In today’s AFR, there was an interesting OpEd by Geoff Raby who was Australia’s ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011:
One particular line in Raby’s piece caught TAFKAS’ eye:
Strangely, the opposition has not sought an explanation from the government on what this means in practice – apart from apparently not participating in FONOPs – which the ADF has long refused to support in any case.
FONOP stands for Freedom of Navigation OPerations.
It is this particular bit …. “ADF has long refused to support in any case“.
TAFKAS does not have a particular view on FONOPs per se, but if our political overlords believe it is in Australia’s national interest to participate in such, why is the AFDs support required? Does the ADF have some sort of sovereign status whereby it can set and veto Australian foreign and defence policy?
Perhaps TAFKAS is naive. Perhaps TAFKAS does not understand. Perhaps this better explains some of the many idiotic and wasteful defence procurement Australia has made.
However, if the ADF has some sort of veto on Government policy, perhaps this should be made clear and written down somewhere, perhaps in the Australian Constitution.