• John McDonnell

Molan: Australia needs a national security strategy


Liberal Senator Jim Molan at Australian Defence Force headquarters in Canberra in March

Australia had two decades of no threat to its defence from 1990 to 2010 during which it let its defences run down. As a consequence, Australia is now vulnerable to attack, China could wipe out our whole economy in a matter of days without a single Chinese soldier leaving the Chinese mainland.


These were the stunning claims made by Senator Jim Molan when he was interviewed by FlowNews24 on Wednesday. Senator Molan, who is a former major general in the Australian army and who served in a number of theatres of war, believes that the decades of ‘no threat’ should have been used to develop a national security strategy but that was not done because key players in defence refused to define the threat.


Instead, Australia decided to rely on the US alliance for our protection.


“Unfortunately”, Senator Molan told Flow, “the Obama administration decided to reduce expenditure on defence from $700 billion a year to $500 billion.”

At the same time, China was expanding its military which is now functionally superior to the United States, with superior hypersonic missiles capable of descending from space at ten times the speed of sound and wiping out a target before any response could be deployed. It also has 76 missile carrying submarines that are positioned in the western Pacific. China has enough missiles with the capacity to shoot down satellites to eliminate space-based communications and its cyber-attack systems have the capacity to close down the Australian internet.


Senator Molan told FlowNews 24 that the Pentagon has war-gamed the prospect of war over Taiwan and concluded the Americans could not win such a conflict.


He went on to say that China had two military objectives: dominance of the Western Pacific and the annexation of Taiwan. He believed that it could achieve this at any time it chose.

Senator Molan says that a national security strategy must start by defining the risk. This is not necessarily the actual risk, but the perceived risk based on an assumption that the potential enemy will use its military assets.


Australia must also assume that it could not rely on American protection and become more self-reliant.


This means rebuilding two key sectors of the economy: the manufacturing industry, and fuel supplies and energy security.


Asked by FlowNews 24 about the role of the nuclear submarines, Senator Molan

said that while he was not an expert, he didn’t believe they would be used in the South China Sea or the Taiwan Strait but would be deployed to protect Australia’s sea routes. He didn’t think that they would have a material impact on force projections against China.


Australia needs to develop a multi-layered national security strategy that will ensure our survival in any conflict. This will not require a large military but will need clever thinking.


Senator Molan believes that the government should establish a national security agency, which reports to the prime minister.

The NSA would develop a risk assessment and formulate a strategic response, then monitor the implementation of the strategy.