Australian Left Review

Authors

Mavis Robertson

Abstract

The publication of the White Paper on Defence dispenses with the Soviet “ threat” which dominated government foreign policy statements, or statements pertaining to foreign policy, made in the first months of the Fraser government. The projection of a threat, no matter how unreal, was used to condition public opinion and to assist the United States to upgrade its presence in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the aftermath of the Vietnam defeat. The recent and regular visits of a variety of ghips from the US Navy, including nuclear ships, are part of the conditioning, designed to win acceptance of a strategy which includes a permanent US nuclear presence in this region. One further result is the continuing upgrading o f the defence budget which adds to the distortions in the economy and further limits finance allocations for social welfare.

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