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Mark Stapleton

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Everything posted by Mark Stapleton

  1. I stand corrected, Evan. The 3% real term growth commitment comes from Howard's 2000 White Paper. However, others support the argument that if the real growth commitment is maintained, it will cause the GDP/Defence spending ratio to grow: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2009/0...e-spending.aspx Rudd's Garden Island speech still represents a major capability upgrade for defence, the largest ever undertaken: http://www.pm.gov.au/media/Speech/2009/speech_0956.cfm The White Paper assumes we face emerging threats, but it sounds like there's been input from right wing think tanks. Australia has no external miliary threat from SE Asia or its Pacific neighbours but the White Paper is assuming that will change. I hope their assumptions are wrong, but even if they are the defence contractors will still make big money at the expense of Aussie taxpayers, at a time we can least afford it.
  2. They're not facts supporting your opinion, Evan. Those stats only prove that Australia has not yet had a military expansionist policy within Southeast Asia. Rudd said the military budget would grow by 3% in 'real terms' until 2016/17. Combined with the fact the GDP will contract in the next few years, those percentages will rocket.
  3. For security I guess. Basically, countries don't trust each other.
  4. I should correct myself here. The $20 billion savings drive covers a ten year period. According to a story in today's AFR, the Defence Secretary Nick Warner and the Defence Force chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston have issued an ultimatum to the senior management of Defence to co-operate with the savings drive or quit: http://www.afr.com/home/login.aspx?EDP://2...y-capital_goods Sorry, the full online article is only available to subscribers. According to the article, the hit list includes $4.4 billion in savings by more efficient management of fleets as well as squeezing industry profit margins on maintenance, parts and fuel. Other targeted areas include surplus inventory holdings ($700 million), administration, equipment purchasing and travel budgets ($4.4 billion) and reducing data centres and computer applications to save $1.9 billion. I haven't seen anything indicating a reduction in staffing, which would be a relief for Defence Force personnel. I guess we'll know the full details on Tuesday night.
  5. That's what I think too, John. From what I read most of the big spending would kick in around 2015, so the Government is hoping the recession/depression will be a distant memory by then.
  6. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...5013871,00.html The authors of this article claim the proposed naval buildup is in response to China's recent naval buildup. They claim China's current defence budget is over $70 billion, more than triple our current spending. Even if the Rudd Government achieves its white paper goals, our naval power will still be dwarfed by that of China, Japan and India. So what's the point of getting into an arms race we can't win? I think it's a reasonable question.
  7. It means <expletive deleted> Andy, like you. It's little wonder so many here and elsewhere disrespect you, except for crawlers like that other galah. This is a discussion about Australia's military spending. You'll have to save your desperate jibes at Syd Walker for another time. Good luck with that as I believe he has earned far greater respect than you. Unlike yourself, Syd's not phony. Moderation in red by Evan Burton. Reason: offensive word.
  8. Savings of $20 billion over the life of the project which covers till 2030. The details of the plan on Budget night will be interesting. There must be plenty of fat in Defence. Of course, it could all be a pea and thimble trick. The bitching about who's getting the fat contract for building the submarines has begun, with the ASC likely to miss the boat: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...8-31477,00.html
  9. Exactly. Australia is way short of having the required revenue base to embark on such high minded military folly. The only winners will be the arms manufacturers and the defence establishment. Unless of course Australia can secure unlimited financial support from US taxpayers, as Israel does.
  10. Memo to Andy Walker (and the other galah trying to pretend he's Confucius): Please read and understand, if possible.
  11. Yes it is, John. Yes - if you scroll down his blog you will find a huge array of anti semitic links Not exactly on-topic but yes, he has quite a few links to sites highly critical of Israel and its all-powerful Lobby. You remember the Israel Lobby, Andy--it's the one that until recently you claimed didn't exist, it was all just rampant anti-Semitism or something. In fact, I remember that until recently even mentioning the menace of Zionism was enough to earn one that well worn and very tired epithet. How rapidly things have changed. Don't worry, when it comes to bowing and scraping to Zionist murderers and racists you're in good company--Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, Stephen Harper, the BBC, Washington Post etc etc. Zionists love slow learners.
  12. http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/05/02/kais...ink-submarines/ Not limited to just Evan Burton of course, but Evan is the only other Australian who regularly contributes here, to my knowledge. Well Evan, are we going the right way or has Rudd misread regional intentions and ambitions? I appreciate you can't be totally unbiased on an issue like this.
  13. Also Washington Post's Joe Alsop gave Moyers a call on the 25th and suggested the same thing. It's one I hadn't heard before and quite interesting, imo. http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...op_11-25-63.htm
  14. No surprise that Australia has just announced its withdrawal from this weeks Durban Review Conference in Geneva. It joins the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and other sycophantic worshippers of Zion. But guess what--Israel will be there, with their own specialised propaganda teams. Syd Walker explains it best: http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/04/20/aust...a-nasty-speech/ Read and learn.
  15. What a blustery rant. Obama can't change the world in 60 days.
  16. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, John. You're in my thoughts.
  17. I don't know the full details of what happened either and I don't really care, but your point is well made. This is a subforum of the controversial issues in history forum, so what's the point of having such a forum with a management which appears to be controversy averse? Maybe it should be known as the uncontroversial controversial issues in history forum.
  18. Maybe--although it depends on what you mean by "freely". In any case, they're gawn. Damn shame for the EF, because the political conspiracies forum has lost a lot of its former energy.
  19. At the risk of sounding provocative, the absence of Jan, David and Magda is a big loss to the EF, particularly the political conspiracies section, imo. You only need to look at the DPF to know that.
  20. That's a lovely quote. But what about the nuns? This dispute is good theatre, but a waste of time.
  21. I think Borat should have the last word: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRtL7l39DU8...feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMMCuQ8JX50...feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcCHFk7WZ8I...feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngrZioymWic...feature=related
  22. So Obama isn't a foreign radical with a fake birth certificate who took over the government, he's a neo-con in disquise and decieving the public with symbolic gestures and really isn't seeking change. BK Don't know. But I think closing gitmo is small potatoes, although welcome. Meaningful change in America's foreign and domestic agenda has yet to arrive, but it's still early in the life of the new administration. One hopeful sign was yesterday when I heard Obama say that the current situation in Gaza is 'unacceptable'.
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