Illustration: Rocco Fazzari


Letter to the Editor Sydney Morning Herald 22 July 2012

Countering the militarist's clamour
for more military spending

Peter "Pro war" Hartcher (Toothless among Asian tigers, 21 July) tells us the 10% cut in defence spending means the sky will fall and, even worse, that we will be unable to work with the US as an ally.

If he means by this that the military spending spree ushered in by the 40% increase of Rudd's 2009 White Paper is to be dampened and that there is to be an end to Australian engagement in US wars, speed the day!

$billion subs that don't work and $200 million plus strike fighters which will never fly with their promised design specs, what a racket 'defence' spending has become!

And then there's the cost of those no-hoper US led wars.

To date warring on the Afghanis, who had done us no harm what so ever, has cost Australians over $7.6 billion. And it aint over yet.

Just to keep the troops showing the flag and safe on the ground there costs us $1 million per soldier per year. Fuel to keep our war machines rolling there costs us over $100 per litre.

And apart from 33 dead, 220 maimed in body and unknown numbers mentally maimed by PTSD, what has the nation gained in eleven years of war in Afghanistan? Nothing.

But corporate defence contractors have been living in clover.

Military spending has bankrupted the US. Let's not go down with that sinking ship.

Step aside, Peter Hartcher. Time to rethink war and peace in the Pacific.

Graeme Dunstan Graeme Dunstan
temporarily of Millner, Northern Territory


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