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Reader riposte: Ripping an arm off China

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9 February 2011 17:23

Peter Jones is from the Tasmania Quaker Peace Committee and War Resisters International:

There are a couple of major problems with Ross Babbage's latest 'threat' justification for upping the military budget. One is obviously the question of how to pay for those submarines on top of the F-35 order when Defence is supposed to be cutting back and all our current operations are in places where troops are on the ground coping with peacekeeping of a sorts. With subs, there is also the question of finding crew, given that we can't find enough for the Collins Class at the moment.

The big issue is however the argument that we need to join in the Pacific Arms Race to stay ahead of China alongside the US military.

This fails to take account of the fact that China (and India) are just copying the USA insofar as having a big military force means you are a big power on the world stage, it doesn't mean you are a threat. So a big power has N-weapons, a blue water navy, a force modernisation programme, long range planes, bases, etc.

This doesn't justify the Chinese build-up because what we really need to do is develop non-violent forms of conflict resolution and a new definition of security rather than waste more money on weapons that few countries can afford, if any.

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