Good article here – the last paragraph especially. Here’s an excerpt:
Vietnam was the first war in which it cost $1 million to kill one enemy soldier.
Our alliance with the US is a pressure upon us to arm expensively and inappropriately. It is clear from what is occurring in Iraq that high-tech systems are ineffective when the enemy is elusive. We are also incompetent in the high-tech marketplace. We have submarines which after rebuilding still cannot do the job and we have obsolete navy helicopters purchased as state-of-the-art.
Without counting the surveillance and other aircraft on order, we are talking of spending $22 billion just on new fighter planes. That is enough money to save dozens of our dying country towns. We have lost many of our F111s in training crashes, and the new fighter planes cost about $US170 million apiece: should such high-tech wizardry be out of contention for a nation the size of Australia?