Go early. Go hard. Go nuclear.

Much has been written on these Cat pages about the need for Australia to invest in and pursue nuclear energy.  Perhaps.  However, a more pressing need may be for Australia to invest in and pursue nuclear weapons.

In 2007, Harvard political science professor Graham Allison published a book titled Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap.  In this book, Allison posited the question, as the title suggests, as to whether the US and China are destined for war.

Allison’s “framework” for analysis was Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.  Thucydides documented and described the conflict between Athens and Sparta.  The fundamental question Allison asks is whether the intersection of a rising power with an incumbent power leads to war, and specifically, whether the intersection between China (rising) and America (incumbent) will lead to war.

Allison looked over history and found 16 examples of rising and incumbent powers intersecting, but only leading to war 12 out of the 16 times.  Allison only counted “hot” wars in the 12; he did not consider the Cold War one of the 12.

In the case of US/China, Allison did not make a prediction about what might happen between the 2 powers, but offered a number of hypothetical examples that might lead to conflict.

TAFKAS read Allison’s book in 2017 and did not think that a US/China conflict was inevitable.  TAFKAS is not sure he feels the same way anymore.

The current frictions and tensions are increasing every day.  And demonstrating that timing is everything, WA MP Andrew Hastie wrote yesterday in the Australian about Allison’s book and Thucydides’ trap and the risks posed to Australia.  Hastie recounted the tale of Melos as a metaphor for Australia:

For if we, as Australians, draw historical parallels with this ancient Greek war, we will find more in common with the people of Melos than with the Spartans or Athenians. Athens crushed Melos mercilessly in 416BC for refusing to side with the Athenian cause.

Look around.  NBA.  BlizzardFreedom of navigation.  Hong Kong.  Trade.

And Australia is at the pointy end of this – a military ally of the United States and a major trading partner of China (significantly resources and food).

On the other side, recent decisions of both the Obama and Trump administrations to forsake friends and allies (Georgia, Poland, Baltics, Kurds) should make Australians nervous.  Not a lot nervous, but a little nervous.  Would the US go to war with China over Australia?

Australian defence analyst Hugh White has suggested that it is time for Australia to revisit the nuclear weapons question:

it raises the question of whether we might need to consider building nuclear forces in the future, and if so what kind of forces they might be

Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and have a serious and public discussion on developingAustralian nuclear infrastructure; for energy and defence.  Ok not build, we have Lucas Heights, but enhance.  Infrastructure for both energy generation and weapons production.

The costs would not be small, but the benefits could be large.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Go early. Go hard. Go nuclear.

  1. Karabar

    Not to worry.
    We’ll get the Diesel subs by 2055.

  2. Not to worry.

    Those subs will have operational targeting systems by 2060 and be operational in cold and hot water by 2065.

    Nuclear weapons is the best choice for Australia.

    They are simply too cheap for what they do to ignore.

    A small arsenal with some stand off weapons could deter a devastating ground war we cannot afford to fight.

  3. Note that even Greens can sometimes see the light: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/10/environmentalist-shellenberger-go-nuclear-save-the-planet/

    Watch: Inventor of Green New Deal Renounces Eco-Lunacy, Goes Nuclear

  4. Iampeter

    However, a more pressing need may be for Australia to invest in and pursue nuclear weapons.

    Yep. Every other third world kleptocracy seems to have Nukes these days. Civilized countries have a lot of catching up to do.

    The fundamental question Allison asks is whether the intersection of a rising power with an incumbent power leads to war, and specifically, whether the intersection between China (rising) and America (incumbent) will lead to war.

    I think everyone is mischaracterizing what’s happening in China as “rising.”
    A billion people can produce a lot of wealth when the boot is slightly removed from their face, when all the know-how, the thinking, which requires ACTUAL freedom, has already been discovered for them by others.
    But this shouldn’t be characterized as “rising.”
    Especially since that boot is now starting to come back down again. Therein lies the real danger. Their governments current policies are going to destroy their country and they may start wars just to stave off collapse for a little bit longer. We see this with Putin’s Russia today.

    Also, on this topic I’d strongly recommend “Nothing Less than Victory” by John David Lewis. It deals with an actual framework of how wars should be fought and shows just how very far removed the conventional thinking on this is.

