganda about Japanese not being able to see properly because of their “slanty eyes”, just for one example, as not being in touch with reality. I also knew a man some years back who had been a prisoner of the Japanese on the notorious Burma Railway who was every inch a rural Australian of his time yet had no racially based hatred of the Japanese, having seen good and bad in them as in anyone else, and seeing them as victims of culture and history rather than innately cruel or evil. Not everyone in the past was uniformly racist, no more than they are today. (One could argue that Japanese and Chinese are just as capable of racism as anyone else, and I say that from rather close observation as well as from what I know of history. Racism is not something just done by white guys.)

    My real point though is that having read all 140+ pages of the White Paper I challenge anyone to find anything even remotely racist in it. People may quarrel about some of its other aspects, but the racism thing is a beatup. It simply is not intrinsically anti-Asian or anti-Chinese in any way.

    I know since you have been following my blogs for a while now that you would agree I myself oppose racism. In fact so activist was I in the Pauline Hanson era that I ended up in hospital — a story I have told before somewhere. (She gave me a hernia… ;))

     
  3. Jim Belshaw

    May 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Thoughtful post, Neil.

     
  4. tikno

    May 6, 2009 at 4:52 am

    I think, the “small scale racism” (in individual level) could happened in many places, even though in the United States.

    In fact, many Indonesian students get study in Australia, even being the destination for study for the next level.

    I will worries if it occurs in society level moreover in country level, like South Africa before.

    Perhaps in modern era the “up-to-date racism” is the money, where the poor cannot entering elite-group. My term is: “Racism against the poor”

    Neil, are you agree?

     
  5. Neil

    May 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    There’s a lot of food for thought there, Tikno. Perhaps for a future post?

     
 
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