Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The United Kingdoms of
England, Canada and Australia?

What would happen if Quebec and Scotland achieved independence at roughly the same time? James C. Bennett paints an interesting scenario in The Third Anglosphere Century

A few words should be said about a more extreme but not entirely implausible scenario. For three decades, both Quebec and Scotland have had separatist parties. In Quebec’s case, the separatist party has dominated the provincial government several times and has actually held referenda on a vaguely formulated “sovereignty-association” option, the last of which failed only narrowly. In Scotland’s case, the nationalist party has promised to hold such a referendum, and recent polls show that a majority in both England and Scotland supports dissolution of the union. In both countries, it is not impossible that their respective unions might be dissolved within the next five to 10 years.

If both unions were dissolved at roughly the same time, an interesting possibility might exist. A number of times in the past five years, Web sites and organizations have advocated a Commonwealth Union—a loose federal union of the states, provinces, and kingdoms of the U.K., Australia, Canada, and often New Zealand. This idea has died on the vine in the past, since such drastic realignments of large national structures would require a great deal of political support. Even with separatist parties, both Canada and Britain continue to sail on with little prospect of dissolution.

However, were this to happen, a federal union of the Australian states, Canada minus Quebec, and England proper would be an interesting possibility. The rest of Canada would gain an alternative to absorption into the U.S., Australia would gain an organic connection to a globe-spanning power and an instant nuclear deterrence capability, and England would gain access to a road out of the European Union. (Various EU politicians have stated that the parts of a dissolved United Kingdom would have to reapply for membership individually.)

The result would be a power larger than Germany or Japan, with the world’s second-largest economy. And if this union inherited Canada’s treaty obligations, as it presumably would, it would also inherit NAFTA membership and NORAD military cooperation, which almost constitute a Network Commonwealth in and of themselves.

Such an alignment remains less than likely, but it does demonstrate that the concepts of the Anglosphere and the Network Commonwealth constitute a powerful and flexible toolkit that the peoples of the English-speaking world could use to build their future.

27 comments:

David Byers said...

Oh, Beaverbrook, if only such ideas as yours were even remotely possible. Do not get me wrong I like ideas like yours to be put forward so there can be intelligent debate, but as I pointed out in an earlier post the loony left (who dominate government and media) will never allow it. However if one was to push separatist ideas well the media would love that.

tally said...

I believe the main reason Brown refuses a referendum on the eu is not that the uk might say no, but Scotland and Wales might say Yes and England says no.
Salmond though in the past says he wants an independent Scotland to stay in the Commonwealth.

David Byers said...

My apologies Beaverbrook, on closer inspection I see you are quoting someone.

Dundonald said...

There are a couple of problems with this scenario. Firstly, it suggests that England is being shackled to the EU by the Celtic fringe. The voting records in Westminster show this notion to be nothing more than a fantasy. The whole of the UK has been betrayed by all of her politicians, and no constituent part of the UK can abdicate responsibility for it.

The EU Commission has indeed confirmed recently that Scotland’s secession from the Union would require a new application to join the EU, much to the chagrin of the SNP, as it undermines their absurd “independence in Europe” policy. However, the EU treaties would continue to apply to England, as the smaller UK would be the internationally recognised successor state to the existing UK. Ireland’s secession from the Union did not abrogate the UK’s international treaties and obligations—they merely ceased to have any effect in (Southern) Ireland. The argument is analogous to the assertion that France would have to rejoin the EU should Corsica gain independence.

Thus, the irony here is that the break up of the union is likely to provide Scotland with a ticket out of the EU, rather than England, as the conditions for membership will almost certainly involve replacing Scottish banknotes with Euros (a notion not any more popular in Scotland than in England), and the newly-acquired oil wealth becoming “communautaire”. All of the fishing towns on the East coast that have been turned into ghost towns by the Common Fisheries Policy will learn that “independence” will deliver nothing. As Mr Salmond is never shy of quoting, an independent resource-rich Norway enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world, yet he fails to mention that they have not seen the need to subjugate themselves to the new supreme government of Europe. With a close inspection of the arguments, Mr Salmond’s case for “independence in Europe” starts to unravel. The financial spigot is being closed to Western Europe, and the money is going East, so it’s not as though Westminster handouts will be replaced with Brussels ones.

