By Adam Carlton
Australia is to add one more leg towards our integration with the U.S. military machine. This time, it’s an agreement to allow Australian soil to be used for testing new air launched hypersonic missiles. They travel at five times the speed of sound.
The plan was announced on 1 December by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, and testing is to begin within months. The air launched missiles will be followed by sea and land launched ones.
Photo from the ADF: Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds in the cockpit of an F/A-18 Hornet
This continuing integration is economic as well as military, taking the form of the rise of a military economy, geared to play junior partner in manufacturing for corporations tied to the U.S. military. The plan is to manufacture the missiles in Australia through this arrangement.
Washington’s strategy has for some time been to decentralise and export some of the costs of maintaining global military presence and superiority to its allies.
There is also the use of Australia to drive the cold war against China, and Australia is playing a role in this part of the world.
Whichever way you look at it, we are being set up as a launching pad for aggression, and this makes us a military target.
Military spending is the big growth area of government spending. The Royal Australian Airforce will be buying the new missiles within the next 5 to 10 years, from manufacturers operating in Australia.
A total of $9.3 billion has been earmarked for this particular missile project, and forms part of a $270 billion 10-year defence plan to project greater military power in the region.
known as the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), this project is an extension of 15 years of integrated research that has involved hypersonic scramjets, rocket motors, sensors, and advanced manufacturing materials.
The Minister has taken the usual road of selling this as a measure to defend Australia form attack. This is not true. Hypersonic missiles are a long-range weapon, specifically designed to be used against other nations. They are designed to hit targets 1,600 kilometres away.
Since integration with the US armed forces began, Australia has been dragged into every war and just about every act of gunboat diplomacy to pursue the American quest to be the dominant global power. Not one of these has been defensive in nature.
The proper course for Australia is to be a nation promoting cooperation, mutual respect, and peace. Not to be promoting regional hegemony by one power, as is the case at present.
At a time of serious economic challenges, the billions being spent on reckless aggression to maintain the colonial style presence of a superpower in our region and the world, would be must better put towards ensuring top class health, education, housing, and other services that are of benefit to people.