Saturday, May 30, 2015

That sinking feeling in Kiribati

Michael Field Nikkei Asian Review May 28, 2015

A fisherman wades along the shoreline in the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati. © Reuters
No one knows with any scientific certainty whether the central Pacific nation of Kiribati will sink beneath a rising sea, but its leadership is not taking any chances. The talk now is about ‘migration with dignity.’
Kiribati's 102,000 people -- known collectively as i-Kiribati -- are busily arming themselves with skills to help them forge new lives elsewhere. For some, this means learning lucrative ways of catching tuna, for others, it involves being taught how to provide nursing care for elderly Westerners.
The country's president, Anote Tong, a 62-year-old London School of Economics graduate, wants his people to be desirable migrants ‘when our islands can no longer sustain human life.’
Kiribati and its neighbor, Tuvalu -- together once known as the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, a British protectorate -- are poster nations for countries threatened by rising sea levels as a result of global warming.
In March, their survival came into focus when particularly high tides and a weather system that eventually became Cyclone Pam caused big waves to slam into Kiribati's capital, Tarawa, an atoll that is never more than 5 meters above sea level.
The tempest badly damaged a hospital, drove boats aground, wrecked homes, swamped vegetable gardens and killed breadfruit trees. Roads and causeways, including the 3.4km Japanese-built Dai Nippon causeway, were torn up.
Michael Foon, Kiribati's disaster official, said 3-meter waves, once rare, are now common. ’This is the first time that we've seen this sort of extensive flooding,’ he said. It was the same in Tuvalu, home to 10,500 people.
Cyclone Pam went on to kill 24 people in Vanuatu, an island nation to the south.
Around half of Kiribati's people live in slumlike conditions on South Tarawa, a strip of land about 20km long and never more than a kilometer wide. It is one of the most crowded places in the Pacific. A United Nations Environment Program report says sea levels in the Western Pacific, which includes Tuvalu and Kiribati, rose 12mm a year between 1993 and 2009, four times the global average.
Tong, Kiribati's president, believes parts of his country will be submerged by around 2030. ‘The science is telling us it is already too late for us.’
Kiribati's climate unit, which is affiliated with the president's office, says extensive coastal erosion has forced people to evacuate land that has been inhabited since the early 1900s…………..
Read more

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan Total Cost of Wars Since 2001 $1,626,576,740,510

Thousands of desperate, persecuted people on rickety ships on the open ocean, turned away again and again by nation after nation. Three points.
1. Have we learned nothing? These are not Jews fleeing Nazi Germany yet turned away by 'civilised' first world nations - do we even remember that atrocity? - they are Rohingya Muslims - do we care?? 2. From whom did the nations who are turning them away learn this evil strategy? From the Australian Government, that bastion of human rights, that rich first world nation who has pioneered this strategy in the Asia pacific region.
3. If these boats sink or fall apart and some 8,000 desperate people - among the most persecuted groups on earth - all drown - just WAIT for the outpouring of sympathy and grief from countries like ours - how, oh how, could the world have allowed this to happen?? How can we learn from this TERRIBLE tragedy??? Well, they are on the water NOW??!!
The world - we - must do something while they are still alive ! So much easier when they're dead. And the churches in our rich country? Where are they? Where is their moral leadership? Where are the Roman Catholic bishops calling for our country's leaders - our 'captain Catholic' Tony Abbott - to intervene to save these least of our sisters and brothers? So many many empty words. So much guilty silence. So many lives lost. Have we learned nothing ?
Michael Bernard Kelly (Comment on my Facebook this morning)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why should the original people of a country have to buy land? Especially those who stole it from the original people!

Fleeting governments' policies have permanent consequences for Aboriginal homelands
Susan Chenery Sydney Morning Herald May 8, 2015
150 communities are threatened with closure by the federal government's decision to cut $30 million in funding, with disturbing consequences for Indigenous clans and their culture.
'Back in the 1970s there was movement on the land./Yolgnu people went back to their promised lands.' Yothu Yindi, Homeland Movement.
As a young man Djambawa Marawili returned with his father to their tribal land at Yilpara, three hours south of Nhulunbuy, Arnhemland. They had come from the Rose River Mission at Numbulwar as part of the homeland movement, in which clans seeking self-determination and a revival of their traditional culture went back to their ancestral country.
The land has everything it needs but it cannot speak. We exist to paint and sing and dance and express its true identity.
Djambawa Marawili
At Yilpara they built their own houses and have conducted their lives according to their own Yolnu [Aboriginal] law and customs.

