The Saturday Paper

Diplomacy is cheaper and better


The decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines is wrong, Michael Costello (“When ineptitude goes nuclear”,

October 9-15). In making such an expensive decision we must consider why we need such a sophistica­ted weapon. We have no enemies on our borders wanting to invade. Paul Keating in a recent article reiterated what we have known for years: namely we live in the safest country in the world. Keating and others have similarly debunked the “let’s get frightened of China line”. China has not shown any desire to invade any part of Australia. The United States has surrounded China with bases, yet China is called bullying and assertive. Nuclear submarines will create a local arms race and regional tension just went up a notch thanks to this hairy-chested decision. Unfortunat­ely for Mr Costello, just as his article was published, a US nuclear submarine had an accident in the South China Sea. As for Mr Albanese’s decision to meekly follow the Morrison line, I’m with the crowd that calls this cowardice. We would be much better served by soft diplomacy and aid rather than $100 billionplu­s on exorbitant weaponry. As Australia tries to wrestle with the major challenges of reconcilia­tion and compensati­on of our First Nations people, the pandemic and the results of climate change, our leaders – both LNP and ALP – have gone down a dead end with nuclear submarines.

– Denis Doherty, Glebe, NSW

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