Salvatore Babones

TAFKAS is not overly familiar with the work and writings of Salvatore Babones, but having read one of his recent pieces for National Interest mag, TAFKAS will follow more closely.

Barbone’s piece was an absolute cracker and TAFKAS commends that Cats have a read:

If Australia Wants Collective Defense, Then It Should Get Its Own Navy in Ship Shape

The following is a snipped and brings to mind that famous UK political documentary called Yes Minister. Specifically the episode around relocating military jobs to the north of England where there is unemployment:

You can’t ask senior officers to live permanently in the north. The wives wouldn’t stand for it for one thing. (And) children’s schools!

Here is Barbones perfectly demonstrating that life well imitates art.

The Royal Australian Navy’s Sydney headquarters is particularly self-indulgent. Strategically stationed in the posh inner-Sydney suburb of Potts Point, the RAN’s top brass can comfortably grab a croissant on their morning walk to work from subsidized housing in one of Australia’s most expensive neighborhoods. In 2018, the city of Sydney wanted to acquire the base, which has golden sunset views of the landmark Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, to use as a cruise ship terminal. The Navy turned them down.

Yet the base is incredibly insecure—and incredibly dangerous. Pedestrians walk on a public inner-city street within ten yards of the bows of the nearest ships. The whole base is hemmed in by a city park on one side and a luxury hotel on the other. Any decent quarterback could hit six ships with bombs lobbed from the park overlooking the base; a determined terrorist could sink half the fleet with a portable rocket launcher. Even an onboard accident could take out the civilian hotel just one hundred yards away.

A serious fighting navy would move north to the country town of Townsville, fifteen hundred sea miles closer to any potential threat emanating from China or emergency arising in the Pacific. The RAN has refused to move out of congested Sydney Harbour to nearby suburban Botany Bay. They say the reason is “tradition.” Another word for it is “lifestyle.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Salvatore Babones

  1. Rex Mango

    The ADF has already given up most of the best parts of Sydney Harbour. Move the RAN out of Garden Island and you will never get it back. Strategic assets like the centre of the world’s best harbour don’t come easy. Same reason the army hangs on to Victoria Barracks in Sydney. High ground overlooking both Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay with a twenty foot stone wall. Leave the navy where it is.

  2. C.L.

    Hilarious comparison; funny because it’s bang-on.
    The Navy should be forced out of Potts Point and sent to – say – Cairns.

  3. Karabar

    If TAFKAS were to watch the OUTSIDERS on Sky News, he could become more familiar with Salvatore Babones. He has been on the program several times.
    You won’t catch him on AUNTY. He THINKS.

  4. Percy Popinjay

    a determined terrorist could sink half the fleet with a portable rocket launcher

    Bring it on. Our so called navy is utterly incapable of mounting any coherent defence of any part of this continent as it is. Having its main base in central Sydney is yet more evidence, as if any was needed, that our beloved government is simply not serious about defence of this country or its population.

    But hey, the morbidly obese transexual and lezzo sailors’ pink and rainbow coloured fingernails will send all the right signals to any excitable and aggrieved m00slamic terrorist and ward off any potential rocket launcher attack.

    Speaking of, have the ADF rocket launchers that “mysteriously went missing” several years ago ever been recovered?

  5. mh

    There will be some fabulous retail outlets nearby to Potts Point so moving the RAN will discriminate against all the new female recruits, as well as those that are transitioning.

  6. Old School Conservative

    The “move the Navy to Queensland” was a Rudd thought bubble.

    I once worked at Garden Island and yes, it was very convenient.

  7. C.L.

    Just because it was Rudd bubble, doesn’t mean it wasn’t right.
    Are we expecting attacks or invasion from the south?

  8. Cassie of Sydney

    “Karabar
    #3148084, posted on September 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm
    If TAFKAS were to watch the OUTSIDERS on Sky News, he could become more familiar with Salvatore Babones. He has been on the program several times.
    You won’t catch him on AUNTY. He THINKS.”

    Exactly….Babones is great.

  9. mh

    Maybe New Zealand will attack us with their Navy and Air Force.

