Australia entrapped in war against China for America

Mar 22, 2024
Penny Wong - DFAT official photo

The Australian Government’s bipartisan planned war on China must dominate the next election. Australia’s democracy is currently dead to war, and to America. But the ballot box is the only recourse for Australians.

Foreign Affairs Minister Wong recently gave a long interview with historian James Curran. She revealed some guiding principles for how Australia’s foreign policy is formed. And observed that our region faces the most “challenging” strategic circumstances since WW2. But nothing was said about the nature of this challenge: that America has identified China as its primary military threat and has been working to integrate Australia into its war machine against China for the last decade or so. The government’s expansive military response driven by Defence Minister Marles was touched upon. But only superficially without its rationale being revealed or probed.

Australia’s embrace of America’s military plans in Asia has tightened with every Australian government since Gillard. Never in that time has it been acknowledged in honest terms. And both major parties are in on the deception. An egregious Overton window shrinks Australia’s foreign policy debate to affected distractions, like the meaning of “equilibrium”, from the real horror ahead.

While Curran’s interview sanctified further this deception, it does provide enough hooks to demonstrate the lack of substance Australia depends upon from its leaders.

Wong says that her policy derives from the “sweep of history”, commencing with WWII ending and the emerging primacy of America. America intended to maintain that primacy “Preponderant power must be the object of US policy”, State Department 1947. And Wong explains how the geostrategic architecture crafted by the US has shifted in nature over time. She identified, correctly, that a shift in the “big strategic dynamics” has occurred. But she is mistaken to confine that mostly to the “last few years”. Her ignorance of the revolution in US attitude ushered in four decades ago by the neoconservative influence in the Reagan administration is explicitly on display. Without an appreciation of that shift it is not feasible to grasp the intensity of the risks Australia is now caught up in.

Washington’s ubiquitous neocons

America’s view of itself in the world changed in 1981, transiting from Carter to Reagan administrations. Carter’s aim for “competence and compassion” plus a Nobel peace prize, became Reagan’s “peace through strength” which meant unyielding pursuit of global dominance, particularly militarily. It is accepted now that the ‘neocon’ mindset governing Reagan foreign and security policies had its intellectual source in Chicago political philosopher Leo Strauss. His students and associates have metastasised through Washington’s power centres and across political parties. They believe that preserving superpower requires ‘perpetual war’ and therefore ‘oppressive, belligerent foreign policy’, and that political communities ‘require external threats’ in order to be stable and unified’. If there is no external threat, one has to be invented. ‘Accordingly they are compulsive liars, and preoccupied with secrecy”. (Drury, C and M. Zuckert, The Truth about Leo Strauss).

Neocon fingerprints adorn global events ubiquitously. The capitulation of the Soviet Union in 1991, whereby America assured Russia that NATO would not move “one inch eastward” should have been totemic for world peace. But the promise was cast off, even while Fukuyama was still getting rich on the end of history.

The Wolfowitz doctrine promulgated in 1992 was baldly neocon “Our first objective is to prevent the emergence of a new rival”.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the coming-out of the neocons. A startling demonstration of American power and reach, after rearming for two decades (to ‘protect’ Persian Gulf oil). The rules-based order, which America still brandishes, was defiled by the ‘Coalition of the Willing” of US, Britain and Australia. Iraq was destroyed on lies, never justified, more than a million Iraqi dead. Violent mayhem followed across the middle east, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan. Unexplained to this day. It had been in gestation since the fresh- faced neocon Paul Wolfowitz took George (‘Containment’) Kennan’s job in Foggy Bottom twenty years earlier.

Australian Parliament stands to applaud its own capitulation

One would have thought then, surely, Australia’s leaders would act cautiously hereon, fresh from seeing up close the ghastly possibilities in embracing US global manipulation. But no. Next, in 2010, our former Defence Minister Beazley, as our ambassador to Washington, stewarded an arrangement for Australia to be in the vanguard of America’s pivot to Asia, to confront China directly. Basing US marines here, as a start. Instead of caution, the Gillard government headlong prostrated itself in the vain hope of its electoral resuscitation. All about a few votes. I recall Kerry Stokes expressing amazement at Gillard’s invitation to base US forces here.

