That is amount Australia spends on “Defence” . It seems like an unbelievable burden on the Australian taxpayer until your realize that the American taxpayers have donated some US$ 8 Billion to Iraq and in the past 20 years have given almost US$ 130 Billion to Israel – approximately one third of its total overseas aid budget – mostly to be spent on arms.
Why does a medium size country like Australia need to spend that much on so-called defence?. What is the perceived threat that justifies a standing Army, a high tech Air Force and Navy? Invasion by illegal immigrants? But worse is all that US money pouring into the hothouse of the Middle East enabling the conflict to continue indefinitely.
There is no political will to resolve the conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere because the value of arms dealing for governments – and wealthy and powerful arms dealers – is just too vast. And where would thy test the efficacy of their latest weaponry without these proxy wars?
Imagine the turndown in government revenues if peace broke out. And where would the megalomaniac arms dealers look to earn their vast profits? Drug or people smuggling?The Middle East conflict will never be resolved as long as The West intervenes and keeps on supplying money and arms.
For whatever motives the British government intervened in Northern Ireland, and the US (because of the powerful Irish lobby) kept supplying funds to the IRA to buy arms. This enabled “The Troubles” to continue for 25 years. If the British Army had not intervened, and the US had not supplied funds, it would have been over in a year – and maybe would never have happened.
Never mind the lies that where told about WMD, regime change has been a complete failure in Iraq. A brutal and corrupt but efficient dictator was replaced by a brutal and corrupt and inefficient dictator who fanned the flames of a sectarian conflict that has opened the door to the atavistic ISIS.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a matter only for those who live in that region, and not a matter for Western intervention, or the powerful Jewish lobby in the USA. It is a domestic dispute between Arab tribes, and should be left to them as responsible adults to sort out for themselves. It is not even a matter for the Jewish and Palestinian diasporas to provide support in the form of money for arms. It can only be resolved by the Israelis and the Palestinians negotiating face to face without intervention.
If you want insights into how the region got itself into such a mess read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. It is not polemic or a dry as dust academic treatise – but a series of character driven stories from the perspective of expatriates washed up in the region over the 40 years from ’60s to the events of 9/11. Flotsam and jetsam battered by geopolitics beyond their control and comprehension.
You can preview my book at:
and download it if you have a Kindle – or purchase the paperback if you prefer hard copy.