Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 07:35 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 07:35 | SYDNEY

Defence debate: Crikey misplaced mockery


Sam Roggeveen


19 April 2009 00:55

Crikey blogger Trevor Cook thinks the participants in our defence debate (here parts one, two, three, four and five) are living in a 'parallel universe'. He takes particular aim at the sixth post in the series, from Raoul Heinrichs,  as being self-serving and lacking rigour.

I'm not going to defend Raoul's position in the defence debate, since my own is fundamentally different. But Cook questions the very premise of our debate, and that is worth addressing.

Cook doesn't really mount an argument — it's more a statement of pique and insousiance. He's annoyed that defence analysts should consider worst-case scenarios. He mocks Raoul's contention (which strikes me as perfectly uncontroversial) that after the UK's retreat from Asia during the Second World War, we needed the US to help protect us from a hostile Asian power. It then gets still more bizarre, with Cook implying that we should not plan for improbable events such as the rise of another hostile Asian power, even though he acknowledges this has happened before.

Cook calls for a 'rigorous intellectual (and) strategic approach' to defence planning, but there's more evidence of that in The Interpreter's debate than in Cook's complacent post.