We like to regard Australia as a natural ally, our sibling-country which shares our outlook on the world. But it turns out they've been working behind our back to undermine our disarmament efforts:
The federal government led secret diplomatic efforts to frustrate a New Zealand-led push for nuclear disarmament, according to documents released under freedom of information laws.
Declassified ministerial submissions, cables and emails from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade show Australian diplomats worked energetically against nuclear disarmament efforts by other countries, because ''we rely on US nuclear forces to deter nuclear attack on Australia''.
A Foreign Affairs and Trade department submission endorsed by Ms Bishop last October argued that a nuclear weapons ban ''conflicts with Australia's long-standing position that, as long as a nuclear weapons threat exists, we rely on US nuclear forces to deter nuclear attack on Australia''.
Foreign Affairs and Trade head Peter Varghese bluntly observed that the New Zealand-led humanitarian initiative ''runs against our security interests''.
So much for natural allies. But its also interesting that the US doesn't feel it can lead the pro-bomb camp itself, and so dumped the job on one of its patsies.