But No Missiles Will Defend Australian Cities
Thought it would be a few weeks, maybe, even a couple of months, before foreign minister Alexander Downer made it clear that Australia was going to commit many millions of dollars to the moneyhole that will be our nation's role in the 'local' development of the United States' worldwide Missile Defence Shield.
Of course, Downer hasn't officially made that announcement. Not officially. Australians will need time to get used to the idea of paying hundreds of millions of dollars into "research"and development projects that will all lead to helping the United States position and resource their missile defence shield in our region.
First of all Downer and defence minister Brendan Nelson had to get Australians used to the words "missile defence shield" and "Australia" being mentioned in the same news sound bite. They both did that in the past two weeks. Then Downer flew to Washington and California to meet with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice and a bevy of American defence industry heavyweights. In those meetings he, unofficially, discussed Australia's long term role and commitment to the expansion of America's missile defence shield.
In the coming weeks, Downer and Nelson will talk up the "long-term" threat posed to Australia by North Korean and Chinese missile development programs, with vague future threats along the lines of "You never know what might happen in 20 or 30 years. It might be a very different world. China and North Korea already have missiles that can reach Australian cities."
But while they talk up such potential future threats, Downer and Nelson will be committing Australian taxpayer dollars to future research and development programs all related to the expansion of the American missile shield across the Pacific and into South East Asia.
Downer made one of the most important decisions about the strategic future of Australia while he was with Dr Rice, but why would you expect to hear anything about it? It will only directly impact on our relationship with China and Indonesia through the next half century and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. What's so important about that?
Downer, of course, claims that no decision has been made yet about Australia committing to the US missile defence shield, but he is such a rampant, repulsive liar and spreader of misinformation, you might as well assume that he signed on the dotted line while he was with Dr Rice last week.
We'll be helping to fund the expansion of America's missile defence shield, yes, but don't expect it to actually protect us in the event of a future missile exchange between hostile nations - read China and the United States.
From news.com.au :
Australia would support its allies in building a missile defence shield, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said today.
But he said it was unlikely "in the foreseeable future" that Australian cities would be protected by the system.
Japan's Nikkei business daily newspaper reported this week that Australia, Japan and the US had agreed at a meeting in Tokyo last month on a joint research framework for a system.
Mr Downer, speaking today in California alongside US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Australia supported the concept of the missile defence system.
Asked if it was realistic Australia would have missiles guarding its cities in the near future, Mr Downer replied he did not "think that's likely any time in the foreseeable future".
"We do support the concept of missile defence and we do work with our friends and allies on that issue," said Mr Downer..."We have never made a secret of that."
"There are not the strategic circumstances where we feel we would need (missile defence capability) ourselves at this stage. Others, including the US, their need for it is entirely understandable, and we are happy to work with them. "
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