Thursday 29th of July 2021

the bad, the ugly and the crazies...





















 Admiral James Stavridis has commanded U.S. warships in the South China Sea. In his new novel, he writes about a war between China and America – a scenario he considers to be extremely realistic.



Interview Conducted By Bernhard Zand in Hong Kong



On the afternoon of March 12, 2034, the commanding officers of the American guided-missile destroyer John Paul Jones discover a fishing trawler on fire on the horizon of the Western Pacific. They delay but then, on the orders of their superiors, they shift course. It’s the beginning of a chain of events that leads to war between China and the United States and the use of tactical nuclear weapons. These events drive the plot of the geopolitical thriller "2034,” from Washington to Beijing, from the Persian Gulf to San Diego, from India to Shanghai.


The authors are novelist and Afghanistan veteran Elliot Ackerman, 41, and Admiral James Stavridis, 66, who himself commanded a destroyer squadron in the western Pacific years ago. He later rose to the rank of four-star admiral and, in 2009, he became the first naval officer to take over the supreme command of NATO troops in Europe. Stavridis was discussed as a possible vice presidential nominee during Hillary Clinton’s campaign and later as a possible secretary of state under Donald Trump. He has made a name for himself as a political commentator.


DER SPIEGEL: Admiral Stavridis, how close are China and the U.S. to a military confrontation today?

Admiral James Stavridis: A lot of the critical reaction to the book has been: Excellent book. The date is wrong. It’s not 2034, maybe 2024 or 2026. Any number of my very senior military friends have said, "You’ve written a cautionary tale about a war that you think is 10 to 15 years away, but many of us believe it will come sooner." And there is public testimony to this fact. Just three weeks ago, Admiral Philip S. Davidson, who is the commander of all U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region, talked about the possibility of a war over Taiwan within six years. The U.S. and China are both operating heavy military warships and aircraft in very close proximity over the South China Sea.


DER SPIEGEL: And China and the U.S. have many political disputes.

Stavridis: That’s right – about the status of Taiwan, about the question of who owns the South China Sea, about human rights violations in China, the Uighur situation. I could go on and on. If crime is where motive meets opportunity, these are two nations who have the opportunity, because of these heavily armed fleets, and the motive – because of the package of disagreements between them.

DER SPIEGEL: The political debates on both sides give the impression that military conflict is almost inevitable. Graham Allison warns of the "Thucydides Trap.” In history, he says, one great power catching up to another has almost always led to war.

Stavridis: I am concerned about this debate, and history is not encouraging. Graham Allison went back 2,500 years to ancient Athens and Sparta and looked at what happens when an established power is challenged by a rising power. The last time that happened is certainly familiar to Germans: It was when the British Empire was challenged by the Kaiser’s Germany. The reason we wrote "2034" was not to predict a conflict but to warn people, to write a cautionary tale which could allow us to figure out what we need to do to avoid stumbling into a major war.

"China is spending its money very intelligently. They are extremely focused."

DER SPIEGEL: You said that "2034" should "scare the hell out" of its readers – which it certainly does. Were you sometimes scared writing it? Has the thought of a fictional self-fulfilling prophecy crossed your mind?

Stavridis: Absolutely. Particularly (with) some of these incidents, notably the naval ones at sea. I’ve been there. I’ve commanded destroyers. I’ve been a commodore of a flotilla of destroyers in the South China Sea. I know all of this very well.

DER SPIEGEL: In "2034,” China has gained cyber supremacy and cripples the U.S. technologically. How realistic is such a scenario, given that the U.S. defense budget is currently about three times the size of China’s?

Stavridis: Two points: Who could have predicted 9/11? Who could have predicted a 20-year war in Afghanistan? Who could have predicted a pandemic that locks down both of our societies? Human beings tend to think that tomorrow will look like today. But there are always discontinuities and surprises.

DER SPIEGEL: And point two?

Stavridis: China is spending its money very intelligently. They are extremely focused – not only on offensive cyberweapons but also on its operations in space, its hypersonic cruise missiles, its stealth technologies. China has watched the United States spend trillions of dollars, get into two expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said: "We don’t need all of that. We are not going to get in such wars. We are going to target our spending very intelligently."