Djambawa Marawili, artist and elder, with local Indigenous rangers and children from the Yilpara Homelands School,Arnhemland. Photo: Supplied
Marawili………spoke to The Herald to explain what the land means to him, and how the federal government's decision to discontinue $30 million in annual funding for essential services may lead to the closure of 150 communities.
He is the caretaker for the spiritual well-being of his people, an activist who has been involved in the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody and the formation of ATSIC, and is chairman of the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Arts (ANKAA). He has served on numerous committees and boards and sits on the board of the Laynhapuy Homelands and the Northern Land Council, and is on the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council.
Art is at the centre of Marawili's advocacy, his seeking justice for his people. He draws on his culture not only for his art and its sacred designs, but to educate the wider public about the country we all live in and which has the oldest living culture on earth…………..
A major concern for Marawili in moving people away from their own communities and clans which have their own structure and leaders is that they will then be on another clan's country under other leadership and rules………….
On their own country they know who they are, where they belong and how to behave towards others. The elders are a source of knowledge that is handed down through the generations. When they are moved the structure can break down and a person's identity can be lost. In another person's country there is confusion and that can lead to trouble…………..
Even on his remote country, far away from the metropolises of the world, Marawili can see a bigger picture and an aerial view of the globe…………….
Read more

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TEACHER OF PEACE: Happy 94th Birthday Dan Berrigan!

Pax Christi USA May 9, 2015

Today is Dan Berrigan’s 94th birthday! If you’re not familiar with Dan, here’s the Wikipedia page article on him with links to more. Dan is one of the truly extraordinary prophets of our time, an author, activist and poet, and a Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace.
Rev. John Dear wrote of Dan in his introduction to our booklet Words of Peace: Selections from the Writings of Daniel Berrigan, SJ:
‘Daniel Berrigan has been a sign of Christian hope for. . . decades. He has inspired and challenged us, consoled and confronted us, told us the truth and done so with great love, and always opened up before us the possibility in faith of a world without war, the reign of God in our midst. For many people today, Daniel Berrigan remains a true image of the Christian disciple. . . .’
All of us at Pax Christi USA wish Dan a very Happy Birthday!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

RealAustraliansSayWelcome: Artist Peter Drew takes poster project supporting asylum seekers across country

Jason OmLateline ABC May 5, 2015
Video: Artist takes Real Australians Say Welcome project on the road (Lateline)
Photo: Peter Drew has taken his campaign to Sydney (above), Melbourne, Adelaide and parts of the NT. (Lateline: Jason Om)
He has been verballed, yelled at and chased down the street, but the artist behind a poster project supporting asylum seekers says that is part of the fun.
Peter Drew has embarked on a three-month road trip around Australia, putting up 1,000 posters declaring ‘Real Australians Say Welcome’.
‘It is slightly tongue-in-cheek. I think what is a real Australian is completely up for discussion,’ Mr Drew told Lateline.
He said the message was inspired by the second verse of the Australian anthem: ‘With courage let us all combine to Advance Australia Fair.’
‘That's what I mean [by] being a real Australian, is having that courage,’ Mr Drew said.
While pasting the posters on buildings, walls and hoardings, Mr Drew has experienced the highly charged nature of the debate directly from passers-by.

Photo: Mr Drew has experienced the highly charged nature of the debate surrounding asylum seekers during his talks with passers-by. (Lateline: Jason Om)
‘The conflict scares me because some people are really angry,’ he said.
Mr Drew said he usually tries to reason with people but it does not always work.
‘There was one man on the very first day who began the conversation by shouting at me. I started to walk away and he started to chase me,’ he said.
The posters began appearing, coincidentally, a week after the anti-Islam protests by Reclaim Australia.
When asked whether he thought people who disagreed with his message were not real Australians or un-Australian, Mr Drew said the project was deliberately provocative.
‘Because that's the argument put forward by the other side, by the ultra-nationalists, and I wanted to make them see how it feels,’ he said.
The posters were crowdfunded by donations and have already been pasted on buildings in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and parts of the Northern Territory.
Mr Drew is currently in Perth and will travel to Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston and finally Canberra.
Subscribe to get ABC News delivered to your email, including top arts coverage, plus the day's top news and analysis and alerts on major breaking stories.
Other artists and ordinary Australians have reacted to Mr Drew's project with their own versions of his message on social media.
Lucy Feagins from the Design Files website was inspired by the posters and asked the site's 127,000 Instagram followers to respond.
She was overwhelmed by the contributions.
‘I just couldn't keep up,’ she said.
‘We started reposting every single one but it ended up being what I thought was the most interesting.’
Watch the story on Lateline tonight at 9:30pm (AEST) on ABC News 24 and 10:30pm (local time) on ABC TV.
Read more, view artwork and watch video

