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An Open Letter to Kurt Campbell


As things stand, Washington cannot count on Canberra to secure the South Pacific. He seems to have realized this as the White House sends its own high-level delegation to the Solomon Islands led by Indo-Pacific Dean Kurt Campbell.

Australia has been a good ally of the United States in the past. Australia supported the United States in Southeast Asia throughout the Cold War. It intensified in the dark days of 9/11 by summoning the ANZUS and deployed with the Colation of the Willing in the War on Terror.

Specifically, we have a deeper shared history in defending liberalism against North Asian fascism, dating back to the great American campaign to liberate the Pacific during World War II:

In April 1942, the Japanese army and navy together launched Operation Mo, a joint plan to capture Port Moresby in New Guinea. The plan also included a navy operation to capture Tulagi in the southern Solomons. The objective of the operation was for the Japanese to expand their southern perimeter and establish bases to support possible future advances to seize Nauru, Ocean Island, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa and thereby cut supply lines between Australia and the United States, with the aim of reducing or eliminating Australia as a threat to Japanese positions in the South Pacific. The Japanese Navy also proposed a future invasion of Australia, but the military responded that it currently lacked enough troops to sustain such an operation.[3]

Japanese naval forces captured Tulagi but his invasion of Port Moresby was repulsed in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Soon after, the Japanese Navy established small garrisons on the other northern and central Solomon Islands. A month later, the Japanese Combined Fleet lost four of its carriers in the Battle of Midway.[4]

The Allies countered threats to Australia with a buildup of troops and aircraft,[5] for the purpose of implementing plans to approach and recapture the Philippines. In March 1942, Admiral Ernest King, then Commander-in-Chief of the American Fleet, had advocated an offensive from the New Hebrides through the Solomon Islands to the Bismarck Archipelago.[6] After the victory at Midway, General Douglas MacArthur, who had taken command of the Southwest Pacific area, proposed a lightning attack to retake Rabaul, which the Japanese were fortifying and using as a base of operations. The United States Navy advocated a more phased approach to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands chain. These competing proposals were resolved by Admiral King and U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who adopted a three-task plan. The first task was the capture of the island of Tulagi in the Solomons. The second task was an advance along the coast of New Guinea. The third task was the capture of Rabaul. The first task, implemented by a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 2, 1942 and named the initial attacks Operation Watchtower,[7] became the Solomon Islands campaign.

The liberation of the Solomons was very bloody, but it was the essential first step in securing the fulcrum on which the first great fascist regime in North Asia could be shattered:

the Naval Battle of Guadalcanalsometimes called the Third and Fourth Battles of Savo Islandthe Battle of the Solomonsthe Friday the 13th Battleor, in Japanese sources, the Third Battle of the Solomon Sea (第三次ソロモン海戦, Dai-san-ji Soromon Kaisen), took place from 12–15 November 1942 and was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles between Allied (mainly American) and Imperial Japanese forces during the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands for months during the Second World War. The action consisted of combined air and sea engagements over four days, most near Guadalcanal and all tied to a Japanese effort to reinforce ground forces on the island. The only two US Navy admirals to be killed in a surface engagement in the war were lost in this battle.

Allied forces landed at Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942 and captured an airfield, later called Henderson Field, which was under construction by the Japanese military. There were several subsequent attempts to recapture the airfield by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy using reinforcements delivered to Guadalcanal by boat, efforts which ultimately failed. In early November 1942, the Japanese organized a transport convoy to take 7,000 infantry and their equipment to Guadalcanal in an attempt once again to retake the airfield. Several Japanese naval forces were tasked with bombarding Henderson Field in an effort to destroy Allied aircraft that posed a threat to the convoy. Learning of the Japanese reinforcement effort, American forces launched attacks from aircraft and naval vessels to defend Henderson Field and prevent Japanese ground troops from reaching Guadalcanal.

In the resulting battle, both sides lost numerous warships in two extremely destructive surface engagements at night. Nevertheless, the United States managed to repel Japanese attempts to bombard Henderson Field with battleships. Allied aircraft also sank most of the Japanese troop transports and prevented the majority of Japanese troops and materiel from reaching Guadalcanal. Thus, the battle repelled Japan’s last major attempt to dislodge Allied forces from nearby Guadalcanal and Tulagi, resulting in a strategic victory for the United States and its allies and deciding the final outcome of the Guadalcanal Campaign in their favor. It would also be the last major naval battle of the Pacific War for the next one and a half years, until the Battle of the Philippine Sea. It was one of the costliest naval battles of World War II in terms of lives lost.

Australia is the proven geostrategic anchor of democracy in the Asia-Pacific through a century of conflict that propagated the liberal values ​​of a Wilsonian post-colonial America. It was a covenant for freedom signed in shared blood that covered much of Melanesia and ultimately the entire Pacific Ring of Fire.

But, of late, the Australian end to the relationship has been embittered and crippled by doubt, corruption and populist politics. This is especially the case in its own region where Australia has completely dropped the ball when it comes to leadership, soft power projection and military readiness.

Worse, this failure was witnessed by China, the second great fascist power in North Asia. So much so that this Australian failure inspired Beijing to begin a creeping occupation of the Solomon Islands by Chinese military forces. From this beachhead, he will bully and bribe his way across the South Pacific with the goal of establishing a series of similar military bases, much like what happened in the South China Sea.

The goal is to separate ANZUS and occupy US hegemonic structures.

Some of these elements may not be obvious to our American friends. If they operate in the elite bubble ruled by the Murdoch and Nine press, their perspective will be clouded by biased reporting and tribal politics. Due to Australia’s vocal declarations of support and long-term large-scale purchases of heavy weapons, Washington may feel that Canberra is still able to police its region as in the past.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Australian government has become all talk and no action. It is a marketing gimmick scheme that routs its own people for Chinese money while selling them porridge on protection against the same.

The Morrison government in power has proved incapable of defending the liberal hegemony installed by American blood some seventy years ago. It is not yet clear whether the Labor opposition, which is favored to win the election, is better. He has a history of sympathy with China that is troubling to say the least.

More fortunately, the people of Australia will remain committed to ANZUS and its core values ​​and support whatever it takes to uphold them.

In short, if Washington really wants to protect the southern flank of the Pax Americana in the Pacific, and it should be unless it wants to expose its North Asian allies to an arc of instability to the south, then he has to be tougher with Canberra and to get around him.

This can take the form of diplomatic pressure or regional leadership itself, both soft power and hard power. My preferred strategy would be to send a Pacific Fleet carrier strike group to the Solomons to negotiate a new multilateral regional security deployment from the Pacific family states. It can replace Australia’s failed RAMSI mission which, ironically, now protects Sogavare while he sells liberalism. This will secure the Sogavare government on the condition that the Chinese agreement is canceled immediately. Otherwise, the carrier group begins a naval blockade of the islands until Sogavare withdraws (which just needs to be whispered at the negotiating table).

In short, Sogavare can be a bastard all he wants, but only if he is our bastard.

It will inherently humiliate Canberra and give it the slap it needs for failing so miserably in its regional responsibilities. Yet it will also leave him free to play good cop to American tough cop as the West rebuilds its ties to the Pacific with a Marshall-style development plan that keeps China out of the region.

Please, Mr. Campbell, advise POTUS to hurry.

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