That is the question MPG has put to the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, in a letter. MPG’s letter points to the fact that Australia has ignored the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, by announcing an additional $270 billion expenditure on defence. Meanwhile it also ignores the risk of Covid-19 infection by hosting US marines in Darwin and by joining the RIMPAC naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii. All of these points support the contention that the Australian government is more intent on preparing for war, than it is on maintaining peace. It is a sorry state of affairs. The full text of the letter can be read here.
MPG has joined the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) in a campaign aimed at ousting the US marines from Darwin. Up to 2,500 US marines are arriving in Darwin during April. Under an agreement that will last until 2040, the marines are here ‘on rotation’ every year. The reasons for this extraordinary deployment have never been made clear and opponents argue that, rather than making the nation safer, they increase to likelihood of some future attack.
MPG has been letter-boxing in Sydney and Newcastle, asking people to donate old boots and shoes that will later be ‘given’ to the Australian authorities. Peace activists are demanding that the ‘Force Posture Agreement’ between the US and Australian governments be terminated. The campaign in NSW is being led by Nick Deane and Bevan Ramsden.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the agreement between the Australian and American governments relating to the establishment of a Joint Defence Space Research Facility (Pine Gap, Northern Territory).
Two public forums on Pine Gap and the US-Australia Alliance were held in Lidcombe on 11 and 25 September. Both were organised by the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC).
The first of these forums featured three speakers: James O’Neill who discussed the US-China conflict in the South China Sea, Dr Emily Howie who reviewed the US global assassination campaign using drones and Dr Vincent Scappatura who addressed the perils of the US-Australia Alliance. A copy of James O’Neill’s paper can be read here. Continue reading Two Forums on Pine Gap and the US-Australia Alliance→
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 devastating impact of US involvement in the Indochina Wars (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos)1 and more recently the US invasion of Iraq and the de-stabilisation of Middle Eastern countries that has fueled sectarianism and the rise and spread of extreme jihadi groups like ISIS. Continue reading Correspondence with the Minister→