  5. Colonel Crispin Berka

    The tumblr site LOL My Thesis had this item posted to it anonymously on 31 Dec 2013.
    https://lolmythesis.com/post/71751877113/why-australia-should-have-nuclear-weapons

    However the author’s choice to advertise the university the thesis was written under really narrows down the possibilities. It takes only a minute to search ANU’s research web site to find this thesis which, given the topic and the timing, is almost certainly the one referenced.

    Why did policymakers then try to develop a nuclear weapon capability independently? Why did Canberra eventually renounce that option and instead choose to sign the NPT and “rely” on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence in 1973? And under what circumstances might Australia, again, love the bomb directly rather than vicariously? The wider intent of the study is to shed light on the different ways Australia has thought about the role of nuclear weapons in international, regional, and national security, and how that thinking might evolve in the future. There is an assumption held by many political advocates that nuclear disarmament is a desirable goal in itself. This is not a view I agree with.

    The thinking precedes the doing. I infer this thinking has been going on in Canbera for so long that now it’s even acceptable for younglings at the start of their careers to be saying it.
    Taking into account events which happened after this thesis was written, the proposition today could be summarised as: MAGA ==> MANA.

  6. Clam Chowdah

    You’ve redeemed yourself.

  7. Terence Edward Brennan

    Now that China has stated its intentions, we sit geographically similar to western Europe.

    Western Europe has NATO and thousands of troops and armaments facing east to Russia.

    Time for a missile shield across northern Australia as Pompeo recommended.

    Temporary in a few months, a permanent shield in a year or two; good fences make good neighbours.

  8. jupes

    There is no point having nuclear weapons unless you are prepared to use them.

    The current ADF is run by a cabal of social justice activists and wannabe human rights lawyers. Current soldiers can’t even wear a skull patch on their uniform so giving this mob nukes would be a complete waste of money.

  9. Sean

    Are the Kurds (PKK are communists) an ally though or an acquaintance for fighting a common foe? Turkey is a NATO ally and houses bases and approx 50 warheads for the Americans, which gives them actual leverage over the region. Sanctions are the legal way to punish a nation if they break their legal remit and invade a country but apparently now the Reps and Dems don’t care for a global rule-based order…

    Their struggle for land is not a new battle, and not related to ISIS, why does it involve the USA?

  10. @Sean

    The PKK are Kurds, but not all Kurds are communist.

    Are the Kurds a US Ally? Well, they have sacrificed over 11,000 (dead) to defeat the JV Squad that Barry allowed to be created through his failed policies. All while the US have sacrificed less than 100 to clean up Barry’s mess. The Kurds are detaining lots of JV Squad terrorists and when they need to redeploy the soldiers who are guarding them, what do you think will happen.

    Not to mention this is happening/to happen inside Syria not Turkey so how about themz apples? Asad happy. Iran happy.

    And sanctions worked great before.

  11. Percy Popinjay

    Just gazed into the crystal ball and now make the following fearless predictions:

    There will never be a nuclear reactor built in this country in the lifetime of anyone who posts here, nor will this country ever possess nuclear weapons capability in the same timeframe.

    The Poodle Pahn/Waffleroach Minitel subs won’t have been built.

    The National Brontosaurus Network Network won’t have been completed.

    All of these predictions will prove far more accurate than any uttered by the likes of Ehrlich or Perfesser Dim Flummery.

  12. The refusal to develop our own nuclear capability is in line with the refusal to defend our culture.

  13. NuThink

    There will never be a nuclear reactor built in this country in the lifetime of anyone who posts here,

    Did the Argentinians not build a reactor at “Lucky Us Heights” near Sydney because we do not have the skills?

    The Argentine company INVAP was fully responsible through a turnkey contract, signed in June 2000, for the delivery of the reactor, performing the design, construction and commissioning. Local civil construction was performed by INVAP’s partner, John Holland-Evans Deakin Industries.[1] The facility features a large (20-litre (4.4 imp gal; 5.3 US gal)) liquid-deuterium cold neutron source,[2] modern supermirror guides, and a 35 by 65 metres (115 ft × 213 ft) guide hall. The cold source was designed by the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute,[3] the cryogenic system designed and supplied by Air Liquide and the initial set of four supermirror guides supplied by Mirrotron.[4]

    What about South Africa?

