Friday 12 Aug 2022 | 11:44 | SYDNEY
Friday 12 Aug 2022 | 11:44 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: Polite to the Americans

25 May 2011 15:47

Below, three responses to Jim Molan's post, with another reply to come tomorrow from ASPI's Andrew Davies. But first, here's Peter Layton:

Jim, if things really are as bad as you claim, do you think you as a senior Defence leader for many years have any responsibility? Or is it all other people's fault...

Charles Lockyer:

Excellent piece, something it seems the general public doesn't understand and doesn't really care about. God help us all if we're attacked (and I'm an atheist!).

And Markus Pfister:

I think it was Jim Molan who pointed out several years ago that our plan to buy 100 JSFs was silly because Australia had historically never been able to field more than 60 fighter pilots.

Forgive me, but I am slightly suspicious of the crying that is going on over Santa not delivering us some shiny new toys. Are we actually in a Personnel position to field all this fabulous equipment? How many of our current submarines are actually running about in the water? None, one, or two? I've lost count.

What are we actually going to do about this manning problem we seem to be having?

Back to submarines, and specifically the business of the mining industry poaching our submariners: Why don't we take advantage of the situation? Why doesn't the navy train up 18 (to pick a number) submarine crews and contract them out to the mining industry? Rotating them around so that the subs are always manned but most of the time the submariners are earning megabucks in Western Australia? Everyone is happy: The crews get paid well, the taxpayer can continue to pay them uncompetitively, the subs are fully manned, armed and dangerous, and lurking around the Arafura Sea, the defence hawks (including me) are appeased, the Asians are not sniggering up their sleeves at us, and the mining industry has a well-trained and disciplined cadre. If this idea works, could it be applied to other fields?