  10. C.L:

    Hilarious comparison; funny because it’s bang-on.
    The Navy should be forced out of Potts Point and sent to – say – Cairns.

    Perhaps we could send them to Darwin.
    Oh. No we can’t, it’s been given to the Chinese Navy.
    The Tumbrils should be rolling in Canberra for that demonstration of gutlessness alone.

  11. Rohan

    mh
    #3148097, posted on September 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm
    Maybe New Zealand will attack us with their Navy and Air Force.

    Kiwi’s don’t fly. If it gets startled it runs off in terror and doesn’t eat for something like 6+ days, so usually dies. If startled, I doubt the Kiwi airforce’s transport planes are any better prepared for their nations defence than their national animal is.

    NZ has 2 ANZAC frigates but that’s the total combat capability of thier navy and airforce.

    They could Haka us to death.

  12. Roger

    Perhaps we could send them to Darwin.
    Oh. No we can’t, it’s been given to the Chinese Navy.

    There’s a joint US-Australian venture to establish a naval base at Glyde Point.

  13. Snoopy

    The only advantage of a decision to base the RAN in Townsville or Cairns would be Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s resultant spectacular emotional meltdown.

  14. Behind Enemy Lines

    China’s not going to invade Australia. They’re going to buy Australia. And have made a pretty good run at it, with substantial investments in various politicians and parties.

    As for the ADF, I recognise the outstanding junior service members at the pointy end, but once you get into the middle grades there are an awful lot of pampered princesses. Meanwhile, Australia defence is a strategy-free zone with an acquisition approach largely dedicated to buying votes with make-work programs.

    Our strategic outlook is challenging enough, even without national security having been turned into a massive gravy train for the benefit of insiders.

    Like so much else in this country, it’s going to take a catastrophe before necessary changes can even be explored.

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    How about naval bases at Cossack in WA and weipa in QLD perhaps a base on Flinders Island ?
    Other moves could be ,
    Aboriginal affairs to Bourke NSW.
    Foreign Affairs to Derby WA.
    Defence to Fitxroy Crossing WA.
    Education to Cabramatta ,NSW.
    Energy rto Morwell Victoria .
    Health to Penong SA .
    In sure cats can add to that , think of the joys this de centralisation would bring ,the AFP could be moved to Sydneys west to get some real coppering experience .
    The parliament could become mobile to make it a harder target ,perhaps Tipooburra NSW , Eucla WA, Bollon QLD , Dargo Vic , Birdsville SA , no body will evven think if bombing them they wont be able to find them , even we have difficulty , this plan would ensure continuity of government in stressfull situation . One proviso ,no more than $10,000 per venue be spent ,there are second hand tents everywhere ,
    And if tents are good enough for genuine refugees yhey are good enough for virtue signallers .

  16. Dracula

    NZ has 2 ANZAC frigates but that’s the total combat capability of their navy and airforce. What for? Surley New Zealands greatest defence is that it’s …..New Zealand

  17. Boambee John

    Even an onboard accident could take out the civilian hotel just one hundred yards away.

    Back in the earl 1990s, there was a lot of Parliamentary and media thrashing around about ammunition barges moored on buoys nearby. NATO guidelines suggested that they should not be moored so close to major built up areas. Eventually the ammunition depot was moved from Newington to Jervis Bay.

    No-one raised the issue of the fully ammunitioned ships moored at Garden Island. Presumably the counter argument would have been that their crews could have fought any fire/stopped anything else that might have led to an explosion.

    Fairly weak argument, imho.

  18. sabena

    This post and that of Babones ignores the fact that there aren’t many suitable harbours for the RAN to operate from other than Sydney.As to northern defence,the suitable base is Manus Island which at long last the government is doing something about.

  19. Percy Popinjay

    I’m sure cats can add to that, think of the joys this decentralisation would bring

    The Yuman Rites Commission moved to Alice Springs or Brewarrina.

  20. How about we move the entirety of Their ABC to Alice Springs? Then they would be centrally located to everyone and not require all the assets they now hold.

  21. Rex Mango

    Another aspect that should not be forgotten, is that if King Jon-ung starts lobbing ballistic missiles, Australia’s only defence would be the new Air Warfare Destroyers. Having them based near our biggest city could come in handy.

