Thursday, December 09, 2021

Why would we want to do that?

Back in September, Australia, the UK and the US announced the formation of a new military alliance: AUKUS. And now, Labour wants to join it:

Defence Minister Peeni Henare says the Government wants to benefit from the Aukus defence pact that will have Australia gain nuclear-powered submarines, and he has raised this with his Australian counterpart.

Henare, when announcing his defence priorities on Wednesday, said he had spoken several times with Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton about how New Zealand could participate in the new defence pact formed between Australia, the United Kingdom, and United States.

To ask the obvious question (because clearly the Minister hasn't): why the fuck would we want to do that?

AUKUS exists for one purpose: to threaten China. It's part of a hegemonic dick-waving game between the US (a failing power) and China (a rising one). Rather than contributing in any way to our security, it instead promotes insecurity, in the form of great-power competition. As a country which wants a peaceful world where we all get along, we shouldn't be touching it with a barge pole. Instead, we should be running as fast as we can to get away from those warmongering fuckwits before they start the fight they so obviously want.

As for supposed "technological benefits", the pandemic has shown us that, when it comes to funding, our national security policies are exactly arse-backwards. Its not ships and guns and expensive war-toys that keep us safe, but a (barely-) functioning health system. And in terms of other actual (rather than imagined, or desired) threats, what we need is a well-funded civil defence agency, not expensive and pointless spies. We should be reallocating resources towards the things which actually threaten us, rather than fantasies which don't.

But I guess the real problem here is that the existing defence and "security" apparatus is never going to recommend that, because it would mean they no longer existed.