Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 20:03 | SYDNEY
Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 20:03 | SYDNEY

Iran protest? Armageddon out of here


Martine Letts

4 September 2009 16:29

Dan Flitton's news story in The Age about the split between Japanese and other members of the ICNND over 'no-first-use' was interesting enough if you are into a bit of informed scuttlebutt. 

Far more interesting was Dan's op-ed, also in today's Age, where he points out that Australia too is in a difficult spot when it comes to its reliance on the US nuclear deterrent. While perhaps not as vocal as Japan, Australia's Defence White Paper makes clear that we too expect to rely on extended deterrence for some time. 

There may not yet be much serious scenario-planning going on in Canberra for a world becoming freer and ultimately free of nuclear weapons. But as the op-ed points out, one, our defence budget could become a whole lot more expensive in a world where deep cuts have been made and long before complete nuclear disarmament. And two, the consequences for Japan's future choices about a nuclear weapon of its own in the absence of the US umbrella are worth thinking about. 

For three, can I recommend Dan's piece for entertainment value? He describes how Canberra's diplomatic community surged toward the canapés and drinks after Minister Smith's speech on Australia and disarmament, ignoring the protest of the Iranian Ambassador about Smith who, as the Ambassador saw it, had unfairly put Iran and North Korea in the same basket of rogues. 

Was the audience fleeing from the Iranian Ambassador, or were they seeking sustenance in food and drink because they got none from the speech? 

Photo by Flickr user jamestraceur, used under a Creative Commons license.