Courtesy Reuters

Australia, Keystone of Far Eastern Strategy

IF the United Nations are to conduct successful military operations in the Far East they require a base. They must have a base to which they can safely transport men and machines and from which those men and machines may be employed effectively against Japan. Such a base must be something more than a mere fortress like Singapore, or a small island like Guam. It must be sufficiently large to accommodate heavy concentrations of air power and to provide enough airfields in sufficient depth to permit the conduct of efficient air operations. Further, in addition to possessing sure communications with remote sources of power, it should have some resources of its own. The greater its own man power, industrial capacity and raw material resources, the less vulnerable it will be to enemy attempts to interrupt its lines of communication and the less likely it is to be carried by assault. Finally, of course, it must be properly situated geographically in relationship to the areas to be attacked.

The island of Great Britain affords just such a base for operations against any continental power of Western Europe. The island continent of Australia affords just such a base for operations in the South China Sea and against Japan.

Allied operations in the Southwestern Pacific now rest upon Australia as a house rests upon its foundations. So long as Australia is held, the United Nations retain the possibility of taking the offensive whenever their fighting strength becomes sufficient for that purpose. So long as Australia is held, the Japanese positions in the islands to the north can never be secure. The present Allied problem, therefore, is to build up in the Australian continent a total striking force superior to anything that Japan can maintain in the islands which she is now occupying or may occupy; when this has been done, the Japanese can be driven out of them. True, the Japanese are nearer to the islands than either the United States or Great Britain

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