Can the ADF last ’till September?
I note Defence Minister Smith is talking about asking for billions to try and fix the enormous stuff-up the ALP have made of the portfolio. I think you will find that Smith is asking for billions so the punters can see that the ALP are serious about defence. He’s unlikely to get it given the horizon-to-horizon black hole the ALP have organized, but at least it will be recorded that he tried. Some background reading on what the military think of Minister Smith The first indications of ALP problems was Rudd’s white paper that promised, among other dreams, twelve submarines. Twelve! We have troubles manning two out of six and this beaurocrat, this non-oracle of defence suggests we can handle twelve. Maybe he thought the ACTU could man them. Rudd’s White Paper didn’t survive the light of day. It simply provided a platform for Military historians and civilian academics with some skin in the game to get some opinions and papers recycled. Those of us who are ex-military and the current ADF members simply roll our eyes and sit waiting patiently for adults to resume command. It did nothing for Defence as evidenced by the ADF being stripped of monies right down to the petty cash for office supplies. The ALP have reduced Australian defence spending to 1.56 per cent of gross domestic product, the lowest it has been since 1938. The Commanding Officer of an Infantry battalion, just before deployment to Afghanistan last year, told me he wasn’t allowed to send his officers NCOs and soldiers on training courses that he thought relevant to their deployment to a war zone, due to ALP cutbacks. But, Smith is on record as asking for billions he knows he won’t get whilst a member of a government in serious decline that doesn’t even like the ADF.