"Offensive cyber weapons are increasingly capable of knocking out the electric grid, taking out transportation systems, affecting water delivery, destroying financial systems."


DER SPIEGEL: In your novel, cyberweapons play a role similar to the one nuclear weapons played in the Cold War. Is it conceivable that one day there will be disarmament talks in the cyber realm, similar to the ones the U.S. and the Soviet Union began some 50 years ago?

Stavridis: We need to get to that point as quickly as possible. Offensive cyber weapons are increasingly capable of knocking out the electric grid, taking out transportation systems, affecting water delivery, destroying financial systems. For all those reasons, we need very rapidly to get to at least conversations between the U.S., Russia and China about this subject. I think nuclear weapons are a reasonable example. The problem is, of course, that it is much more difficult to know exactly who is attacking you in the cyber realm as opposed to a ballistic missile which you can track as it flies toward your country. And unfortunately it is much easier to proliferate an offensive cyber technique than it is to construct a massive nuclear weapon. Nations like Iran, North Korea and Israel are rapidly improving their capabilities in this area. So the sooner the Big Three – the U.S., Russia and China – get together and set an example, the better.

DER SPIEGEL: The U.S. military projects global power. China says it only wants to control its neighborhood, the South China Sea – just as the U.S. has done since the early 19th century in the Caribbean. What’s wrong with this argument?

Stavridis: The United States did not claim territorial sovereignty over the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the waters of South America. The United States did say: This is our neighborhood, and we will be a capable military power here. But we did not claim territorial ownership of those waters. China is doing so. That ought to concern the international community beyond anything else China is doing. The South China Sea is half the size of the continental United States of America, probably much of the size of Western Europe. If we simply say to the Chinese: Okay, we know you don’t have any real ambitions globally, go ahead and take ownership of the South China Sea – that’s a disaster, it’s the end of the Law of the Sea Treaty. Then every nation is going to start claiming its chunks of water. That would be exhibit one.

DER SPIEGEL: And exhibit two?

Stavridis: China is building a massive fleet. It has more warships today than the U.S. If all they want to do is patrol the South China Sea – why are they building nuclear aircraft carriers, why are they building massive warships? Why are they deploying them to the Baltic Sea and to the Eastern Mediterranean? Why are they building a base on the Horn of Africa?

"It would be foolish to put our hands over our eyes and say China is not going to be a problem."

DER SPIEGEL: China has three overseas military outposts, the U.S. has 800.

Stavridis: Much of the U.S. overseas infrastructure is there because our allies desperately want us to be there. When we talk about removing 8,000 troops from Germany then Germany does not like that. What happens in Japan, what happens in South Korea? This is a network of allies, partners and friends, built up and coming out of the Second World War, and we are there at significant cost to ourselves because our allies want us there. And as to the number 800: There are, perhaps, 50 significant bases where there are thousands of troops.

DER SPIEGEL: Still many more than any other force.

Stavridis: Is that an argument for reducing the U.S. global footprint? Well, Donald Trump certainly thought so and he was starting to bring the troops home. Our allies did not like that very much. And China has many bases. Except they are not military, they control ports, in places like Sri Lanka. China just signed a massive deal with Iran – which figures in the book as a very strong ally of China. I think that’s very realistic by the middle of the century.

DER SPIEGEL: Is China copying the U.S.?

Stavridis: It is taking notes on what the United States has done. If China says it has no tradition of global control, that is reasonably accurate in the historical context of China. But what they are doing right now is at odds with that statement. And that has set off some warning bells for us. And if you listen to President Xi Jinping when he talks about where China will be at the middle of this century it sounds to me a lot like a significant global presence. One Belt, One Road: China is on the move. That doesn’t mean we have to go to war. We shouldn’t go to war, we should avoid this. But it would be foolish to put our hands over our eyes and say China is not going to be a problem.

DER SPIEGEL: As the former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, the top NATO commander, do you think that the West needs a Pacific Treaty Organization to keep China in check?

Stavridis: I don’t think Asia lends itself to the very formal structure of NATO. But I think there can be standing arrangements, shall we say, and a pretty good example of that is what is called the Quad: the United States, Japan, India and Australia. You can’t find four nations that are more different than those four but they have come together and are providing some balance to this rising capability of China. And all four of them look at China and have some concern: India because of what’s happening in the Himalayas, Japan because of its territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, Australia because of China’s pretty sharp trade practices.

