The final report of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on crimes against humanity, committed by the Indonesian armed forces and civilian militias mainly between October 1965 and the early months of 1966, was released in The Hague on July 20, 2016. The report has called on the Indonesian government to investigate and prosecute all those involved in the deaths of more than 500,000 of its own citizens.1
A glaring deficiency in the 2016 Defense White Paper is the lack of any serious engagement with scholarship that questions the ‘US-Australia alliance = national security’ equation and its evident risks. This is quite extraordinary given the debacle of the US invasion of Iraq and the consequent de-stabilisation of Middle Eastern countries that has fueled sectarianism and the rise and spread of extreme jihadi groups like ISIS.
In order to elicit a reasoned defence of the US-Australia alliance, MPG has corresponded with Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Defence. One letter was sent in January, another in March. In May we received a reply from Mr Angus Kirkwood (Acting First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy in Department for Defence). In response to this letter, MPG wrote directly to Mr Kirkwood on June 10, 2016. Continue reading Correspondence with the Minister
Remember US Defence Department Assistant Secretary David Shear’s testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May last year? During this hearing Assistant Secretary Shear said that the Pentagon would be “placing additional air force assets in Australia” including “B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft”. Continue reading B-1 bombers would undermine Australia’s security
On Thursday, February 18, Nick Deane (MPG) gave a talk to the Quakers’ Peace and Justice group on the topic of how Australia goes to war. He based his talk on the publication How Does Australia Go To War? produced by Australians for War Powers Reform. The talk lasted for about 20 minutes and a lively discussion followed. The full text of Nick’s address can be read here. The booklet can be viewed on-line here. Refer also to the Radio Skid Row interview relating to the same topic that was broadcast on February 25, 2016.
A forum entitled ‘Banning Nuclear Weapons: Labor’s Role’ was held on February 14 during the NSW Labor Conference in the Sydney. The forum was part of the conference’s Fringe Program and its purpose was to explore “how a future federal Labor government could lead the way” on banning nuclear weapons. However, the inconsistency between Labor’s current policy on banning nuclear weapons and its ongoing support for the US “nuclear umbrella” was strongly criticised. Continue reading US alliance and the movement to ban nuclear weapons: Labor’s role?
Within the Federal parliament, Andrew Wilkie MP (Independent member for Denison in Tasmania) has been a consistent and vocal opponent of Australia’s ongoing military invention in the Middle East. On January 14, he was interviewed by ABC RN Breakfast reporter, Alison Carabine, on the Turnbull government’s decision to decline a US request for more military assistance in Iraq and Syria.*
The request was originally sent to about 40 countries by US Defence Secretary Ash Carter in early December last year. The Turnbull government informed the US of its decision later that month. Continue reading Andrew Wilkie on Australia’s decision to reject US request for military support