Australia: Belated Shape-Up

"The risks in this corner of the world have increased," said Australia's Prime Minister Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. speaking of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. He was putting it mildly. Moreover, in the entire "corner," the country perhaps least prepared to defend itself is Australia, whose Digger-hatted fighting men distinguished themselves in two world wars. In the past decade, Australia has enjoyed so much peace and prosperity that it has become known as the land without a crisis, and its defense structure shows it.

Radar 9 to 5. The speediest operational craft in the Australian air force are ten-year-old,...