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"The $40 billion submarine pathway to Australian strategic confusion",

Recommended Citation
Richard Tanter, NAPSNet Policy Forum, April 20, 2015,
by Richard Tanter

20 April 2015

Richard Tanter writes “Almost everything about the Abbott government’s project to spend up to $40 billion on twelve new submarines is breathtakingly wrongheaded, hazardous strategically and profligate financially.

“The Abbott government’s determination to tighten Australia’s military bonds with a truculent nationalist government in Japan, including through a massive, opaque, multi-decade weapons-building enterprise, amounts to a grand and dangerous folie à deux. American hopes for an operationally integrated alliance of democracies may be a matter of being careful what you wish for.”

An earlier version of this Policy Forum was published in Arena Magazine, 135, April 2015.

Richard Tanter works for the Nautilus Institute and teaches at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of About Face: Japan’s Remilitarisation and (with Desmond Ball) The Tools of Owatatsumi: Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Coastal Defence Capabilities. (ANU Press, 2015). Email:

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Nautilus Institute. Readers should note that Nautilus seeks a diversity of views and opinions on contentious topics in order to identify common ground.

The $40 billion submarine pathway to Australian strategic confusion

Submarine builders are busy in Asia. India is building six new nuclear attack submarines, and China is selling Pakistan eight diesel/electric submarines. . South Korea has established a consolidated submarine command to manage its Harpoon-equipped missile diesel-electric fleet of nine German-designed Type 209 submarines, and will have five more by 2019. Russian builders handed over a Yasen-class nuclear attack sub and a Borey-class SSBN last year, and four more nuclear boats have been laid down in Archangelsk’s shipyards, some of which will go into the modernization of the Pacific fleet. And China’s nuclear attack submarines now pass through the Malacca Straits to Indian Ocean patrols. India, meanwhile, in addition to its expanding nuclear fleet, has approached Japan to buy six of its big, 4,600 tonne Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines with its air independent propulsion system.[1]

Consequently, anti-submarine warfare planners are busier still, particularly those in China, and in America’s East and Southeast Asian allied countries. Like Soviet submarines before them, Chinese submarines attempting to reach the protection of the deep waters of the mid-Pacific must run the gauntlets of the American-dominated choke points between the island chains that reach from the Kurils through Japan and the Ryukyus and the Philippines and Indonesia. In a complex set of regional maritime environments for the perennial contest between submarines and their surface, air and undersea hunters, the current clear US and allied naval dominance, including in anti-submarine warfare, will be increasingly tested in coming decades, with consequent implications for long-term submarine-building plans.[2]

In this rapidly developing strategic environment the plans of successive Australian governments to replace its aging and largely moribund fleet of six Swedish-designed and Australian-built Collins-class submarines are a matter of concern to the United States in its drive for interoperability and alliance operational integration. Early public suggestions from the US that Australia might make a quantum leap in undersea warfare capacity by buying 9,000 tonne US nuclear-powered Virginia-class came to nothing, with even strong alliance advocates concerned about Australia’s weak nuclear technology base and the technological dependence that would ensue.[3] Domestically, the conservative Abbott government sparked broad controversy when, after talking up an Australian build during a bitter 2013 election campaign, did a volte face in office, and ruled out building in Australia, with the then Defence Minister saying of the Australian Submarine Corporation, the builders of the unhappy Collins-class boat, that “I wouldn’t trust them to build a canoe”.[4]

Against this background (and even with a new Defence Minister) almost everything about the Abbott government’s project to spend up to $40 billion on twelve new submarines is breathtakingly wrongheaded, hazardous strategically and profligate financially. The process of deciding which country and company will be lead builder has been a zigzag without logic, born of prime-ministerial survival tactics, secret undertakings given domestically and abroad, and intense lobbying in the shadows by corporations, embassies and different factions of the defence bureaucracy. The process has been held hostage by a typically Australian junior-alliance-partner amalgam of US pressure, ‘unforced’ Canberra policy preference for maximum weight to be given to alliance maintenance, and an expected—indeed, hoped for—Australian niche role in US–Japanese conflict with China.[5]

