The Guardian • Issue #2037

Peace Notes

By Hannah Middleton

Welcome to Peace Notes, a fortnightly column which will cover militarisation and its impacts as well as people’s efforts to ensure peace around the world.

The north of Australia is being integrated into US planning and preparation for a war against China, This includes the military and spy bases established from North West Cape in Western Australia, to the port and barracks and air base in Darwin, to the joint RAAF-US Air Force base at Tindal outside Katherine, and to the expanding Pine Gap base outside Alice Springs.

Establishing Australia as a base from which to wage war against China includes massive jet fuel reserves under construction at East Arm in Darwin, lengthening runways at Tindal suitable for long-range bombers, and stationing greater numbers of US Marines in the Northern Territory.

The greatest threat comes from the possibility of deploying nuclear powered submarines in northern ports, including US nuclear armed submarines and the stationing at Tindal of six B-52-H bombers, a frontline US strategic nuclear weapons platform, each able to reach China without refuelling.

Of the 87 B-52s currently deployed by the USAF, 46 are nuclear capable, with each capable of carrying up to 20 nuclear armed air-launched cruise missiles.

Australian government acceptance of statements that the US will neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons in any form in Australia is an abandonment of sovereignty.

This is also evident in the Albanese government’s continuation of the Morrison government’s integration of Australia into US-dominated NATO.

The US has established a regional command centre in Darwin. The US marines, air-force and navy operating within and from Australia are all under the command of the US Indo-Pacific Command which covers China, Australia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, all the Pacific island states and the other countries in South-East Asia.

All this is made possible by the US-Australia Force Posture Agreement (FPA), signed in 2014. This provides the legal basis for the US militarisation of Australia, especially the Northern Territory.

US military forces and military facilities in Australia are not under the control of the Australian government. Article IV of the FPA states:

1. … United States Forces and United States Contractors shall have unimpeded access to and use of Agreed Facilities and Areas for activities undertaken in connection with this Agreement.

4. Australia hereby grants to the United States operational control of Agreed Facilities and Areas.

“Involvement with the US in a war against China would be a disaster for Australia, the region and the world and is unnecessary because the issue of Taiwan’s relationship with Beijing is an internal matter for China to sort out without foreign interference.”

All Australians have an interest in peace and security for themselves and for future generations. You can help the work to achieve this by:

  • Writing to PM Albanese to tell him that you reject Australia becoming a proxy in such a war and bearing the terrible consequences and that you demand that he give the required one year’s notice to terminate the Force Posture Agreement.
  • Writing to PM Albanese to tell him that you reject Australia becoming a proxy in such a war and bearing the terrible consequences, and demand that he give the required one year’s notice to terminate the Force Posture Agreement.

If you have information you would like included in Peace Notes, please email it to hannahmiddleton1917@outlook.com

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