  22. Rex Mango

    Is Salvatore Babones in any way linked to the NSW Liberal Party? He has lot in common with Barry O’Farrell, who successfully nuked Kings Cross, freeing that up for property developers and Mike Baird who unsuccessfully scuttled greyhound racing, which would have allowed Wentworth Park to be sold.

  23. Behind Enemy Lines:

    China’s not going to invade Australia. They’re going to buy Australia. And have made a pretty good run at it, with substantial investments in various politicians and parties.

    As for the ADF, I recognise the outstanding junior service members at the pointy end, but once you get into the middle grades there are an awful lot of pampered princesses. Meanwhile, Australia defence is a strategy-free zone with an acquisition approach largely dedicated to buying votes with make-work programs.

    + eleventy gazillion

    Our strategic outlook is challenging enough, even without national security having been turned into a massive gravy train for the benefit of insiders.
    Like so much else in this country, it’s going to take a catastrophe before necessary changes can even be explored

    Just like the rest of the bloody wars we stumbled into during the 20th C.
    Meanwhile, we bought the time necessary to do the work that should have been already in place, by spending copious amounts of our young men’s blood and our nations treasure.
    “Time lost at the start of a campaign can never be recovered.”
    von Manstein.

  24. Boambee John:

    No-one raised the issue of the fully ammunitioned ships moored at Garden Island. Presumably the counter argument would have been that their crews could have fought any fire/stopped anything else that might have led to an explosion.

    But are our ships fully munitioned?
    I would suggest not.
    But this means the munitions would have to be brought from Jervis Bay, taking time. Or the ships would need to go to JB to fill up – i.e. away from the most likely battle area.

  25. JB of Sydney/Shanghai

    Handy tips from Sun Tsu, “The Art of War.”

    III. Attack by Stratagem

    1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

    2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

  26. billie

    we’d have no one in the armed forces if they were moved out of big cities, or too far away from them

    recruitment and retention are the biggest problems our defence force has, not weapons, ships or anything else

    we can’t get good people and we can’t keep them

    to keep what we have, we allow them the flexibility to move every few years and that’s why we have no depth or maturity in any field. we pay them very well now, and that was not the case in the past

    politicians interference in major purchases forces narrow skills on the military that don’t allow people to cross from role to role easily, they have to be retrained each time. navy personnel cannot crossdeck from one maritime platform to another without complete retraining and don’t even mention submarines

    no longer do people go into an area and stay there for their career, where they would become expert and deeply skilled

    you cannot compare our services to the US we are so skill shallow. we barely populate the roles necessary to allow the military structures to remain in place so we don’t have to reinvent it all in the case of actual strife.

    competence in those roles is laughable by comparison to the US

  27. Boambee John

    Winston

    But are our ships fully munitioned?

    Perhaps the admirals have gone soft, but in that era they were pretty fierce on the subject.

  28. Jock

    I saw babones on sky talking about universities and the massive foreign student sort. He said we have by far the biggest program and number per thousandstudents anywhere in the world. Too much dependency to be healthy for the sector. The number of Chinese was huge. 40% OR SO OF foreign students. When asked why. He responded with three reasons. The first was simply; migration.
    No one asked if the were escaping the cop or acting as it’s 5th column. Are we having ourselves on with this ” export” earner? Or is it a suicide note.?

  29. Rafe Champion

    Salvatore was one of the leading lights at the CIS talk fest in the country last week, along with Claire Fox, Daniel Pipes, Lionel Shriver and others. He is on leave from Sydney Uni this year, in Rome writing another book. He send out a monthly newsletter for people who are interested in his ideas.
    Subscribe here.
    https://mailchi.mp/8f5aec3db6b7/salvatore-babones-newsletter

    He was pleased to find my website and we look forward to some coffee shop talk next year.
    http://www.the-rathouse.com

  30. Dr Fred Lenin

    The shoomin rites comissars to Inaminka ,the alpbc to Giles weather station WA? How is that cats , any more ideas? Think of the great changes to be made if the eelights have to live under real life conditions ,bat the climate scam would die the painfull death is richly deserves . (Great opportunity there for travelling soy latte vans )

  31. Behind Enemy Lines

    Winston Smith
    #3148169, posted on September 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    . . . the bloody wars we stumbled into during the 20th C. . . . we bought the time necessary to do the work that should have been already in place, by spending copious amounts of our young men’s blood and our nations treasure.
    “Time lost at the start of a campaign can never be recovered.”
    von Manstein.