DER SPIEGEL: Beijing had penalized Australia early this year because it had called for an investigation into the origins of the pandemic.

Stavridis: This Quad I think is probably the closest we will get to a NATO-like organization, and then you add into that Quad other nations like South Korea or Singapore. But I don’t think we want to set up an Asian NATO. That would be a very provocative signal to China.

DER SPIEGEL: Germany is planning to send a frigate to the Western Pacific later this year. Do you think this is a good idea?

Stavridis: These are decisions for the people of Germany and for Chancellor Angela Merkel for whom I have extreme admiration. From a U.S. perspective, we are happy, indeed enthusiastic, when our allies choose to operate with us in the South China Sea. It sends a signal to China that you do not own these waters. These are international waters. It is very important when other nations demonstrate by sailing their warships – and really that’s all you have to do: Just sail through those waters, fly that German flag, operate your helicopter and turn on your fire-control radar.

"There Is No Hotline"

DER SPIEGEL: How can a spiral of escalation be interrupted?

Stavridis: We’d need another interview to unpack this in depth. But at the tactical level we need more mechanisms of communication. There is no hotline as there was during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. There is no formal agreement as we had during the Cold War for controlling incidents at sea – the so-called INCSEA agreements. That would create buffer zones between military platforms. It would say: Here’s how close you can fly an aircraft to a military ship, here is when you cannot turn on a fire-control radar.

DER SPIEGEL: ... which would decrease the pressure on commanders and pilots.

Stavridis: The people who are flying these jets and driving these destroyers are very young, some in their twenties and thirties. I commanded an Aegis destroyer when I was 36 years old – and I was the oldest officer on the ship. These young people need boundaries and controls, and the senior people need to be able to pick up a phone and immediately call and have a hotline to indicate the seriousness of the situation.

DER SPIEGEL: What is needed beyond the tactical level, on a strategic and political level?

Stavridis: Both sides need a strategy for dealing with the other that is clear and sets out where the red lines are. We also need to take a look at the alliance structures. A big part of why Europe managed to mobilize itself into a world war in 1914 was a network of treaty structures that put nations under mutual pressure. And finally, there is a technological set of solutions which have to do with surveillance, space, observing, seeing and showing the other side what you see – protocols which create a possibility of deterrence. The Open Skies Treaty, for example, from which the Trump administration foolishly walked away. Where is the Open Skies Agreement in Asia?


DER SPIEGEL: The pandemic and the isolation of the two superpowers has seemingly blocked many of these channels of communication.

Stavridis: This affects many areas: our economic, trade and tariff relationships, cultural, academic and social exchanges. This is very personal to me, by the way: My oldest daughter is married to a Chinese American, a physician. The tensions have been deeply exacerbated by this pandemic, and that’s certainly the case in the United States. I see that with my son-in-law, who has people yell things at him from a passing car. He works in an emergency room where some patients come in and say: I don’t want to be treated by an Asian because of the "Chinese flu." It makes everything we have to do much harder.

DER SPIEGEL: Have you had any reactions from Chinese readers yet – and will there be a Chinese translation of the book?

Stavridis: Someone asked me the other day: If you could force one person to read the book, who would it be? My answer, you guessed it, was President Xi. I would love for President Xi to read it, if for no other reason that if he could be photographed holding the book I would sell millions of copies over night. But in all seriousness: I hope the Chinese read "2034." And I hope they read it fairly – as this is not a good-guys-bad-guys kind of a book. The villain here is war. And I think the most compelling and most sympathetic character in the book is a Chinese Admiral. His name is Lin Bao.

DER SPIEGEL: Admiral Stavridis, we thank you for this interview.


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pretty war pic...

war picwar pic

wake up in the morning...



By Neville Roach


In the early sixties, in the midst of growing paranoia of the Red and Yellow Perils, portrayed by the Menzies Government as dagger-like arrows pointed at Australia’s heart, a TV variety show, perhaps Revue ’61 or In Melbourne Tonight, gave us comic relief with a parody on the Al Jolson song, ‘Carolina in the Morning’, which went, ‘Nothing could be Finer than to have a War with China in the Morning’.


