ESSAY 18: DEFENCE - PLANNING AND PROCUREMENT
Common Sense does not believe in reinventing the wheel. We have outsourced Essay 18 to the Foreign Editor of The Australian, Mr Greg Sheridan.
Mr Sheridan’s Essay, entitled “Hard work of defence begins for PM Anthony Albanese and Defence Minister Richard Marles”, was first published in The Australian on 4 June 2022. It is our pick of the most informative journalism by our nation’s Fourth Estate during the month of June 2022. Well done Greg!
A major attraction of Mr Sheridan’s article is his citation of the book Supreme Command by Eliot Cohen:
“it makes the case that in the biggest matters of war and peace, only democratically elected politicians have the moral and political authority to make the decisions, not generals or bureacrats. Against the anti-politician spirit of the day, Cohen argues that a smart professional politician has a wider understanding of the world than a general does, and therefore often makes better strategic decisions“. Editor’s note: The emboldened emphasis is added by us.
Eliot Cohen’s observation reflects poorly on the common sense of our own federal political class. As observed in Essay 1: “It is bewildering, that any politician promoting wise spending, has voted for budgets spending $50B on Dud Subs.” Cohen’s statesperson, would presumably drill bureaucratic rationales, as to why:
(1) Australia needs our subs hidden off the coast of our biggest trading partner, or hidden in the seas near Australia’s biggest trading partner; and as to why
(2) Any subs needed, for our use in the northern hemisphere, are not based there rather than (as mooted) near cafes of Wollongong, Newcastle or Brisbane.
For and on behalf of Common Sense for Australia Inc
Authorised for publication, 30 June 2022
Donald Greenlees, Asialink, 11 July 2020: Australia Needs Diplomacy Not Justs Guns to Shape Strategic Outlook
Tom Lewis, The Spectator Australia, 28 June 2022: Fast-tracking Australia towards nuclear subs
Troy Bramston, The Australian, 2 July 2022: Australia always primed to fight someone else’s battle