    Looking back, I get more and more disgusted about this. Looking forward, I get more and more angry.

    billie
    #3148178, posted on September 5, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    . . . recruitment and retention are the biggest problems our defence force has, not weapons, ships or anything else.

    At unit level, yes; at a national level, though, the biggest problem is an utter want of seriousness, largely owing to a national security apparatus that is run by politicking civilian backside kissers rather than patriots schooled in strategy and military affairs.

  32. lotocoti

    Clearly someone needs half a dozen excise-free G&Ts at the Wardroom, HMAS Watson, to properly understand the vital strategic placement of naval establishments.

  33. Behind Enemy Lines

    lotocoti
    #3148221, posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm
    Clearly someone needs half a dozen excise-free G&Ts at the Wardroom, HMAS Watson, to properly understand the vital strategic placement of naval establishments.

    Lotocoti is speaking the language of experience!

    (In fairness, HMAS Harmon stands as a pretty good example in the opposite context.)

  34. Doc Fred:
    Visited Giles weather station while I was doing Remote Area Nursing at a few sites.
    Yes – it is isolated. Perfect spot for a few extra tents.

  35. Boambee John

    BEL

    politicking civilian backside kissers

    Don’t want to depress you, but I suspect that there are plenty of politicking military backside kissers also involved.

    Look at recent service chiefs as a start.

  36. Rex Mango

    Yep, Giles weather station perfect for the ALPBC as far enough from the ocean, they will be safe from rising sea levels due climate change. Also they will be able to put into practice with the locals a lot of the indigenous propaganda they push.

  37. Davey Boy

    Dr Fred, Cunnamulla looks like a nice place to which we could decentralise some govt department or another

  38. Tel

    We excavate a channel out past Whyalla to flood the center of Australia with saltwater and then we build a big castle on top of Ayre’s Rock … much like Edinburgh Castle only bigger and better.

    Then we sail our shallow water Literally Crap Ships round and round the castle while singing, “Ha ha you can’t get us!”

    Out of deepest respect to the traditional owners of the rock, we will instruct all of our military peoples never to climb the rock … and out of deepest respect to the disabled veterans we install an elevator thus alleviate any need for climbing. That should keep everyone happy … except Mr Taxpayer and that guy will never be happy.

    Oh yeah … nearly forgot … stick a windmill on top.

  39. Tel

    As for the ADF, I recognise the outstanding junior service members at the pointy end, but once you get into the middle grades there are an awful lot of pampered princesses.

    That’s about the same as the story I heard regarding the US military as well. They have been in Afghanistan for almost 20 years and have yet to defeat some medieval guys with sandals and rifle.

    Trump tells them all to give up and go home and they say, “WTF?!? Right when we are just about to win this?” Yeah, right.

  40. Behind Enemy Lines

    Boambee John
    #3148242, posted on September 5, 2019 at 5:03 pm
    BEL

    politicking civilian backside kissers

    Don’t want to depress you, but I suspect that there are plenty of politicking military backside kissers also involved.

    Look at recent service chiefs as a start.

    You’re absolutely right, Boambee John. I could certainly provide a long and salty rant about senior ADF officers, too. Instead, two thoughts. First, the military is ultimately under civilian jurisdiction. Second, I think the military could reform itself from within, and fairly smartly too. Whereas I think the civilian side is beyond redemption, and not just unable to reform itself, but unable to see that it needs reform.

  41. Rex Mango

    The nigh on twenty year Afghanistan debacle well illustrates how useless western military forces are. Kandahar air base houses around twenty thousand, yet they are fighting blokes wearing sandals. Didn’t these commanders learn anything from Vietnam?

