The media is excited about Scott Morrison’s planned increase in defence spending — except that it’s nothing more than what we already committed to years ago
If you read the papers today, you’d be forgiven for thinking Scott Morrison was going to announce a massive increase in spending on exotic new weaponry (“cutting edge”, “hypersonic”, “strike capability”, etc, etc) to combat the seething menace of China.
“New missiles for defence in $270 billion arms build-up” claimed the AFR. “Scott Morrison shoulders arms to China in 10-year,$270 billion plan,” said The Australian. “Australia to spend $270 billion building larger military to prepare for ‘poorer, more dangerous’ world” the ABC told us. The usual suspects like Peter Jennings of ASPI were exhumed from their bunkers to endorse the spending.
Fairfax journalists, at least, pointed out toward the end of “Australia to buy ship-killing missiles and shift focus to Indo-Pacific” that “this is not an increase in Australia’s defence spending in real terms beyond the status quo”.