Adequate and sustained Investment in national defence infrastructure is not somehow discretionary

The odd view that defence investment can or should be substantially turned on and off, year by year, depending on the temporary economic circumstances (and subjective wants) of individual voters, is skewing objective consideration and debate concerning current budgetary priorities. Surely it is better for the nation as a whole to instead maximise both inter-generational equity (financially and with strategic risk) and ADF operational efficiency. Especially by sustaining such investment each year, even at a lower level over the long term, to insure Australia properly against general strategic security risk over the next half-century.


Letter to The Canberra Times
Monday, 28 April 2014
(not published) 

Our national defence capabilities help insure us all against general strategic risks over the next half-century. Not just for this budget cycle or the next few.

Concern about the impending budget, however, tends to ignore that adequate and sustained investment in our defence is not somehow discretionary.

As it isn’t discretionary for sustaining other national infrastructure essential to our whole way of life.

Moreover, updating ADF kit as it wears out also helps deter strategic risks as well as handle them directly.

And for those with memory failure of our strategic history so soon after Anzac Day, ensuring the ADF has modern kit helps minimise danger to the men and women who have to use it the next time we deploy them to buy time while the rest of us get organised again from “peacetime”.

Yet Debbie Cameron, Letters April 28, oddly cites even “our ABC” as somehow a higher national priority than adequate defence investment.

While John Davenport, same day, appeals to the ballot box on behalf of the vulnerability of older Australians, but ironically misses the far greater inter-generational inequity and overall community vulnerability his viewpoint risks.

The main reason defence investment, alone, has already been so savagely and selfishly cut in recent years is because those Australians most risked by it over the next four or so decades — our children and grandchildren — don’t get to vote now to stop our short-sighted “me-centric” complacency.

And particularly to make us contribute our fair share now of the sustained investment needed, not inflict even greater costs on them.




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