Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Aussie PM Plans Defense Hike

Being against the war in Iraq might make for good politics, but not good common sense when faced with the threat from Radical Islam. US Democrats have found it easier to be against the war vocally than actually abandoning our troops on the frontlines, since their takeover of Congress last November. Likewise is the new Australian Prime Minister mulling staying the course of his predecessor John Howard's tough defense policies, as this from Aviation Week hints:

The government of incoming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who won a landslide Nov. 24 election victory, is showing a commitment to the armed forces at least as strong as its predecessor’s, with a defense policy that calls for greater readiness for the Australian Defense Force (ADF), not cutbacks.

Australian defense analysts expect Labor to back the main procurement decisions of the former Liberal-National government of John Howard, although the new administration plans a policy review and might face a budget shortfall in a few years.

While in opposition, new Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon repeatedly called for Australia to consider the F-22 instead of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning, the previous government’s preferred next fighter.

What this reveals is that we shouldn't expect big changes in the West's commitment to the infant Middle East democracies, as some on the radical Left, and rogue states like Iran might be hoping for. With a new political generation taking hold in the future, politicians on the Left and Right will likely find it easier to maintain the proven strategy already set by these post Cold War pioneers: Bush, Blair, and Howard.