The strategic rationale for buying the submarines, the purposes for which they are intended and hence the capacities they are required to have remain hopelessly unclear, with the favoured options bringing serious strategic risks. Furthermore, the Australian government has colluded with the most nationalist government in Japan since the end of the Second World War to break that country’s longstanding bipartisan policy of not exporting major weapons systems, thereby encouraging a steep escalation of Japanese remilitarisation under Prime Minister Abe.

For Australia, the most enduring strategic consequence, though, will be the effect on Indonesia’s views of Australia’s intentions towards it. Will Australia use its submarines to control the maritime highways through Indonesian waters? This will encourage both extreme and mainstream views on Indonesia’s need to match Australian military capacities and remain wary of Australian intentions.

Amidst this policy chaos, the first thing to clarify is the apparently minor, if not absurd, matter of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s dogmatic insistence that the promise he gave a wavering South Australian colleague while fighting for his political life during the February Liberal Party leadership crisis involved a ‘a competitive evaluation process’ to select the builder of Australia’s new submarines, rather than an ‘open tender’.

At first sight this seemed to be either another Abbott misstep, another expression of the Coalition’s preference for deindustrialization, or simply antagonism to the Australian Submarine Corporation.[6] But the explanation of Abbott’s insistence was hidden in plain sight in Japan. Reuters reported the consternation of Japanese government officials when they heard of the Abbott promise to his South Australian colleague. They thought that Abbott had understood that domestic sensitivities would prevent Japan from making a bid in an open tender: ‘If we are asked that’s not a problem, but we can’t really be seen to be going out and actively pursuing a deal’.[7]

The second thing to talk about is money. The ominously imprecise estimates spoken of in Defence circles of between $A25 billion and $A40 billion—always likely to rise—need to be put in a budget context. The 2014–15 budget for all of Australia’s defence activities, including other major capital expenditures and ongoing operations in Afghanistan – and now, Iraq – is $A29 billion [8]

Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin dismissed the objections of critics of the government as ‘emotive’.[9] Granted, Binskin was particularly referring to advocates of building the submarines mainly in Australia—either to keep the South Australian economy alive or to maintain an Australian strategic defence industrial capacity. While there are reasonable arguments for and against such positions, there is nothing irrational about them. Moreover, a single weapons platform of opaque strategic benefit costing 125 per cent of the total annual spending for defence is a perfectly reasonable thing for all Australian taxpayers to get very vocal about.

The third issue is the basic one: for what purpose are these weapons platforms to be used? Where do they fit strategically? Does the thinking behind the proposal address Australia’s real needs, or does it make the country’s situation worse by locking Australia into US-orchestrated conflict with China?

Two of the most developed public arguments for how Australia should use submarines emerged from former Deputy Defence Secretary Hugh White in his 2009 alternative white paper A Focussed Force, and from commentaries by Andrew Davies from the Defence Department think tank the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).[10]

White emphasized the profound changes in Australia’s Asian environment, in terms of the relative capacities of the United States and China and in terms of the wider regional arms race that has been under way for some time. To summarise brutally, White argued that:

the overriding aim of our naval forces should be to help deny the sea approaches to Australia and our close neighbours to hostile forces, and to contribute to larger coalition sea-denial operations further afield in the Asia-Pacific.

White argued that, despite their expense, despite the difficulty in maintaining, staffing and operating the current submarines, and despite the limitations on what submarines can actually do (principally, in White’s view, sink ships), this means:

a decisive shift away from a navy focused on surface warships to one which gives a strong priority to submarines.[11]

This led White to call for eighteen submarines, three times the number in Australia’s current submarine fleet. However, he said little about the implications of the two quite different proposed missions for the types and capacities of the submarines, particularly in terms of range and hence size.

Moreover, in recent years White has been raising important questions about Australia’s military relationship to a declining American regional presence and an expanded Chinese one in East and Southeast Asia. At times, White has appeared to be following the line of thought opened up by David Martin in his path-breaking 1984 book Armed Neutrality for Australia. While White has not spelled out this side of his thinking, and leaving aside the ways in which the passing of the Cold War requires some rethinking of the idea of neutrality, the idea of investing in a submarine fleet for ‘coalition sea-denial operations further afield in the Asia-Pacific’ is a very different matter from White’s larger concerns for a geographically focussed defence outlook.