Little did we imagine the horrors we were heading for – war in Vietnam, conscription by lottery, a tragic number or deaths and injuries among young Australians, Agent Orange and the devastation of Vietnam and most of Indo-China! When that disaster came to a merciful end with the humiliating defeat of the US-led invading forces, ‘never again’ was the deep-felt hope of most Australians – forlorn, as it turned out.

It wasn’t long before we were repeating our blunders, this time in the Middle-East,  as part of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ – again at the behest of our US ally. The consequences of that disaster – the destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, more Aussie deaths, injuries, mental breakdowns and suicides and apparent war crimes by our soldiers. All of these tragedies were avoidable. Their repercussions will be felt for generations.

Worse still, we don’t seem to have learned any lessons from our past mistakes. Instead of a ‘Never Again’ resolve, we now seem to be itching for another conflict, this time against China, the world’s second largest economic and military power and our biggest trading partner, the very country that has underwritten much of our unprecedented prosperity. In this bellicose behavior, we are led by our Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Heads of Department and present and past Generals.

Their strident comments are evidenced in articles in Australian and foreign media. The AFR headline of May 6 2021, “Australia draws the China line at Taiwan”. Not to be left behind, the Defence Minister last week angered the Chinese government by saying a conflict with China over Taiwan could not be discounted, while Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo declared, the “drums of war” were beating (SMH and Age on May 3, 2021). Why did we think that we had to lead the push for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, something the WHO was always going to do anyway? Why do we have to be so bellicose over the Taiwan issue?

Whether our stance on Taiwan has any moral or legal foundation is also highly questionable. It doesn’t even seem to conform to our previous agreements with China, arrangements which, ironically, we struck following the lead of the US! Let’s examine the history.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has always claimed sovereignty over Taiwan. So did the previous Chiang Kai Shek Republic of China (ROC), even when it was a government-in-exile based in Taiwan from where it claimed to be the government of the whole of China. This myth was the official policy of the US and the UN until1971, and of Australia until Gough Whitlam recognised the PRC in 1973.

That Taiwan was part of China was acknowledged in the joint communique following the Nixon- Mao-Zhou summit, which acknowledged that “there is but one China” and “Taiwan is a part of China.” Australia’s position on Taiwan has been similar. The Joint communique of the Australian Government and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, which proclaimed the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the PRC clearly states, “The Australian Government recognises the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China, acknowledges the position of the Chinese Government that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China, and has decided to remove its official representation from Taiwan before 25 January 1973”.

Ironically, Morrison recently seems to have acknowledged China’s long-held position, perhaps betraying a subliminal perception. As the Guardian reported on May 6, 2021, “When speaking about Taiwan, Morrison referred to “one country, two systems”. Commonsense, self-interest, national safety and integrity all suggest that he comes to terms with reality, stops sabre-rattling; recognises that we are at best a middle-power that is economically dependent on China, against whom we are entirely incapable of winning a trade war, let alone an armed conflict; and start mending fences without further delay.

We can learn much from our neighbor and ANZUS ally, New Zealand. As the Nikkei News Report of April 26, 2021 said, its Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, “jolted her country’s Five Eyes intelligence allies when she stressed a preference for a more independent stance on relations with China”. She was supported in her stance by her Prime Minister. Nikkei continued, “In response to the controversy, (Prime Minister) Ardern insisted her government was not breaking away from the country’s “most important” intelligence partnership. But she backed Mahuta by saying that “New Zealand also has an independent foreign policy.”

A more independent foreign policy is in Australia’s national interest too. It could lead to a rapprochement with China and, perhaps, even help us to influence our ANZUS and Five Eyes partners to develop a more constructive engagement with it. This could help save the world from sliding towards the ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ (MAD) strategy. While this mutual threat was probably all that stopped  Russia and the US from a potentially nuclear catastrophe during the U2 and Cuban missile crises, surely we, our children and grandchildren deserve a less tenuous future!

The parody on ‘California in the morning, ended with a very sound and sobering piece of advice that should give our leaders sound and sensiv=ble food for thought. “Maybe we should make up – so that we can wake up – in the morning!”


