Christopher Skinner comments: The insight from Lenore Taylor in The Guardian that the customary two-pass cabinet-decision-making process will be followed is a huge step forward that clarifies the acquisition process, and at the same time foreshadows progress to be made with David Gould, DMO submarine supremo, travelling to Europe in March to brief the proponents on the process to be followed.
Then today (2015-02-19) in The Australian Greg Sheridan writes in ‘Big risk in plan to buy Japanese subs’ that the Japanese option would involve three fundamental shifts in Japanese policy and culture:
A change to Japan’s strategic ‘personality’; Japan would become a player in the global defence market
Create a profound strategic partnership between Tokyo and Canberra
Japan would end up integrating US weapon systems in their own subs
He discusses the implications of these putative changes
Sheridan goes on to conclude:
‘The only sensible option now is a transparent process that involves a formal competition. If the Japanese won’t participate in that then that’s unfortunate but we’ll get the best the Europeans have to offer.’