Less definite than White, Andrew Davies envisaged three possible applications for an Australian submarine force, and was deeply sceptical about two of them. One would involve a war against another middle power, and another a war against a major power without the involvement of the United States. While these, argued Davies, ‘are…in the category of “unlikely but not completely incredible”’, he dismissed both. A putative sea-denial role for submarines against ‘a major (and nuclear armed power)’—i.e. China—without the United States is, for him, close to absurd to think about.[12]

Davies’ eloquent dismissal of the perennially invoked Australian prospect of war with a regional middle power (the usual candidate being Indonesia) is memorable:

We have no abiding enmities, no simmering territorial disputes and no pissing contests worth mentioning. In fact, our part of the world looks more coherent today than it has for a long time. If anything, our collective interests are converging rather than diverging. And even with the ADF [Australia Defence Force] we have today, we have enough denial capability to make the power projection task of any would-be hostile middle power formidably difficult. In short, there’s no reason for any middle power to want to fight us, and no obvious way for them to do so in any case.[13]

For Davies the most important possible role for a submarine fleet was the one envisaged by the Rudd Labor government in its 2009 White Paper, and the one urged on Australia publicly by US diplomats—a symbolic political contribution to maintaining alliance credit through a niche role in US naval operations against China:

If it’s uncomfortable to be talking about war with China, it should be. It’s a horrendous proposition and one we’d much prefer to avoid for many reasons. But it’s something the United States is thinking about.[14]

In the view of the current government, US-led coalition war against China is precisely the context for a niche role being considered for Australian forces and for submarines in particular. As Davies says, this “horrendous proposition” is being spoken of in Washington and Tokyo, and increasingly in Canberra, on occasion with a degree of insouciance that should be condemned and attacked. Besides the obvious fundamental objections to such an Australian role, by the time most of the submarines are built twenty years or more from now, the undersea balance in waters close to China will likely have either reversed from the present US–Japan dominance or become so favourable to Chinese anti-submarine warfare as to designate a niche Australian submarine role as somewhere between insignificant and suicidal.[15]

While there are important parts of White’s developing argument that to disagree with, he is absolutely correct to say that in the medium term Australians – and the same is true for Americans – are going to live in a strategic and cultural world that reverses the assumptions on which post-invasion Australia was constructed—a time that coincided almost exactly with the historically anomalous period in which China was not the most important country in the world.[16] Rethinking the default alliance setting of this massively costly and technically difficult multi-decade submarine project should be front and centre in such concerns.

Leaving aside whether the big Japanese Soryu-class submarines actually meet Australia’s strategic needs, the government’s headlong rush to a Japanese build carries an important but largely undebated strategic significance.[17] By holding out the chance of a massive submarine export sale, Australia is dramatically accelerating the process of Japanese remilitarisation that began as the Cold War was ending.[18]

Japanese arms manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding, lead contractors for the Soryu-class submarines, have long been working with the nationalist wing of the Liberal Democratic Party to remove the arms export ban.[19] While they were successful in having the policy removed last year, nothing like the prospective Australian submarine sale has been conceivable in almost seven decades.[20]

Post-war conservative Japanese leaders restricted the size of the Self Defence Force, declined US suggestions of dispatching troops to fight overseas, refused to export major armaments, and developed a unique and successful doctrine of defensive defence, eschewing weapons that could be used for offensive operations: no aircraft carriers, no amphibious forces, and no aerial refuelling aircraft.

Under American pressure and with the strengthening of the nationalist streams in the political and bureaucratic worlds, Japan has been shifting away from these self-imposed limitations. Japan’s Ground, Air, and Maritime Self Defence Forces are now the most advanced and professional army, navy and air force in East Asia. There are now few restrictions on foreign SDF operations.[21]

Remilitarisation over the past two decades has already reached the point where the change Mr Abe seeks to Article 9 of the constitution would be mainly a symbolic one. Yet in a region where the most powerful strategic fact of life is the almost complete failure of historical reconciliation between Japan and the countries it colonised and invaded in the first half of the century, abandoning Article 9 would be an almost literally explosive symbol for neighbouring China and South Korea. An Australian submarine order would be immensely helpful to Mr Abe’s campaign.

