All posts by Nick Deane

Talisman Sabre 2015

yanked-singleThe Talisman Sabre military exercises (TS2015) which are about to begin in northern Australia represent the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Around 30,000 service personnel, including 12,000 Australians, are taking part. There will be contingents from the US, NZ and, for the first time, Japan.

The exercises demonstrate the closeness of the alliance between Australia and the US – but will also serve to make that alliance even closer. Continue reading Talisman Sabre 2015

B1 bomber ‘mis-speak’

B1 Lancer dropping cluster bombs

MPG has written a long letter to the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, following the extraordinary statement made (and then retracted) by US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Mr David Shear.

MPG has expressed the view that Mr Shear actually knew what he was saying – and that his ‘mistake’ has revealed the US government’s true intention of positioning military assets in Australia, permanently. This causes deep concern, as tensions between the US and China escalate. Meanwhile Australia, by constantly enhancing the alliance, has effectively taken sides with the US, placing the nation at risk of becoming involved in conflict. Read the letter in full here.

The Minister has been invited to contradict MPG’s position.

For more information, read MPG’s Briefing Paper: The Australia/US Alliance here.

More troops to be deployed to Iraq

Islamic State fighter on top of tank in SyriaOn March 3, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the deployment to Iraq of an additional 300 Australian troops. As if to emphasise the gap between rhetoric and action, when making the announcement he said “This is not mission-creep…”. From MPG’s perspective, mission-creep is exactly what it is.

The Prime Minister described the deployment as “prudent and proportionate” and “in the national interest”. He went on to argue that it was important for domestic security, saying that Australia must do its bit to disrupt and degrade IS at its source. Continue reading More troops to be deployed to Iraq

No new war in Iraq

Iraq-War-No-Iraq-War-protest-sign-300x137[1]MPG has joined other peace groups from across the nation in endorsing a statement opposing further military intervention by Australia in Iraq.

The last time Australia intervened, the consequences were disastrous. There is nothing to indicate that they will do any better this time round. Putting more weapons into the region is not likely to reduce the level of violence. (Click photo to view full image).

Marines in Darwin: Questions asked in Senate Estimates Hearing

lee_rhiannon_2010[1]MPG has opposed the presence of US marines in Darwin ever since President Obama and Prime Minister Gillard announced their arrival (in November 2011). There have been no satisfactory reasons given for the marines being here and no indication of the strategic benefit their presence gives to Australia.

With IPAN-NSW, MPG approached Senator Lee Rhiannon and asked her to ask some specific questions on our behalf. Those questions and the responses can be read here. Continue reading Marines in Darwin: Questions asked in Senate Estimates Hearing