  42. Behind Enemy Lines

    Tel
    #3148273, posted on September 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    That’s about the same as the story I heard regarding the US military as well. They have been in Afghanistan for almost 20 years and have yet to defeat some medieval guys with sandals and rifle. Trump tells them all to give up and go home and they say, “WTF?!? Right when we are just about to win this?” Yeah, right.

    Giving the Taliban a decisive flogging in the field is one thing, and it took very little time. Sticking around for a couple decades in hope of turning Afghanistan into a peaceful, internally coherent and centrally-governed 21st century democracy . . . that’s another story.

  43. Dr Fred Lenin

    Winston. Mate of mine used to go to Giles as part of his patrol for , dare I say it? ( native welfare department ) SHHH , that is sooo p.c.incorrect . They were the ones who “stole “ aboriginal kids from abuse or death ,but of course they were never in danger were they ? Not with that ancient culture .
    Davey boy ,but civilised for them Cunnamulla dont you think ,not remote enough ? They wont be isolated with krudds NBN there .

  44. Lee

    recruitment and retention are the biggest problems our defence force has, not weapons, ships or anything else

    we can’t get good people and we can’t keep them

    Little wonder, when we lose potential male recruits through ultra-politically correct ADF moronic pandering to the feminist and LGBT crowd.

    Bernard Gaynor is a hostile critic of this.

  45. Rex Mango

    Political correctness is killing the ADF. Women are being recruited, promoted and prioritised throughout the organisation. If there is a real shooting war in the South China Sea over say Taiwan, our navy will not be up to it.

  46. Boambee John

    BEL

    Having been involved in two major attempts to “reform” Defence, certainly in the 1999s there was an awareness in some quarters (Service and civilian) of the need, and massive inertia to make sure that it never happened.

    Can’t speak for now.

    PS, I think the ADF rot set in when Chris Barrie became CDF.

  47. Behind Enemy Lines

    Boambee John
    #3148441, posted on September 5, 2019 at 9:30 pm
    BEL

    Having been involved in two major attempts to “reform” Defence, certainly in the 1999s there was an awareness in some quarters (Service and civilian) of the need, and massive inertia to make sure that it never happened.

    Can’t speak for now.

    PS, I think the ADF rot set in when Chris Barrie became CDF.

    I bet you and I have sat along the same table at some point.

  48. max

    Any military buff knows that the Navy cannot defend itself against these.

    1. Very fast sea-skimming cruise missiles, such as the Brahmos and Brahmos II (Mach 5+).
       2. Supercavitating torpedoes, reaching speeds of over 200 miles an hour.
       3. Very quiet submarines, diesel-electrics in the case of poor countries.
       4. Anti-ship ballistic missiles, such as the one attributed to the Chinese.

    say to Congress, “We really aren’t of much use any longer. We suggest that you scrap the ships and put the money into something else”

  49. Zatara

    Giving the Taliban a decisive flogging in the field is one thing, and it took very little time. Sticking around for a couple decades in hope of turning Afghanistan into a peaceful, internally coherent and centrally-governed 21st century democracy . . . that’s another story.

    Absolutely right. By January 2002 the war was over. But the bleeding heart powers that were couldn’t stomach the thought of turning the place over to ‘warlords’, western friendly or not.

    So the West has wasted 17 years spending blood and treasure on a failed nation building jag trying to covert Afghanistan into a ‘stable western-style democracy’. Which is particularly ironic considering how unstable and dysfunctional the West appears to be at the moment.

  50. Kurt

    My great grandfather, grandfather and brother all worked at Garden Island so the tradition argument is strong with me. Plus Sydney Harbour needs to have at least some semblance of still being a working habour. Do we really want a Harbour just for tourists and recreation?

  51. Boambee John

    BEL

    Just catching up on last night, busy day.

    I bet you and I have sat along the same table at some point.

    Quite possible. Despite being a civilian, I got on well with a fair proportion of service members. Others regarded me as Satan incarnate.

    I worked in many areas. The unkind claimed I kept moving so no-one could find out where my office was.

    But enough of the (poor attempts at) humour. If you wish to follow up, ask the Doomlord for my email. Always happy to talk of old times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.