During this morning’s press conferences about changes to Australia’s defence needs, and bringing forward a new defence white paper by a year, the JSF project has displayed exceptional and unexpected utility by saving the government $1.6 billion in next week’s Federal Budget by running late, not to mention not delivering on any of its other performance related promises.

The JSF is ‘saving the surplus’ by being a disaster.

The steps announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith today concerning the the JSF, the submarine replacement program, and general strategic credibility, may not be received with unanimous adulation in the defence analysis community, with Eric Palmer being fast out of the blocks with a contrary view.

Then again, it may well be more widely seen for what it all about, which is not about our defence future, but next Tuesday’s Federal budget and the ceremonial surplus it has to deliver.

Plane Talking made light last weekend as to how the collapse of the program could bring future Australian Governments budget surpluses well into the future. We were on the money.

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