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Issue #1798      October 11, 2017

Editorial

Lock step with Uncle Sam

Last week while the last car rolled off Toyota’s South Australian assembly line, an international naval conference opened in Sydney, and the Prime Minister described his government’s plan to build 54 navy ships as a “nation building” concept.

The government also announced its intention to establish a space agency, which will be used mainly for military purposes. The government claims military spending stimulates manufacturing, IT industries and financial institutions. But our hugely growing expenditure on military facilities, manpower and weapons is stunting vital expenditure in other areas, including social welfare, health and education.

Australia is an active participant in warfare on behalf of the US. It has the 53rd biggest population in the world, but the 12th biggest military budget. The government isn’t worried about that. It’s more concerned that Australia isn’t one of the top 20 exporters of military commodities.

The presence of the early-attack warning, internet interception and drone direction facilities at Pine Gap, as well as staging facilities for US troops in Darwin, have made Australia a target for intercontinental missile strikes in the event of conflict between the US and their target nations.

The US will be given access to our Northern Territory air bases for the use of its aircraft on Indian Ocean missions, as well as the Cocos Islands for Middle East drone missions and the Stirling naval base in Western Australia as a port for US nuclear aircraft carriers.

Australia is now entering an extremely dangerous stage in which much of our economy will be based on warfare production, and the nation will be continually at war or preparing for war, on behalf of the US.

Former ambassador to Japan, John Menadue, recently commented:

“Our ‘foreign policy’ has been taken over by the defence, security and military clique led by the Department of Defence, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (... financed by DoD and defence contractors), ASIO, Border Protection and the Office of National Assessments. Our military and defence clique ... is ... heavily dependent on the US Departments of Defence, State, CIA and FBI for advice.”

That advice centres on the belief that China is an enemy that must be confronted, rather than a major trading partner or potential ally. The military positions of Australia and the US are virtually identical. US troops occupy Australian military installations, and the Australian Army’s Major General Burt is now the Deputy Commander, US Army Pacific.

The US has 4,000 domestic and almost 1,000 foreign military bases (450 in the South Pacific). Its military industries are thriving. But many factories that served other industries lie derelict in “rust-bucket” states. Its military budget has led to its national debt exceeding a trillion US dollars, and the vast gap between the incomes of the rich and poor is widening every day.

US citizens now live in constant fear of terrorist attacks, which largely stem from aggressive US military policies, and of armed attacks by deranged, gun-obsessed assassins often clad in military uniform with multiple killings of innocent people.

In addition, the government has made wasteful decisions regarding military expenditure. Maintaining that the existing Collins submarines were unreliable, it has committed to a $50 billion purchase of a new fleet of French submarines, which are intended to be ready for use in anticipated conflict with China in the South China Sea.

For the sake of this and future generations, Australia’s entry into the military industrial complex and its lock-step relationship with the US must be replaced with a commitment to national independence and peaceful development.

Next article – “Stop Adani”

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