The Abe government is now quietly using the term ‘quasi-ally’ (準同盟国) to describe its relationship with Australia.[22] Most Australians think well of Japan and would be happy to support its defence in general terms. But it is another matter to actively encourage the remilitarisation of a country led by a government that refuses to acknowledge the crimes of wartime Japan, and that wants to rewrite history to whitewash those crimes. Shared values should temper interests in foreign policy, and when they are not shared, there should be caution, especially when the Australian government’s dealings are not transparent.

Yet this project involves deeper hazards still. Following the recent publication of Desmond Ball’s and my study The Tools of Owatatsumi: Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Defence, Ball and Robert Ayson closely examined the question ‘Can a Sino-Japanese war be controlled?’, reviewing the widespread, indeed barely questioned, assumption that such a conflict, for example over the East China Sea territorial disputes, can be contained to a ‘limited war’.[23]

Examining in detail both technical and political aspects of such a confrontation, including the vulnerability to attack of Japan’s potent undersea surveillance capacities that we documented, Ball and Ayson concluded that in the relationship between Japan and China:

there seems to be minimal political understanding of, or commitment to, avoiding escalation…These political obstacles increase the pressure created by military considerations that encourage swift escalation, to the point at which even nuclear options seem attractive…The subsequent involvement of the United States could lead to Asia’s first serious war involving nuclear-armed states. And we have no precedent to suggest how dangerous that would become.

In a strategic context like this, the Abbott government’s determination to tighten Australia’s military bonds with a truculent nationalist government in Japan, including through a massive, opaque, multi-decade weapons-building enterprise, amounts to a grand and dangerous folie à deux. American hopes for an operationally integrated alliance of democracies may be a matter of being careful what you wish for.

Image source: Richard Gale

[1] Jeremy Page, “China’s Submarines Add Nuclear-Strike Capability, Altering Strategic Balance”, Deep Threat, Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2014, at; David Tweed, “Xi’s submarine sale raises Indian Ocean nuclear clash”, Bloomberg, 17 April 2015, at; Trude Pettersen, “Four nuclear submarines under construction in Russia’s Far North”, Barents Observer, Alaska Dispatch News, 18 February 2015, at; Zachary Keck, “China’s Worst Nightmare? Japan May Sell India Six Stealth Submarines”, The Buzz, The National Interest, 29 January 2015, at; Akhilesh Pillalamarri, “Watch out, China: India is building 6 nuclear attack submarines”, The Buzz, The National Interest, 18 February 2015, at; Zachary Keck, “Silent but Deadly: Korea’s Scary Submarine Arms Race”, The Buzz, The National Interest, 13 February 2015, at; and Yoo Kyong Chang and Erik Slavin , “South Korea Establishes Submarine Command”, Stars and Stripes, 23 February 2015, at

[2] Owen R. Cote Jr., “Assessing the undersea balance between the U.S. and China”, MIT Security Studies Program, SSP Working Papers, February, 2011, at; Paul Dibb, “Maneuvers make waves but in truth Chinese navy is a paper tiger”, The Australian, 7 March 2014, at; and Desmond Ball and Richard Tanter, The Tools of Owatatsumi: Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Defence, ANU Press, 2015, at

[3] Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith, “We need submarines, not subservience to the U.S.”, The Australian, 19 January 2012, at; and Richard Tanter, “Another hinge for the Pacific Pivot: Australia’s nuclear navy?”, Nautilus Institute, NAPSNet Policy Forum, 15 November 2012, at

[4] Julian Kerr, “Australia’s Johnston says he wouldn’t trust ASC ‘to build a canoe'”, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 24 November 2014, at

[5] Richard Tanter, “Home Base”, Australian Financial Review, 23 January 2015, at

[6] Julian Kerr, “Australia’s Johnston says he wouldn’t trust ASC ‘to build a canoe'”, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 24 November 2014, at

[7] Matt Siegel, “Skepticism, confusion over Australia submarine tender pledge”, Reuters, 9 February 2015, at

[8] Minister for Defence – Budget 2014-15 – Defence Budget Overview, 13 May 2014, at

[9] Sid Maher, “Submarine build argument ‘emotive'”, The Australian, 17 February 2015, at

[10] Hugh White, A focused force: Australia’s defence priorities in the Asian century, Lowy Institute Paper 26, 2009, at,_A_focused_force.pdf; and Andrew Davies, Presentation to the Submarine Institute of Australia, November 2012, at; Andrew Davies and Benjamin Schreer, “The strategic dimension of ‘Option J’: Australia’s submarine choice and its security relations with Japan”, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Strategic Insights 85, March 2015, at; Andrew Davies, “The who, what, where, and why of the future submarine”, The Strategist, 14 March 2015, at; Andrew Davies, “Submarines—what are they good for?”, The Strategist, 11 February 2013, at

[11] White, op.cit., p.49.

