ComNavOps has long opined that spending time, money, and effort into cross-training with friendly nations is largely unproductive and unlikely to ever be of future benefit. The basic rationale behind this position is that most friendly countries lack the military resources to be of any actual benefit in a conflict and/or they lack the will/desire to join the
Countries whose entire navy consists of few frigates or patrol boats just don’t have the resources to make any difference in a war so what’s the point of spending time and money training with them? Examples include any African nation,
, Canada , Philippines , Norway , Sweden , etc. Denmark
One of the rationales put forth for the LCS was that it was small enough to train with other countries navies and not intimidate them. If their navies are that small, what possible benefit can they offer in a war?
Similarly, countries who have demonstrated a reluctance to actively side with the
are unlikely to suddenly side with us in the future
so what’s the point of spending time and money training with them? Examples, include most South American
countries, US , France , Turkey , Philippines , Italy , Spain , Norway , Sweden , etc. Denmark
We can now add
to the group of countries that would be unlikely to
support the Australia , according to a survey reported by Submarine Matters blog (1). Without going into the details of the survey,
the results indicate that around 70% of Australian citizens would opt to remain
neutral and not support the US or US in any conflict.
The blog notes that the survey was funded by a grant from a Chinese
citizen which instantly makes the data suspect.
Nevertheless, the general thrust of the survey probably captures the
prevailing desire of Japan to remain neutral.
You can see the tabulated data by following the link below (2). Australia
Further evidence for this neutral stance comes in a recent speech in which Australian PM Turnbull described
as a “good friend and partner” (3). If China believes that Australia is a good friend and partner then their neutral
stance makes perfect sense. China is naively wrong about this but that’s another
There’s nothing wrong with the US working to get basing rights in Australia, if we think that will benefit us, but to spend time cross-training with a country that is unlikely to actively support us in the region is a waste of time.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
is a good friend to the Australia but is unlikely to be a military partner in any
conflict. So, I’m not saying we should
cut ties with US – far from it! – just that we should not spend time
cross-training with them. Further, when
you factor in their meager military resources, there is even less reason to
spend time cross-training. Australia
I know some people are going to get upset over this but it’s just a simple question of where best to allocate our military training time and money – nothing more sinister than that. Also note that this discussion pertains to war, not anti-pirate patrols and other peacetime activities - many countries will support us during peace. The proof is what happens to that support during combat and history and surveys of capabilities demonstrate that few countries have both the capability and willingness to support the US in combat. As I said, this is just a training and budget priority issue, nothing more.
(1)Submarine Matters blog,
(3)Defense News website, “Prime Minister Turnbull Dismisses Notion That Australia Must Choose Between China And US”, Mike Yeo,