By Joe Montero
Scott Morrison has just announced a new military pact with the United States and Great Britain, which will turn Australia into a base for a nuclear powered submarine fleet and increase information sharing.
Under the new arrangement, to be known by the acronym AUUKUS, Australia will also participate in the use of artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems, and long range strike capabilities.
Photo from 9 News: The leaders of the three nations, Boris Johnson, Scott Morrison, and Joe Biden enjoy photo opportunity at this year’s G7 meeting in the United Kingdom
Why? The message given by the prime minister is that this is a response to a growing China threat in the Indian and Pacific regions.
This is a lie. Although some people may be fooled for a while, it will rekindle the anti-war movement that has long been part of the Australian political fabric. It could turn out to be a major political blunder.
China does not have a military presence in this part of the world or anywhere else, other than near its coastline in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the United States patrol and Britain patrol every part of all Oceans and have military forces stationed around the world.
Chinese are no ships and military anywhere near Australia’s shores and no sign this is about to change. There is no military threat, and this means there must be another reason for the military build up.
This means that if the reason for the build-up is not a military threat it must be something else. The real purpose can be summed up in two obvious reasons.
The United States has long seen the Indian and Pacific as their own spheres of influence. Both are former colonial powers. The United States colonised Philippines and occupied of Japan and took possession of several Pacific islands. Great Britain took India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, what is now Singapore, and what were once the Australian colonies.
Both took part in the colonisation and partition of China
Although the colonial empires no longer exist, their ongoing and extensive economic interests in their former territories do.
Recent years have seen a growing assertiveness of Asian nations over their own turf and increasing inter Asian links. China has been part of this. There is a similar shift among Pacific nations. This shift is upsetting the old balance.
The shift is occurring in parallel to a relative decline in the relative economic positions of the United States and Great Britain and the rise of the East.
China’s incredible economic growth comes into this. There is the Belt and Road Initiative that is involving about 150 countries, increasing trade relationships between them, and therefore, undermining the dominant position of the former colonial powers. For nearly 20 years it has been China’s economic rise that has kept the global economy afloat.
China now accounts for around 20 percent of this global economy.
For the United States in particular, there is the ambition to stop China’s economic rise, which is set to soon become the world’s biggest economy and regarded as a rival. Economically, the United States has stagnated, is heavily burdened by debt, growing poverty, has lost much of its manufacturing base, and is undergoing rising political instability.
The ultimate objective is to re-assert dominance, and in the face of more assertive nations and a declining economic and diplomatic capacity, brings greater reliance on military threat. note that the structure of the military build up is not designed for defending Australia from invasion. It is designed to wage war overseas.
Although the main target is China, the threat is also directed at the Asia and Pacific nations, warning them to accept the dominant role of the western powers.
Australia sits between the Indian and Pacific oceans and serves as a convenient base for the old colonial powers to launch quick attacks.
Australia is well placed in the Indian and Pacific to launch attacks in the region
By going along with this, the Morrison government is fanning resentment of Australia across the regions, and this will grow, for as long as Australia continues to play the role of deputy sheriff for the former colonial powers.
Is this in our interests? The answer is an obvious no. Building positive relationships with our neighbours is what is in our interests.
The rise of Asia will not be stopped. It makes much more sense to side with the future than to continue to hold onto the coattails of declining powers.
The United States has just been humiliated in Afghanistan. How in the hell then, can they defeat a much more powerful China? If it comes to war they will lose. The United kingdom itself is only a shadow of what it once was.
Therefore, the main weapon is waging economic war. The military threat is backup. history, however, tells us that trade wars have a habit of descending into shooting wars, regardless of whether this is intended or not. There is a real risk that this will happen again.
Scott Morrison and his government are buying into it. A trade war with China has been manufactured. It began by accusing China of trying to take over the Australian economy and whipping anti-Asian sentiment within a part of the Australian community. The threat of Communism was raised. A law was passed against foreign interference.
As the vitriol is aimed against China, nothing is said, about the monopoly power of American and British multinationals in the Australian economy, their funding of political parties, and their close association with the elite of big business, government leaders, military brass, and the top functionaries of public institutions.
It is the interference in our own internal politics and existing economic power that undermines Australia’s sovereignty and security interests.
These associations with the former colonial powers go a long way to explain why Australia’s leaders are so willing to commit to the role of faithful puppet.