However, I’m all for a Commonwealth Union, and should Scotland indeed become independent (and I don’t think the polls show the level of support that Jim Bennett cites) I would be happy for Scotland to join Canada. Better still; let’s have the whole of the UK involved in this endeavour: a union of the Commonwealth realms.

Scott said...

This has made my day. The key thing is it'd give us the 2nd largest economy in the world. That would make it far, far likelier, regardless of what the loony left think.

In the short term - i.e. if it Quebec and Scotland disappeared in the next decade, or maybe 20 years - it couldn't be done. But if it happened any time after this, with a rising China and India, the temptation would be too great. I would love it if we could do it as soon as possible, frankly. What to call it, though?

The important thing in all this is the final sentence: "the concepts of the Anglosphere and the Network Commonwealth constitute a powerful and flexible toolkit that the peoples of the English-speaking world could use to build their future."

This truth must be grasped in the globalised, frightening world of tomorrow.

Scott said...

This has made my day. The key thing is it'd give us the 2nd largest economy in the world. That would make it far, far likelier, regardless of what the loony left think.

In the short term - i.e. if it Quebec and Scotland disappeared in the next decade, or maybe 20 years - it couldn't be done. But if it happened any time after this, with a rising China and India, the temptation would be too great. I would love it if we could do it as soon as possible, frankly. What to call it, though?

The important thing in all this is the final sentence: "the concepts of the Anglosphere and the Network Commonwealth constitute a powerful and flexible toolkit that the peoples of the English-speaking world could use to build their future."

This truth must be grasped in the globalised, frightening world of tomorrow.

Bernie Quigley said...

Anglosphere is destiny, but it cannot be formed - it must form itself over time (it must form its people). The Anglosphere should be looked at as a psychological construct or unconscious condition like that from which all great peoples emerge from; as a mandala with different realms and different parts (head, heart, gut, groin - Witches and Dark Cousins, Avatars and Wizards) but which forms a holistic world united in its own; like that which emerged from Arthur and the Three Sisters virtually over millenia. If it is a power projection it will have only a short run and will sponsor greater enemies which will crush it.

Beaverbrook said...

Very perceptive words from Mr. Quigley. I do think a full blown political union would be self-defeating, but a full fledged customs union and a common foreign, trade and defence policy, could be embraced with the right imagination.

Dundonald, where on God's green acres has Gerald Warner gone? I understand he has been fired by the Scotsman.

My apologies to Mr. Byers for rudely erasing your post, but I don't want this to be a forum for the rude comments of others. I do hope you understand, although I do sympathize with the point you were trying to make.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord! England?! We don't need anything from Blair's roiling Orwellian cesspit. The real England is in our veins.

Burton

Beaverbrook said...

In the banality of our own evil, we've got some Orwellian brown shirts of our own, Burton, and they're called 'Human Rights' Commissars. Just ask Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant what it feels like to be hauled up before the state to answer questions about their speech. So much for our 800-year-old freedoms. A topic for another post, medothinks.

Dundonald said...

Beaverbrook, regarding Warner, I'm afraid I've yet to relocate him. Thus, I assume that his views no longer have any place in the "New Scotland".

The Scotland on Sunday has just removed the last reason to buy the paper; I care little for its increasingly sycophantic tone towards the SNP administration, one where our indomitable Gerald appeared increasingly incongruous.

Anonymous said...

Scotland on Sunday: R.I.P.

Beaverbrook

James said...

Commenters should look at the preceeding section in the pamphlet text (http://www.heritage.org/bookstore/anglosphere.pdf) regading the nature of Anglosphere nationhood ("Burkean communities, Lockean bargains") and the Four Great Unions of the Anglosphere and their lessons to understand the full context of the passage reproduced here. The passage is particularly concerned with examining the specific political drivers that in each case led to the formation of an audacious and (to date) successful Union.