    From the 1960s to the 1980s, South Africa pursued research into weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear,[2] biological, and chemical weapons. Six nuclear weapons were assembled.[3] Before the anticipated changeover to a majority-elected African National Congress–led government in the 1990s, the South African government dismantled all of its nuclear weapons, the first state in the world which voluntarily gave up all nuclear arms it had developed itself.

    Others can do it – why not us?

  14. NuThink

    @TAFKAS

    The PKK are Kurds, but not all Kurds are communist.

    Not many (if any) communists or socialists are actually communists or socialists.
    If they were communist or socialist they would not be rich, as they would be sharing their own around, not just other peoples wealth.

    They are totalitarians masquerading as communists to keep control over the plebs who don’t yet know (or not allowed to know) that they are being scammed.

    A Russian told me this (paraphrased).
    A Capitalist and a communist are talking.
    The Capitalist asks the communist. If you had two million dollars would you give me one? Yes, obviously, as a true communist if I had two million I would give you one million.
    The Capitalist then asks the communist. If you had two houses would you give me one? Yes, obviously, as a true communist if I had two houses I would give you one house.
    The Capitalist then asks the communist. If you had two cars would you give me one? But I have two cars.

    PS it was my belief that communism means that resources are distributed according to one’s needs. It is just that totalitarians have special needs, like billions. How many billionaires are there in communist parliaments? Should actually be none.

  15. Percy Popinjay
    #3181447, posted on October 11, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Just gazed into the crystal ball and now make the following fearless predictions:

    Eerily prescient.

    We’re totally stuffed!

  16. The B61-12 is compatible with our F-35s.

    We have 14, with 52 on order.

    This with an arsenal of new generation cruise missiles with nuclear warheads would be a very cost effective force multiplier, but more importantly, deterrent.

    Even at the bloated unit cost prices of 2 mn USD that typical lefty scoundrels like the Union of Concerned Scientists trot out, that could still be very, very cheap.

    The unit cost of a Super Hornet is around 75 mn USD.

  17. Top Ender

    Easiest way to acquire nukes would be via Tomahawk missiles. They could be launched from the Hobart-class Air Warfare destroyers which are now in service.

    Second way would be via acquiring the B-21 Raider bomber.

    Great deterrence value.

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    With our skilled engineers we could create a Missile Corps armed with tactical nuclear missiles and strategic response missiles . We could develop anti submarine missile torpedoes , launched from the shore ,combined with comprehensive radar and sattelites plus attack drones , we could give any potential agressor second thoughts . We have the capability , all we need is the will . Abolish career politicians for a start and defund the left .

  19. Pete of Perth

    The ABC would shit bricks sideways.

  20. Top Ender:
    Another way to deliver would be to take over the US B1b now operational, but being scheduled for replacement over the next decade. They have about 100 IIRC, so we could probably have 20 or so with maintenance support from the US.

  21. Top Ender

    Magistrate says HIS brain is not fully developed:

    Brisbane protest: Extinction Rebellion car protester cops fine

    SERIAL protester Eric Herbert, who was locked onto a car in a city protest, has been ordered to complete six months on probation, for committing public nuisance and breaching bail conditions.

    Herbert also was ordered to pay $350 restitution to police towards the cost of towing away a station wagon, which Herbert had locked himself onto in Brisbane CBD on Thursday.

    A police prosecutor had asked for Herbert to be jailed for a month.

    “We try to assist people in court, without moving to imprisonment for such a young person,” Brisbane Magistrate Judith Daley told Herbert, 20, who was appearing for the fifth time on protest-related charges.

    However, Herbert will have to face court again next week for two alleged breaches of his community services orders, and could be resentenced for earlier convictions and face possible imprisonment.

    Herbert was appearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court this afternoon, after spending yesterday and overnight in the Brisbane Watchhouse.

    He pleaded guilty to public nuisance, breaching bail, causing an obstruction to traffic and contravening a direction to provide his name and address to police.

    Magistrate Daley convicted but did not impose a penalty for the last two charges.

