There was a debate, not on whether Australia should have submarines, that is a given, but rather on what type of submarine the nation should have as part of its overall defence mechanisms.
Australia's current Collins class submarines, like anything new, has experienced teething problems—not associated with its munition capability, nor its flotation, and again, not associated with its crew servicing and accommodation. Rather, it’s all round superb highly technical IT systems.
Modern submarines today are another form of a military platform from which various forms of arsenals are dispatched to 'end targets'. This type of modern warfare requires non-descript IT systems which affects every aspect of its survival capacity.
Now Submarines are being constructed in Adelaide of French design for the future submarine fleet for Australia.
I am no expert on such matters, submarines, their IT systems or otherwise, but I am acquainted with submarines, having two friends who each spent several years serving as submariners.
Moreover if anyone wants to get a true glimpse of life in a WWII submarine in battle, the late Dan Curtis the producer and director of the 1980's mini-series 'War and Remembrance' detailed the extra-ordinary effort they went to, so as to get submarine authenticity.
A few years ago I was commissioned to paint a philosophical expression of the Holy Spirit in this world of drama in which each of us live, work and play. The nature of the Holy Spirit is that of the quiet achiever, we might even recall how Elijah saw the Spirit of God not in a great wind or fire or earthquake, rather a still quiet voice.
With this in mind, my thinking was the upon the idea of menace, and this was depicted in my art work showing a cold rough sea, and the upper section of a U-Boat amidst these threatening waters, the submarine demonstrating the menace. Then in the upper left hand corner of this painting, very difficult to see, is a beautiful white dove against the light grey sky, representing the Holy Spirit.
The name of the submarine game is that of stealth. It is a ship that submerges into the depths of the ocean, and with new technologies it can even be unseen to sonar radar and other such IT discovery systems. A submarine's arsenal is nothing less than formidable. Yes, they still have the trade mark torpedoes and deck guns, but a whole lot more with surface to surface/air/sea missiles, and these can even have nuclear warheads.
Australia is a nation girt by sea, and therefore every defence mechanism advantage by the nation's defence planners includes that of submarines.
A biblical theme
Stealth is a major factor in such scenarios and stealth is also a biblical theme which comes out in different situations in the Scriptures.
Joshua found himself up against the City of Ai, the first battle towards conquering the Canaanite nations. His initial frontal attack failed, and it turned out that it was a spiritual issue not a military one. Sin had entered the Israelite camp. Once Akan and his sin had been dealt with, Joshua then devised a military plan based on stealth with a feint followed by the main force coming from the other direction. They took the City of Ai on their second attempt.
As it happened General Allenby in WWI Palestine, a regular Bible reader, acknowledged that he too utilised this same exact plan of stealth in his battle plans.
The Psalmist constantly bemoans how the wicked use stealth to their advantage and Jesus reiterated this by stating a fact, that those of this world are often far more clever in their dealing and illustrated their stealth methodologies.
Paul the Apostle recognised he had to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a different way in Athens than he did in Jewish synagogues and to do this he initiated stealth in his approach so his Greek philosopher listeners in order that they would be open to fresh ideas.
Stealth itself therefore is not sin. Stealth when utilised with wisdom is a legitimate arrow in the Christian's quiver. Like many things we face in our lives, as presented in Deuteronomy, it can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how it is put to use.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html