Thus, my discussion centered around crisis-driven scenarios, and the three most likely scenarios are secession in the Canadian and British cases, and external security from radical Islamists, a troubled "near abroad", and a nuclearizing Asia in the Australian case. There are many different scenarios that might lead to a Commonwealth Union, United Realms, or whatever it might be called. History, however, suggests that is usually crisis that makes it happen.

International law would typically hold that the remnant UK would retain EU membership in the event of a Scottish secession. However, the EU political class obeys precedent only when it is useful to them. A Scottish secession might present them with an opportunity to extinguish the British veto at a time when they are facing a demographic/economic crisis and a chance to implement tax harmonization or some other unwanted measure by requiring an English re-application. In such an eventuality, precedent would be ignored.

There is no longer any reason why a political union need be geographically contiguous. The population and geographical disparities of the various realms are not nearly as severe as they were a hundred years ago when Imperial Federation was contemplated. The Westminster systems of Britain, Canada, and Australia are fundamentally similar. A loose, decentralized Commonwealth Union could be put together quite quickly if the need were there. The question is, what crisis drivers are out there that would be sufficiently severe as to overcome the great institutional inertia that all three national systems possess?

Anonymous said...

I'm nothing short of disappointed in this blunt nonsense about the European Union which seems to be infesting The Monarchist recently.

It is perfectly tolerable to content with our place in Europe and support the monarchy.

Beaverbrook said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Palmerston said...

For James:

Just another day in the Anglosphere

Senior British police officials are talking to the FBI about an international database to hunt for major criminals and terrorists.

The US-initiated programme, "Server in the Sky", would take cooperation between the police forces way beyond the current faxing of fingerprints across the Atlantic. Allies in the "war against terror" - the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - have formed a working group, the International Information Consortium, to plan their strategy.

Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints, and other personal information are likely to be exchanged across the network. One section will feature the world's most wanted suspects. The database could hold details of millions of criminals and suspects.

The FBI is keen for the police forces of American allies to sign up to improve international security. The Home Office yesterday confirmed it was aware of Server in the Sky, as did the Metropolitan police...

James said...

This development illustrates the urgency of a point I have made elsewhere (www.anglospherechallenge.com) repeatedly. Our various governments have natural incentives to cooperate in these and many other matters. Particularly in intelligence matters, where secrecy is an operational need, the opportunity for abuse of power is great, all the greater in that responsibility is difuse. Historically, we have dealt withe potential for abuse by state power the restatement of rights, from Magna Carta through the English and American Bills of Rights, and subsequent documents, and through representative institutions. Recently we have seen that governments can and will reach across our borders to circumvent these protections, from the NatWest case to the curren attempt of Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions to muzzle Mark Steyn and others. The senimentalism of "special relationship" concepts is inadequate to control this potential for abuse. We need an Anglosphere Bill of Rights, drawn from our common roots, to reaffirm our rights, and pan-Anglosphere supervision and control mechanisms to demand proper supervision of such joint efforts. Some people will say that this is too much intra-Anglosphere instituionalization. But we have only three choices. One is to try to ban any cooperation between our nations. This will not happen -- such cooperation is too useful; it is a fact of life. Another choice is to carry on as we are doing. That will only permit abuse of power. The third is to create pan-Anglosphere institutions and controls to balance such power with oversight and accountability. This is a hard task and requires new ways of thinking. But in the long run, it's e only way.

Beaverbrook said...

Very, very interesting. It is amazing how the UN Declaration on Human Rights and their national and regional branch offices are subtley and not so subtley supplanting 800 years of common law and constitutional liberty, by circumventing the courts and judicial process. There is indeed so much cross-border potential for abuse of power now given the very cross-border institutionalization that is already taking place via unaccountable supranational bodies. So there is really no leg to stand on for naysayers who would argue that this is too much intra-Anglosphere institutionalization, provided that we could make such institutions accountable. But we could start by outright abolishing the Commissions, which have somehow morphed into becoming Orwellian state-sponsored intimidation rackets.