[12] Davies, Presentation, op.cit.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Davies, “The who, what, where, and why of the future submarine”, op.cit.

[15] Owen R. Cote Jr., “Assessing the undersea balance between the U.S. and China”, MIT Security Studies Program, SSP Working Papers, February, 2011, at

[16] Hugh White, The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power, Penguin, 2013; and amongst many others, Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, Penguin, 2012.

[17] “SS Soryu Class Submarines, Japan”,, at; and Kyle Mizokami, “Australia’s Submarine Play: Run Silent, Run Japanese?”, The National Interest, 14 September 2014, at

[18] Christopher Hughes, Japan’s Remilitarisation, The Adelphi Papers, special issue, Volume 48, Issue 403, 2008; and Richard Tanter, About face: Japan’s remilitarisation, Nautilus Institute, Austral Special Report 09-02S, 19 March 2009 [original publication by CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Tokyo, November 2006; released for general circulation, courtesy CLSA.] at

[19] Hughes, op.cit., chapter four; Saadia M. Pekkanen and Paul Kallender-Umezu, In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy, Stanford U.P. 2010; and Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, Cornell U.P., 2007.

[20] David McNeill, “Tooling up for war: Can Japan benefit from lifting the arms export ban?”, Japan Times, 28 June 2014, at

[21] Hughes, op.cit; and Samuels, op.cit.

[22] Yusuke Fukui, “Japan moves to make Australia ‘quasi-ally’ in national security”, Asia & Japan Watch, Asahi Shimbun, 10 November 2014, at

[23] Desmond Ball and Richard Tanter, The Tools of Owatatsumi: Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Defence, ANU Press, 2015, at; and Robert Ayson and Desmond Ball, “Can a Sino-Japanese War Be Controlled?”, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, (2014) Vol. 56, No. 6, pp. 135-166.

nautilus-logo-smallThe NAPSNet Policy Forum provides expert analysis of contemporary peace and security issues in Northeast Asia. As always, we invite your responses to this report and hope you will take the opportunity to participate in discussion of the analysis.

A Century of Women Working for Peace

Amy Goodman Truthdig April 29, 2015
One hundred years ago, more than 1,000 women gathered here in The Hague during World War I, demanding peace. Britain denied passports to more than 120 women, forbidding them from making the trip to suppress their peaceful dissent. Now, a century later, in these very violent times, nearly 1,000 women have gathered here again, this time from Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as Europe and North America, saying ‘No’ to wars from Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen to Syria, not to mention the wars in our streets at home. They were marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of WILPF, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Dr. Aletta Jacobs, a Dutch suffragist who co-founded the group a century ago, said the purpose of the original gathering in 1915 was to empower women ‘to protest against war and to suggest steps which may lead to warfare being an impossibility.’
Among the women here were four Nobel Peace Prize winners. Shirin Ebadi was awarded the prize in 2003 for advocating for human rights for Iranian women, children and political prisoners. She was the first Muslim woman, and the first Iranian, to receive a Nobel………
…..She was joined by her sister laureates Leymah Gbowee, who helped achieve a negotiated peace during the civil wars in Liberia; Mairead Maguire, who won the peace prize in 1976 at the age of 32 for advancing an end to the conflict in her native Northern Ireland; and Jody Williams, a Vermonter who led the global campaign to ban land mines, and who now is organizing to ban ‘killer robots,’ weapons that kill automatically, without the active participation of a human controller……….
Kozue Akibayashi is WILPF’s new president. After World War II, the U.S. required that Japan’s Constitution explicitly forbid it from pursuing war to settle disputes with foreign states. ‘The majority of people in Japan support the peace constitution,’ Akibayashi explained. President Barack Obama, however, like George W. Bush before him, is pressuring Japan to eliminate the pacifistic Article Nine from the Japanese Constitution…………
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