    Police prosecutor, Sergeant Josh Kelly, asked for Herbert to be given one month’s imprisonment for Thursday’s offences.

    Sgt Kelly said Herbert had previously been fined and given community service but had failed to comply with orders.

    Herbert, who insisted on representing himself in court, although the Magistrate repeatedly asked him to see a lawyer, made submissions against imprisonment.

    “We have just had a week of demonstrations about climate, which is coming to an end today,” Herbert said.

    He said he did not think there were any other climate demonstrations coming up.

    The court heard Herbert has performed only nine hours out of a total of 90 hours of community service he has been ordered to complete. He had also failed to show up for some community service appointments.

    Ms Daley said she thought Herbert lacked insight about the consequences if his offending, but Herbert said: “I’m fully aware of the consequences.”

    She said she was prepared to put him on probation, rather than give him a suspended jail sentence.

    Herbert agreed to a probation order, to start on Monday, and was granted bail.

    Earlier Magistrate Judith Daley told Herbert she had to resentence him for an earlier conviction, because she had mistakenly given him 90 hours of community service.

    Since making the order, when he pleaded guilty on August 7 to causing an obstruction and contravening a direction, she had become aware that she was only able to fine him.

    Ms Daley resentenced Herbert, convicting and fining him $850 for the August 6 offences.

    The man who was locked onto the station wagon with Herbert was fined $1000 and ordered to pay restitution for the cost to police of towing the car.

    Todd Dent, 40, had his arms through a metal tube, inside the car, which was blocking traffic in the middle of Margaret and William Sts in Brisbane early yesterday.

    Police prosecutor, Sergeant Josh Kelly, told Brisbane Magistrates Court police had to push the vehicle onto a footpath, to free up the road.

    He said Dent’s actions upset members of the public. Dent, a Sunshine Coast carpenter, pleaded guilty to causing an obstruction to traffic, public nuisance and breach of his previous bail condition not to enter Brisbane CBD.

    Sgt Kelly asked for restitution of $699, to compensate police for having the vehicle towed, but Dent’s defence lawyer asked that he only be ordered to pay a share of the cost.

    After being told another person was locked onto the car, Magistrate Judith Daley ordered Dent pay $350 restitution.

    Ms Daley took into account Dent had spent two days in the Watchhouse, but also that he had a previous conviction for contravening a police direction.

    She said he had disobeyed his bail condition and had caused disruption to traffic.

    She fined him $1000 and recorded a conviction.

    Dent was one of 18 protesters, including Eric Herbert, who spent the night in the Brisbane Watchhouse and were due to appear in court today.

    Courier-Mail complete article

  22. Top Ender

    Sorry all – wrong thread!

  23. jupes

    Are the Kurds a US Ally? Well, they have sacrificed over 11,000 (dead) to defeat the JV Squad that Barry allowed to be created through his failed policies. All while the US have sacrificed less than 100 to clean up Barry’s mess.

    Or to put it another way; the US have saved tens of thousands of Kurd lives by helping them kill their Sunni Arab enemy.

    The Kurds are detaining lots of JV Squad terrorists and when they need to redeploy the soldiers who are guarding them, what do you think will happen.

    Hopefully they will kill them. That would be the smart thing to do.

    Not to mention this is happening/to happen inside Syria not Turkey so how about themz apples?

    Why should we or the US care less?

    Asad happy. Iran happy.

    Again, who cares? Foreign policy should be about national interest, not the feelings of foreign despots.

  24. Squirrel

    It would be a very hard sell, but if it was framed as a choice between a nuclear deterrent or a massively increased (and very, very costly) convential defence capability backed up by national service (for persons of all genders, not just actual blokes) it might help to focus the hearts and minds of the luvvies.

  25. That’s right Squirrel.

    What you need to do is cost the required forces and capabilities of the ADF if we had no allies but had the multiple wars we have been fighting and contingent risks like a full blown war with China and Indonesia.

    Price up conventional warfare vs nuclear.

    Nuclear wins hands down.

    We could have a nuclear arsenal for a few hundred million dollars, or the cost of four Super Hornets.

