intelligence oversight Rex Patrick
Senator Rex Patrick (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

There may be some understandable political cynicism about Prime Minister Scott Morrison ramping up the national security agenda in the lead-up to the federal election, but the significance of his joint announcement with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a partnership to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines can't be diminished. 

This is a very big strategic decision with long-term national security, geopolitical and economic consequences.  

There is a huge range of uncertainties and risks, but the main question is perhaps simple: why should we expect Morrison, his ministers and Defence bureaucrats to do any better with this deal than all their previous Defence procurement disasters?