Discounting much of the self-serving twaddle from the retired admirals and military industrial complex executives who contributed to it, this report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is a useful and informative document. To use it effectively, though, you just need to know how to read between the “defence speak” lines.
The editors and their ASPI colleagues have done an excellent job of sorting through the “guff”, garbage and misinformation that clouds Australia’s latest submarine debate to clarify the reality at its heart. Their comments are thoughtful and informing and a genuine and successful attempt at extracting the fact from the thick fog of fiction.
The Australian Department of Defence and the Royal Australian Navy, more particularly, aided and abetted by the country’s politicians, have been busily obfuscating and obscuring details of this vital subject for years. They well deserve the opprobrium that has consequently been heaped upon them. Despite what they may think, the taxpaying “plebs” have every right to know what they are paying for and how much it will cost. They also have every right to expect that what they are paying for will enable them to sleep soundly at night.
We frequently hear that ASPI is an expensive waste of money. I totally disagree. As can be seen from this report, it very effectively holds the arrogant Defence obfuscators and obscurers to account.
Edited by Peter Jennings and Marcus Hellyer
Available from ASPI, Canberra, Australia.