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possible loser...


On 7 May 2021, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown was called to testify before the House Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee.

The four-star general has been tapped to succeed General Mark Milley as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Brown made clear that the US Air Force has gradually lost its technological edge, pointing out in particular that the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems have not been modernized for over 20 years.

He observed that China and Russia have studied the US wars since 9/11 and have concluded that the role of citizens is as important as that of the military.

More importantly, he indicated that in the event of a great war today, the United States would not be sure of winning it.

General Charles Q. Brown had already sounded the alarm five years ago [1].


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no war, please...


We have to stop the coming war with China


by Corey Oakley


Today, for the first time since the USSR developed its own atomic arsenal to challenge US nuclear hegemony, the world faces the realistic possibility of a war between great powers that might not immediately end in the mutual destruction of both sides and the end of all human civilisation. If anything, that makes the war more likely. We have to do whatever we can to stop it from happening.

For nearly half a century, the world lived with the knowledge that the rulers of both the US and the USSR could, in the space of a few minutes, make decisions that would wipe us all out in a global cascade of white flashing death. It was a strange horror. The threat was not the prolonged suffering that the two world wars and centuries of colonial barbarism had inflicted – year upon year of accumulating loss and death and grief – but instant annihilation, the erasure of a whole world of civilisation in a matter of hours.

The Cold War was not always cold. Localised wars in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere left millions dead. But these conflicts, terrible though they were, didn’t seriously threaten to transform into a direct confrontation between the superpowers. Regardless of the fever-dreams of unhinged presidents like Richard Nixon, who, Trump-like, fantasised about a nuclear strike on Hanoi, the logic of the Cold War built a wall between proxy skirmishes and the main game: the prospect of total war between the US and the USSR. And on that front, in spite of some enormous scares – like the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when Kennedy and Khrushchev brought the world as close as it has come to war between nuclear powers – neither party ever passed the point of no return.


The macabre logic of the “deterrence” policy pursued by both sides assumed that direct major confrontation between the superpowers would inevitably turn into a full-scale nuclear war. It was all or nothing. 

Today, this assumption has been junked. The military strategists of the US, China, and other countries including Australia, are planning for conventional war between the great powers, or “limited” nuclear conflicts that do not involve the flattening of Beijing or New York.

The official US Cold War policy of “deterrence” was the logic of the lunatic asylum. Peace, according to the doctrine, could only be assured if the other side was convinced you were insane enough to destroy the world, even if it meant your part of it was obliterated as well. But while it was an unhinged policy that risked the annihilation of all life on the planet in the hope that no-one would make any miscalculations – that no false alarm would precipitate an Armageddon – it actually represented the more moderate opinion among Pentagon strategists. The war-hawks bristled at deterrence. From their point of view, all it meant was you couldn’t have proper wars.

In the 1980s, US military strategists put considerable effort into figuring out how they could win a full-scale war with the USSR by taking out Soviet nuclear missile sites before they were able to send their deadly payloads towards US cities. It was never really feasible.

Today, the idea of winning a total war has been replaced with the argument that it is possible for great powers to fight a partial war. Such a prospect is terrifying, not only because such a war could easily spiral into a total nuclear confrontation, but because even if this did not happen, a regional war between the US and China would mean death and destruction on a scale unseen since the world wars.

What makes the idea so dangerous for humanity, but also so alluring for the warmongers, is that it makes war – real, large scale war between armed-to-the-teeth powers in possession of the most terrible weapons – possible. If the only kind of war with China possible was a total war – a nuclear confrontation in which every major city in the combatant countries would likely be obliterated – no one would be for it. But a medium scale war in the South China Sea? It sounds serious, but not unthinkable.


This is what Peter Dutton is warning us about, and it’s what the military is actively planning for. So let’s think through what it would look like.

China has been preparing for an invasion of Taiwan for at least two decades. Over the past 20 years, it has significantly modernised its military. While it still lags behind the US, it is now streets ahead of any other power in terms of military capacity.

