Insights can sometimes come from the most surprising sources. For example, a Barnaby Joyce press conference.

Scott Morrison was barely up in the air on Monday when the interim prime minister addressed the media, ostensibly to sow the Nationals Inland Rail boondoggle, a topic he received no questions about.

But amid the obvious focus on Porter and Sub issues, when asked about the threat posed by China, Joyce volunteered: “And on top of that, you have the actions of Russia. And on top of that, you have Iran’s stocks.

This was after reminding everyone, “The reason we have a national security committee is because it is secret. Otherwise, it would be called Parliament. As Vice Chairman of the National Security Committee, we must deliberate in absolute secrecy on behalf of our nation. “

So Iran, a country with which we had warm relations until Donald Trump poisons them, is up there with China and Russia as a threat to Australia, in the opinion of the National Security Committee.

Barnaby Joyce reminded the media that “the reason we have a national security committee is because it is secret”. Photo: AAP

The possible idea is that such a perception betrays the entirely American-centric nature of our security and defense outlook.

He points out that our status as a client state is that Iran-Saudi Arabia and Iran-Israel tensions have been factored into the signing of open checks for nuclear-powered submarines.

After our participation in the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Morrison government apparently maintains an interest in Australia’s military engagement in the Middle East.

During this time, the Prime Minister’s first date upon arrival in New York was said to have been a private dinner with the right-hand man of Rupert Murdoch, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, as well as our New York Consul and Ambassador in Washington.

Priorities. After all, it’s very important for Mr. Morrison to know how his submarine contract is going.

“ALLIANCE FOR THE AGES” splashed the australian as the Murdoch writers scooped up superlatives.

Australia’s most important strategic decision in 60 years, said Paul Kelly, as well as: “This is Scott Morrison’s initiative – in its nuclear submarine component, technological sweep and diplomatic achievement.”

As has now become very clear since the announcement of “this guy” on Thursday, the diplomatic feat annoys much of Asia and Europe, especially our friends or old friends in France.

And it’s still hard for me to believe that this was all the work of Scott Morrison, that the proposal was not initiated and pushed by someone who wanted to sell arms, someone who needed so much. a triumphant announcement that Mr. Morrison.

Remember the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement – our Tim Tams for their penguins, their Pot for our Vegemite?

As the Brexit mess becomes more evident, Boris Johnson has become so desperate for announcements that even reverting to imperial weights and measures became a possibility.

Aside from British backpackers having an easier time in Australia, there was little in the trade deal for the UK.

Australia is not really a market for major UK exports – with one exception, which is not the subject of free trade agreements.

According to the UK Department for International Trade, the United Kingdom is the world’s second largest exporter of defense equipment behind the United States and ahead of Russia and France.

The latest DIT figures show weapons of destruction brought the UK $ 21 billion in 2019 after $ 26 billion in 2018, roughly the value of Australia’s beef, wheat and wool exports combined.

As Barnaby knows, the Australian government never misses an opportunity to push its major agricultural exports. Ditto for the British government and the arms trade.

From the Royal Family to Prime Ministers and, on occasion, their families, the British are enthusiastic arms dealers.

The defense industry and British prime ministers tend to be as close as the Australian coal industry and the National Party.

A UK company, BAE, is Australia’s largest defense supplier and, as suggested here on Monday, the lack of licensed markets for BAE’s nuclear submarine technology is a major constraint on sales. My tweets about such a situation were only partially facetious.

So did Australia buy the nuclear submarine at the initiative of Scott Morrison – or Boris Johnson?

We will never know because the “reason we have a national security committee is because it is secret.”

But it is no longer a secret that we see Iran as a threat. Beware of these Persian rugs.


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