P said...

Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. (I disagree that Scotland is likely to become independent, by the way.)

Whilst recognising that the author admits that the whole idea is somewhat fanciful, I thought it might be interesting to look at some figures.

Taking the population of Australia (20,434,176)+Canada-Quebec (33,390,141-7,719,993 = 25,670,148) +UK-Scotland (60,776,238-5,116,900 = 55,659,338) to give us a grand total population of 101,763,662.

(Above figures use CIA factbook numbers for "country" entities and wikipedia for "nation within country" entities. It ignores the fact that in the event of Quebec independence certain crown-lands to the north of the St Lawrence could remain with the rest of Canada.)

If we compare this population to Germany (82,400,996) and Japan (127,433,494) it shows that amongst G8 nations such a union would be fourth in population behind the USA (300 million or so), Russia (140 million or so) and Japan.

Looking at the economic figures, the US dollar values of the UK, Australia and Canada are 45,301, 42,553 and 42,738 respectively. Multiplying these numbers by the associated populations and adding the result gives a total GDP of US$ 4,488,049,947,290.

(I have used nominal values, as I feel it is a superior measure of how the markets perceive the value of floating-currency economies real outputs. The PPP should be looked at in terms of such a union's ability to provide services within itself, such as relative cost of building war materiel)

Performing a comparison with Japan, its economy is worth roughly $4.3 trillion USD so the claim that such a union of countries would be the second largest in the world is indeed correct at the present time. Of course this depends on how it is measured. The dollar is bouncing around all over the place at the moment, but the highest PPP measure for the countries discussed seems to be about US$ 8000 lower than the us per capita!

Despite the good news in the figures above, I am not sure that a union would be a very strong entity internationally. Firstly, it would be surrounded by other larger powers: 400 million in the EU vs 55 million in the British isles; 308 million in the USA and Quebec vs 25 million in Canada; 20 million in Australia vs over a billion in Indonesia and China.

Secondly, its defence forces would have to be split to cover the vast distances between the countries. Assuming CanAusEng spend the same percentage of GDP on defence as Germany and Japan, Germany could build a military 80% the size of the total CanAusEng nations, but concentrated in the same geographic area (of course, surrounded by other countries too). Japan could build a military of the same size or larger, but all of its units would be concentrated in the same place.

Regards,

P

James said...

P's analysis is in general excellent. I would say that this scenario is not so much "fanciful" as "dependent upon a chain of future outcomes the likelihood of each is uncertain." As I indicated above, it was done primarily as a thought exercise to illuminate the circumstances in which Anglosphere polities make successful unions. However, the whole range of Commonwealth unions, from the substantially inclusive CANZUK to the minimalist AEROC (Australia-England-Rest-of-Canada) discussed in the pamphlet each have their pluses and minuses. Some specific comments:

1. Population. AEROC is indeed smaller than Japan at present. However, when considering both Japan and ROEU (Rest of EU -- i.e., minus England or Britain) you must consider the disparity of population growth rates. Canada, Australia, and England are substantially closer to replacement than Japan, Russia, or many Continental states. They are also more congenial destinations to readily-assimilable immigrants than Japan or Continental Europe, and in fact are beginning to attract substantial numbers of native-born emigrants from places like Germany and the Netherlands. A Commonwealth Union with visa-free transmigration, full reciprocity of medical-care arrangements, automatic reciprocity of professional credentials, and other transaction-cost-lowering measures, will also mean that the substantial number of would-be working-age emigrants from England (estimated at four million by George Walden) would likely go to Canada and Australia, keeping them within the CU. Many warm-weather retirees now going to Spain, etc., might also stay within the CU, either to Australia or the Caribbean. The CU would probably also gradually accrete a number of other former Commonwealth states over time, if it demonstrated success. So it is likely that with a generation, the CU would surpass Japan in population, begin to converge with Russia, and grow to a significant percentage of the ROEU.