According to the 2020 US Department of Defence report to Congress, “China has already achieved parity with – or even exceeded – the United States in several military modernization areas”, including shipbuilding, land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and integrated air defence systems.The Chinese ground-launched ballistic and cruise missile systems are designed to take out US bases and naval assets scattered across Asia and the Pacific. Its sophisticated anti-access/area denial system could now have the capacity to neutralise US bases in Japan and South Korea, and the previously unassailable US Pacific fleet, in particular its aircraft carriers.

There is no guarantee at all that the US military would win a war in the South China Sea. That’s why there is currently an intense discussion in US policy circles about whether the US should contemplate fighting such a war in the eventuality that China invaded Taiwan, or carried out some other provocation.

If such a war did take place, it would be horrifically bloody. Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese soldiers could be killed in the fight to determine whether China could occupy Taiwan. If the US intervened, China would likely attack US bases in South Korea, Japan and Guam. The death toll could be astronomical. The US military is used to winning its wars. If the core of its Pacific fleet was destroyed by Chinese land-to-sea missiles, or by China’s extensive submarine fleet, the pressure to respond with overwhelming force – which means, in a situation where geography and geopolitics put the US at a profound strategic disadvantage, intercontinental nuclear weapons – would be enormous.

What is Australia’s role in this situation? Some Australian policy analysis suggest that because the US is in a weak position militarily, Australia needs to fast-track its own military development, and establish a fighting force that could play a serious role alongside the US in a future war with China.

There is already considerable pressure to increase Australia’s military capacity. Josh Frydenberg’s 2021 budget allocated a staggering $270 billion in military spending over the next 10 years. “We need to be prepared for a world that is less stable and more contested,” he said in his budget speech.

Australia is used to fighting its wars on a minimum casualties, maximum flag-waving-opportunity basis. That is not what Australian involvement in a US-led war with China would be like. The approach Australia took in Afghanistan – committing a tiny number of elite special forces who had overwhelming technological superiority over their opponents and thus a very low casualty rate – would not be at all viable.

Australian warships and submarines, even if remote from the actual battleground, would be prime targets, especially in the build-up to war. From China’s point of view, attacking Australian military assets would be a way to send a message of intent which, even if risky, is still less likely to lead to inevitable escalation than attacking US forces directly. In the event of a war between the US and China, Darwin, a base for substantial US as well as Australian forces, would be a likely target for Chinese attack. Large civilian as well as military casualties would be eminently possible in such an eventuality.


This can seem like it’s painting a picture of Australian self-defence in the face of Chinese aggression. Like all rising powers in history, China’s ruling class wants to assert itself, impose its will, expand its sphere of influence and control. But it is also the case that a future conflict with China will be entirely a war of choice on Australia’s part. China poses no threat at all to Australia itself. Even in the most belligerent versions of China’s future there is no prospect of it invading the Australian mainland. An Australian war with China would be entirely about defending the status quo of US hegemony in Asia. 

Even before the “pivot to Asia”, the Obama-era policy that Biden looks finally set to implement, the US encircled China’s shores. With major bases in Japan and South Korea, a close ally in Taiwan on China’s doorstep, bases in Guam and Hawaii, and a permanent naval force roaming the Pacific, it is the US, not China, that by any objective measure is the malevolent power in the region. If China had bases and military assets scattered throughout Indonesia, PNG and New Zealand, if the Tasmanian government was its heavily-armed close ally, if China had aircraft carriers stationed in the Great Australia Bight and regularly sent warships through Bass Strait in the name of “freedom of navigation”, then there might be some basis to claim it was the aggressive party. 

In fact all the hype about the supposed “Chinese threat” is not about any threat to Australia, but about the threat that China poses to US domination of Asia. If Australia was not firmly on the side of maintaining that domination, there would be no tension with China, no prospect of war, no argument to build up Australian military power.

The prospect of a major war between the world’s two main imperialist powers is a horrifying threat to humanity as a whole, and an argument to dismantle the deranged system of global capitalism that divides the world up into competing blocs and drives them towards bloody conflagrations. But we need to be clear that Australia is no hapless victim in this situation. Our leaders are banging the drums of war not out of fear of some threat to our national sovereignty: there is no such threat. If Australia really does go to war with China alongside the US, it will be entirely because our political leaders want to be involved in such a war. 

It is time that we started organising to keep us out of such a calamity. We need to raise our voices and say no to war.


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