Intelligence failure ‘on our doorstep’ Australia
Australia is on alert for another threat out of concern China could build a military base in the Solomons, on Australia’s doorstep.
Prime Minister Solomon Manasseh Sogavare and Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja attend a conference in the Solomon Islands.
The security treaty between China and the Solomons was signed just before Anzac Day, one of Australia’s key holidays to honor those who died defending the country, including allied forces in battle with the The Japanese Empire in the Solomons during World War 2. Now, Australia is alerting to another threat as it worries China could build a military base in the Solomons, on Australia’s doorstep.
“This security agreement is a game changer in the Pacific, redrawing the security picture and spurring an arms race in the region,” said Dr Patricia O’Brien, Australian history expert. and Pacific at Georgetown University (USA), told Youth.
The Australian opposition has lashed out at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government. But the biggest failure probably lies with the Australian intelligence community because they have not been able to grasp the information for months. After the draft agreement was leaked in late March, New Zealand Defense Minister Peeni Henare said he and his Australian counterpart Petter Dutton were “completely taken by surprise”. “We were all surprised, because the intelligence we had didn’t say so,” Henare said.
Canberra’s confusion became even more apparent after Beijing announced the official signing on April 19. While Prime Minister Morrison denied this, Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja said the government only knew about this at the same time the public knew. Australian Senator Rex Patrick called it the country’s “worst intelligence failure” in more than two decades.
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