2. Military. A CU would be well-positioned to be an effective military power, starting with the fact that their current militaries are high-quality already. Given precision-guided munitions, there will probably never be a need to raise large conscript armies or mass huge tank battalions a la Kursk again. The CU's military situation is the classic Anglosphere one - - insular masses requiring high-quality navies and air forces, with relatively small, well-trained, highly mobile forces of marines and soldiers for regional interventions and balance-of-power tasks. The RNCU would probably need two carrier battle groups, one home-ported at Halifax and forward-deployed to England, the Caribbean, or Gibraltar should the need arise; the other home-ported in Sydney and forward-deployed to Perth or, in extremis, Diego Garcia. Esquimalt would be maintained as a secure rear-area base. Atlantic submarine assets could be stationed in St. John's and could be readily deployed through the Northwest Passage or the Arctic Ocean on a surge basis if needed. Today, the most critical assets for naval and air forces are rapidly deployable globally, particularly given the availability of pre-positioned support assets based around the globe. A CU would be particularly well-endowed with such bases on home soil, with no need for foreign basing agreements.

A CU would have a substantial advantage in systems development and procurement over the three individual components today. Consider that all three bought C-17 transports - - the only ones outside the US. Had those buys been aggregated in an RAFCU, a better deal could almost certainly have been negotiated. Britain's procurement funds would be spent substantially more effectively once the European boondoggled are terminated. If we can assume that the combined CU would support a defense spending rate of 2.5% of GDP, which the UK has sustained through most of the recent decades, a substantial naval and air component would be affordable, and would be a decent base of support for its aerospace industry.

3. Economic. P's analysis is quite reasonable. Some items to consider include: that Canada's productivity per person is the second-highest in the world, some 85% of the US's. Minus Quebec, with its Continental-like bloated state sector, the ROC would be even closer. The question would be whether Canadian management and operational practices would spread to the rest of the CU, and elevate the total CU productivity closer to the current ROC level. Given a fully open internal market, this would probably tend to happen over time. The other consideration is that the CU would be quite resource-rich. It would be a new exporter of most minerals, including petroleum. Given the continued economic expansion of India, China, and other places, the relative value of these assets will continue to rise. Think of the CU as two large areas crammed with resources needing capital to further develop them, and one of the world's premier financial capitals ready and willing to provide that capital, in a world with growing demand for those resources. A Union would drive the transaction costs of raising and deploying that capital to the absolute minimum.

I don't know how likely these scenarios are. But the more we consider them, the more attractive they are.

Scott said...

Very, very attractive. The next century or two hold the possibility of being highly dark and frightening. But such a team-up - giving the world a second Anglosphere superpower (or demi-superpower) - would surely be a great help. America alone? Not if they are prudent; not if they put in a kind word for CANZUK or AEROC; not if we all willed it.

Lord Best said...

From an Australian military perspective it is worth noting that we are in a similar position to that of England in the Middle Ages: a defensible island. A strong navy and airforce and we can control the sea routes to Australia. It is also worth noting that China has never been expansionist, they only care about territorial integrity. Now that China and Russia are becoming close friends the only country who really has to worry about China is Taiwan.
Its interesting that the Rudd government is talking about increasing the size and lethality of the Australian subamrine fleet to be one of the worlds most lethal over the next seventeen years. If this is carried out then Australia should be able to protect itself without draining the resources of other 'AEROC' nations.

I think it is a great idea and I would love to see it become a reality. Of course given the immature England-hating that is so popular in Australia at present, it faces difficulties.

James said...

The adequacy of Australian defence capabilities is very much dependent upon developments beyond its control in its wider environment. If North Korea continues its nuclear and missile development (as may happen if the next American administration is asleep at the switch on this issue) it could trigger a runaway nuclearization of Northeast Asia. The Japanese have a great dislike of nuclear weapons, but an even greater dislike of having nuclear weapons used on them, or shall we say "used on them again". So a Japanese nuclear deterent would quickly follow, with South Korea and Taiwan then forced to consider following suit.

