A nuclear Australia?

Via Instapundit which notes “China is going to end up hemmed in by nuclear powers at every turn, if they don’t rein in Li’l Kim”: Going Nuclear? The Optimal Posture and Force Structure for Australia. Bottom line:

“Australia would not consider such a step lightly,” but history has shown that changes in geopolitics can sneak up on nations before they are aware of the dangers they face, Let’s not fall victim to this. Let’s be ready and discuss options now before it is too late.

If you look at the map you must wonder why it hasn’t happened already.

I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull

Andrew Bolt says that Malcolm Turnbull is about to have his final go at taking over the leadership of the Liberal Party by Tuesday, so that it is now or never to make our views known (see here and here).

When I used to work in Canberra, our offices backed onto the Liberal Party headquarters, and I was asked one time, even before Malcolm entered Parliament, what I thought about him. My answer was that if I was in the constituency that would decide the fate of the next election, and my vote was the one that would put him in or out, that I would hesitate about which way to go. That was then. Today I would have no doubt. The reasons.

Peter Wright For me, national security is the ultimate issue in any election. There are always international issues that matter, and they weigh heavy with me. All but forgotten today, The Spycatcher Trial was one of those moments I do not forget. Wright was an MI5 agent who set out to write a tell-all/reveal-all of the English intelligence service. Margaret Thatcher sought to prevent the publication of his book, and the final determination was in a court in Tasmania, in which Malcolm Turnbull sought to defend Wright and ultimately was successful in allowing the book to be published worldwide because it could be published in Australia. I was told then that everyone deserves the best defence and etc etc, but if Malcolm has ever said that he defended Wright even though he was treasonous scum, I haven’t heard it. I would never trust Turnbull on any national security issue, and there is nothing more important at the present time.

He’s a Warmist Anyone soft-headed enough to take in the Global Warming scam without at least some doubts is not a possessor of the shrewd, sensible, incisive mind I am looking for in a leader. He lost the leadership on this one issue at the time because there are people like me who would never line up behind anyone who believes this stuff needs trillion dollar government solutions to what is looking every day less of a problem.

He’s a Keynesian I once had a conversation with Malcolm over economic issues and mentioned something that I think of instinctively as an issue, the kind of thing Peter Costello put at the centre of his own management of the economy. His response was to walk off. Having watched and listened to him over the years, he has no sense of how an economy works. Given that when he led the Libs he was all set to follow Labor’s lead on the stimulus, and declared that the Coalition would have done much the same, in many ways he owns the problems we have right now.

Useless as a Minister He may be popular with the ABC and others like it, but this is only because he has never done anything of any use that would upset them. If he doesn’t upset the ABC, what could he possibly stand for? What issue has he carried forward as part of the government that has done an ounce of good? If the NBN is his crowning achievement, he has done nothing other than implement Kevin Rudd’s back-of-the-envelope idiocy that will cost us billions and return millions.

He Cannot be Trusted To draw a distinction between himself and the Prime Minister over the Human Rights Commission Report on children in detention not only shows the worst imaginable political judgement, but has him line up with the Government’s enemies. I am a million miles from Canberra right now, but since all and sundry report Turnbull’s treachery, who am I to doubt it. This is a government that needs to survive and win that next election. Abbott is learning how to be a PM on the job, and is actually getting the hang of it. Shame about the wasted first year, but that is now the past.

There is clearly a succession plan in place at the top of the Liberal Party. What may have begun as the second eleven is now starting to function as a very good government. And the PM does not like to lose, and I don’t think he will.

Top ten revelations about Obama from Robert Gates’s memoir

The one thing that cannot be a revelation is that Obama is unfit to be president. From the Wall Street Journal, Top 10 Revelations From Robert Gates’s Memoir, a 600-page tome titled, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.

1. Contempt for Congress
Mr. Gates expresses open disdain for Congress and the way lawmakers treated him when he testified at hearings. “I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country.” Mr. Gates said he fantasized about storming out of hearings and quitting. “There is no son of a bitch in the world who can talk to me like that,” he writes of his fantasy.

2. Contempt for Vice President Biden
Mr. Gates expresses particular dissatisfaction with Vice President Joe Biden. He describes Mr. Biden as a “man of integrity” who “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Specifically, Mr. Gates said he opposed Mr. Biden’s proposed limited strategy in Afghanistan to focus on counter-terrorism: “Whac-A-Mole hits on Taliban leaders weren’t a long term strategy,” he writes.

3. Suspicion of White House Control
Mr. Gates described the White House and its national security team as too controlling and says that he found himself at odds with Mr. Obama’s inner circle. At one meeting in the Oval Office in 2011, Mr. Gates said he considered resigning because of the White House micromanagement and strategy. “I never confronted Obama directly over what I (as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and others) saw as his determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations,” Mr. Gates writes. “His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost” in the 1970s.

4. Friction with the National Security Staff
In particular, Mr. Gates said he was incensed by the National Security Staff and their controlling nature. “Much of my conflicts with the Obama administration during the first two years weren’t over policy initiatives from the White House but rather the NSS’s micromanagement and operational meddling,” he writes. “For an NSS staff member to call a four-star combatant commander or field commander would have been unthinkable when I worked at the White House – and probably cause for dismissal. It became routine under Obama.”

5. White House vs. Pentagon
“The controlling nature of the Obama White House, and its determination to take credit for every good thing that happened while giving none to the career folks in the trenches who had actually done the work, offended Secretary Clinton as much as it did me,” Mr Gates writes. In one meeting, Mr. Gates says that he challenged Mr. Biden and Thomas Donilon, then Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, when they tried to pass orders to him on behalf of the president. “The last time I checked, neither of you are in the chain of command,” Mr. Gates says he told the two men. Mr. Gates said he expected to deal directly with the president on such orders.

6. Mr. Gates as Peacemaker
Mr. Gates writes that “presidents confronted with tough policy problems abroad have too often been too quick to reach for a gun. Our foreign policy has become too militarized, the use of force too easy for presidents.” For too many people, he writes, “war has become a kind of videogame or action movie: bloodless, painless and odorless.”

7. The War in Iraq
On Iraq, Mr. Gates writes that he hoped to “stabilize the country so that when U.S. forces departed, the war wouldn’t be viewed as a strategic defeat for the U.S. or a failure with global consequences… Fortunately, I believe my minimalist goals were achieved in Iraq.” The book is coming out as al Qaeda forces have seized control of key Iraqi cities and the Iraqi government is struggling to uproot the militants.

8. The War in Afghanistan
Mr. Gates writes that Mr. Obama had early doubts about his decision in late 2009 to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. “I never doubted Obama’s support for the troops, only his support for the mission,” he writes. Mr. Gates says that Mr. Obama was taken aback by a 2009 request from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, for a major military surge. “I think Obama and his advisers were incensed that the Department of Defense – specifically uniformed military – had taken control of the policy process from them and threatened to run away with it.”

9. Obama’s Domestic Politics
Mr. Gates says that domestic politics factored into “virtually every major national security problem” the Obama White House faced. At one point, Mr. Gates writes, he witnessed a conversation between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in which the president “conceded vaguely” that his opposition to the 2007 military surge in Iraq was a political calculation. Mr. Gates called the exchange “remarkable.”

10. Hatred for D.C.
Mr. Gates writes that his reputation for having an even temper often masked his outrage and contempt. “I did not enjoy being secretary of defense,” he writes.

Here is an excerpt from the book at the Wall Street Journal.