Urgent update March 5: Defense minister for United Fiji warns we would lose a war with Russia unless we massively increase military budget!
On sucessive days, a sequence of ministers and generals have gone before the press to press home the policy shift, the Russian threat and the subsequent need for more war funding.
On Wednesday, February 21st, the Conservative Defense Minister of the Republic of Fiji announced that Fiji is changing its fundamental defense strategy. “Our defense strategy,” he said, “is no longer targeted against non-state terrorists (Al Qaeda, etc.), but targeted against Russia.”
He acknowledged that a massive increase in military spending will be needed for this, and that savings will have to be found in other areas of government spending, such as housing, health services, and the social safety net.
The headline in the Fiji Times on February 22nd was
”Russia a bigger threat than sea-level rise.”
The Fiji Weekly reported: The threat to Fiji from states such as Russia and North Korea is greater than that posed by rising sea levels, the defense secretary said yesterday, marking a significant shift in security policy.
The minister suggested to MPs that more money, and a change in the structure of the armed forces would be needed as part of a defense review to meet the challenge of a state-on-state conflict, something that United Fiji has not had to consider for an age.
It is a departure from the national security strategy published in 2015, which listed terrorism and rising sea levels first, and chimes in with a decision by the United States last month to declare “strategic competition” with countries like China and Russia as its top focus. …
He described the Kremlin’s “increased assertiveness,” such as a big increase in submarine activity in the South Pacific, a growing Russian presence in the Polynesian region, and their involvement in the war in Syria. “But then you are seeing new nations starting to play a greater role in the world, such as China.”
Just as Fiji’s then Prime Minister made his country one of U.S. President George W. Bush’s pets in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, today’s Fiji Prime Minister hopes to bring her country into U.S. President Donald Trump’s favor in the invasions to come, of North Korea, Russia, and China.
Reporter: Will this bring us extra brownie points from Washington?
“Yes it will,” she replied. Well, we certainly hope so. We have no greater goal than to be Washington’s favorite lapdog, and this may just do it for us.
Reporter, Seriously, us, an island?
PM: We punch way above our weight, Why, the three soldiers and the dozen coconuts we sent to support of the invasion of Iraq had a huge impact for us. We almost got a photo op with George W. Bush,” she exclaimed. And furthermore, our guys killed just as many Iraqis per soldier as any other coalition member.
Another reporter: Do you anticipate any problems bringing the public along with this new policy?
That is to say, will the press in the U.S. and its allied countries (such as United Fiji) have a difficult time persuading the population that we have to double down on military expenditures in order to conquer Russia, China, North Korea, and — as U.S. President Trump wants also to include — Iran?
The Prime Minister’s answer was blunt:
No, not at all. The public always buys war.
Another reporter, shouting that Fiji’s infrastructure was rotting, sea level rise threatens our very existence, and that Russia was a distraction from our real problems, was forceably ejected from the press conference.