Since, Australia’s two major political parties have conspired, in effect, to donate Australia’s sovereignty to America, contractually and slyly. In 2015 Foreign Minister Bishop of the Abbott government signed a “Force Posture Agreement” inviting US troops, naval ships, submarines and aircraft, all nuclear armed, to operate from bases across our nation against whomever and whenever they please (with token provision for our input). Not a murmur from then opposition leader Shorten nor Foreign Minister Plibersek. Which brings us up to Wong’s last few years of history, which witness the US busily refining its military planning, with thinly disguised integration of both our defence spending and structures for us to join America in confronting China.

Our success with self-reliance had pleased America over the decades. But when Obama announced that US strategic priority would shift to Asia we became strategically hot. Our massive investment in self- reliance was simply nullified in US eyes, materially and conceptually. Our sovereignty trashed and discarded, to be directed towards America’s priority. Australia’s Parliament gave Obama a standing ovation.

The point of this history is that our Foreign Affairs Minister is oblivious to the decades-old thematic, dogmatic, thinly disguised and now broadly predictable geopolitical behaviour of America, devising war constantly for preservation of its global primacy. Notions of truth and justice are incidental whether it be for foe or friend.

So you see, Minister Wong, the truth is that the world’s strategic architecture has been rotting for at least thirty years.

Wong’s risk calculation wonky

The near inevitability of Australia finding itself at war attacking China for America’s primacy is behind Minister Wong’s “challenging times”. Having avoided telling us that, the Minister asks: “So, the question is, how do we deal with that?”. What followed was blather about the coinage of the trade: multilateralism, equilibrium, motivation, stability, peace, deterrence, assurance …..until:

“ensuring that no country ever makes the calculation that the risks of conflict or the benefits of conflict outweigh the risks.”

So, our Foreign Minister does calculations of strategic risk and benefit to ensure no country finds it is beneficial to harm Australia. The trouble is that this calculation was made by America for itself long ago, resulting in its plan to pressure allies into its conflict with China.

Minister Wong, what have you done to discourage the US risk- benefit calculation that it is beneficial for it to go to war with China, relying heavily on allies? The evidence shows that over the last decade Australia’s governments have all been doing the opposite – encouraging and facilitating the US whilst also reducing and subsidising America’s costs. Cheer leading almost. And that is accelerating under the Albanese government.

In any case Wong’s calculations are not the most relevant for Australia today. In spite of our massive intelligence structures, many-eyed, there is no evidence that governments have been confronted with the risks which matter most. Blind Freddy knows we are being taken to war for America – it is publicly in US policy and military and financial plans. Here he offers a summary of the strategic risks which matter.

Blind Freddy’s net risk assessment for Australia

Image: Supplied

Consequence for Australia is the other dimension. Obviously vast. A critical subject, entirely avoided by the government.

What to do?

If Minister Wong really wants to know “how we deal with that” the answer lies in plain sight, in her sweep of history. We resuscitate our successful security policy which all Australian governments had slaved over for decades, instigated at America’s behest – taking full responsibility for our defence. Self- reliance was judged to be the only responsible course for Australia in 1976. Nothing has changed to alter the burden of that judgement.

But the ignorant Minister Wong will dither, happily exploited by our tunnel-visioned, military enthusiast Defence Minister Marles- energetically pushing Australia ever further into the American noose, at incredible costs. We can have little hope that this government will not engulf us in America’s war.

A broad Parliamentary inquiry must be instituted, into the apparent failure of intelligence and departmental policy functions. And into the role of Parliament, in overseeing the nation’s security.

But Australia’s democracy currently is dead to war, and to America. Collusion between major parties would veto any probe into our march to war with China…. The ballot box is the only recourse for Australians. The stakes for our nation are awesome, but estimable and ignored to date. Australia’s bipartisan planned war on China must dominate the next election.

Winding down the Force Posture Agreement will be a good start.

The pivot will of course affect neocon blood pressure in Washington. We are old friends. Americans will talk frankly.

But many Americans, also being disenfranchised on security, will applaud.

Share and Enjoy !

Subscribe to John Menadue's Newsletter
Subscribe to John Menadue's Newsletter


Thank you for subscribing!