    (100 B61-12 bombs and 50 W80 warheads on tomahawk missiles, costing 300 million USD, as a one-off cost) [not including the cost of the missiles, but they fit on planes we already have {F-35s} and ships we already have, noted by Mater above {the new AWDs}].

    The argument is utterly compelling.

    Tripling the size of the ADF otherwise would (roughly) cost 70 bn AUD per year.

    That’s if such a force even is sufficient for the contingent task outlined prior.

  26. jupes

    The argument is utterly compelling.

    Name one person in Australian government or ADF who would press the button. They are currently going all out to prosecute an Australian hero for the killing of ONE Talib. How are they going to deal with the thought of nuking hundreds of thousands?

    Our enemies know this so it would be a complete waste of money.

  27. jupes

    Alleged killing. No doubt bullshit.

  28. cohenite

    You guys are a pack of wimps; here are the schematics for making an atomic bomb; why do you have until the useless government does it for you.

  29. cohenite

    Lol; I just linked to the schematics for a nuke (little boy) and got pinged by the censor.

  30. I hope you’re wrong jupes, but I’ll say Pauline or Hastie. I don’t agree with them often, but I know they are patriots.

    That inquiry is a witch hunt, three years and no charges. There seems to be zero evidence.

  31. Zatara

    Name one person in Australian government or ADF who would press the button.

    Bingo. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) only works when both sides believe the other will press the button under certain circumstances. It’s an option which requires a strong centralized command structure capable of very rapid and decisive action.

    Price up conventional warfare vs nuclear.

    Both are needed for balance. Without conventional forces one has no response options for operations less than all-out warfare. On the other hand, without a nuclear option those more flexible conventional forces can only operate at the indulgence of a nuclear armed enemy as he can pull the big trigger whenever he wants with no reprisal.

    Nukes aren’t going away and maintaining a credible nuclear capability is the responsible thing to do. Depending on someone else to do it for you is fine as long as you are happy having them make your foreign policy and strategic defense decisions for you.

  32. Are they prepared to do that forever in all circumstances?

    If Warren or Bernie wins in 2024 and debt blows out and they can’t afford us, what then?

  33. Zatara

    Are they prepared to do that forever in all circumstances?

    Dot, perhaps I wasn’t clear. IMO Australia needs to acquire nuclear weapons and more importantly, needs to develop the spine and a command structure to control their use.

  34. jupes

    If Warren or Bernie wins in 2024 and debt blows out and they can’t afford us, what then?

    We’ll become Chinese. Or if we hold off from that long enough, maybe part of the Caliphate.

    There is no point having a nuclear or any other deterrent if you are importing millions of your enemy to live within your borders.

  35. cohenite

    There is no point having a nuclear or any other deterrent if you are importing millions of your enemy to live within your borders.

    Correct.

  36. Tel

    IMO Australia needs to acquire nuclear weapons and more importantly, needs to develop the spine and a command structure to control their use.

    Name three people in any Australian government of the previous 20 years (including the present) who could be trusted with the decision to operate a nuclear weapon.

  37. Zatara

    Name three people in any Australian government of the previous 20 years (including the present) who could be trusted with the decision to operate a nuclear weapon.

    Why? Australia hasn’t had nukes for the last 20 years nor does she now.

    That’s why I said she needs to develop the spine and a command structure to control their use.

  38. Jules early referral to leadership and motivation is on target.

    The rot starts at the fishes head.

    Does Morrison’s choice of childless people to run our military and intelligence indicate a genuine commitment to national defence?

    What do you think?

  39. Whalehunt Fun

    Nuclear weapons are not expensive. Nuclear explosives are. Weapons which spread long lived and shortlived radioactives are not expensive. The short- lived to poison and kill. The long lived to make their territory uninhabitable forever.

  40. Eyrie

    Why does anyone actually take ISIS prisoners? A quick bullet to the forehead is all that is required.

  41. Whalehunt fun

    Why waste money on bullets. Giving a bunch one knife and saying that the last one standing gets to leave minimises your effort and gives you the pleasure of seeing the last one’s face when they realise you were lying.

  42. Top Ender

    How Extinction Rebellion climate change zealots – including a baronet’s Cambridge-educated granddaughter – are paid £400 a week to bring mayhem to our streets

    Link

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.