Yo say that China is not expansionistic is a matter of semantics - - Tibetans would disagree. The answer to this is "Tibet is historically part of China", but by Chinese standards many areas not now within the borders of the PRC have been "historically part of China", at least in Chinese histories. They certainly aspire to regional hegemony, and it's not clear that Australia is outside of their definion of "region".

Then there are our friends the radical Islamists. Bin Laden is still whining about lost Andalucia after 514 years. They won't be forgetting Timor, whose loss they blame on Australia, any time soon.

I agree that Australia's defence problem is greatly aided by being insular. But in the numbers game, and in the assets game, Australia would be substanially more secure in a Commonwealth Union such as described. The Trident fleet, a very high-quality asset, is underutilized in the Atlantic at present -- but if moved to the Pacific it would provide substantial deterrent power, and thus stabilization, in the event of a runaway nuclearization scenario either in Northeast or Southwest Asia. But only if its organic command authority considers Australia to be home territory.

My little exercise was aimed at indentifying what crisis drivers might overcome the vast inertia of the status quo and make such a Union come about. Lord Best has correctly noted that current popular sentiment isn't going to make it happen, especially in Australia. As with the previous four Unions of the Anglosphere, it will take a crisis, or a perception that a crisis is on the horizon, to drive these changes. What we can do in the meantime is consider and prepare scenarios and make the case that there are more options available than most people realize.

Lord Best said...

Excellent post.
I'm not arguing that there are not serious issues in regards to Australian defense, I merely believe we are capable of defending ourselves given adequate investment and political will. With an adequate military and the immense logistical challenges of any real military threat to the nation I think we can hold our own.
I do disagree about Tibet, they are in the sphere of influence traditionally belonging to China. They were also a weak country. Australia is not weak (the CIA rates us as the twelfth military power I believe), and if we are in China's sphere of influence it is on the periphery. Then there is Chinas growing reliance on Australian coal and ore to consider.

Radical Islam is not an existential threat unless we make it so. It is an irritant, and the best thing we can do is to stsop giving the Islamists a common enemy and let them go back to bashing themselves they way they have been for the past three hundred years. They can only hurt us if we undermine ourselves overreacting to them.

In regards to the nuclear issue, Australia has the technological know-how to produce nuclear weapons, and around 40% of the worlds uranium deposits. We could build a nuclear capacity faster and at less cost than almost any other nation on earth, should the need arise.

James said...

In theory Australia can get nuclear weapons merely by asking for them from the UK -- that was part of the Anglo-Australian agreement under which the UK tested weapons in Australia in the 1950s. However, it's not clear what would happen if Australia actually tried to exercise that right these days. For one thing, both states are signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and that might or might not forbid such an exchange.

However, it's also true that Australia could readily build its own nukes from domestic capabilities.

More widely, we can all agree that Australian armed forces are excellent and adequate for current threats. The recent procurement of Perry-class frigates was a model that the UK could well have followed to its benefit. The probabilities of future threats from a hegemonistic China or an Indonesia in which the radical Islamists have greater influence are judgement calls, and subject to future events not knowable today.

There are a number of breakout scenarios under which a nation of 20 million, more or less, might be hard-pressed to maintain multiple interventions to stabilize the arc of instability to its north, while at the same time meeting a seaborne threat from modern naval forces. Conventional submarines are a cost-efective solution for denying control of nearby waters to hostile forces. But if Australia had to maintain control of the seas for several thousand miles out to the west and to the north, nuclear-powered submarines would be essential - - and the Rudd government has already pretty much ruled them out. For an effective nuclear deterrent, you really want (at a minimum) submarine-launched cruise missiles on nuclear-powered submarines. That set of capabilities would strain Australia considerably, compared to current levels of defence spending.

James said...

Here is an interesting Australian article regarding the easy interoperability of Anglosphere militaries, which is relevant to the prospects both for a relatively painless inetegration of militaries in the case of a Commonwealth Union, and the question of whether a combined approach would be more effective in regad to combined oparations with the USA.

http://www.ada.asn.au/defender/Summer2006-07/PDF%20Versions/Strategic.Cousins(Defender.Summer2006-07).pdf

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