The Guardian • Issue #2096

Marles boost to military spending ‘a disgrace’

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2096
US soldier in Shoalwater Bay during Talisman Sabre 2011.

US soldier in Shoalwater Bay during Talisman Sabre 2011. Photo: Michele Desrochers – flickr.com (CC BY 2.0).

Peace groups are outraged by Defence Minister Richard Marles announcement at the National Press Club that Australia’s military spending will rise from the current 1.9 per cent to over 2.4 per cent of GDP.

“Marles is condemning Australia to poverty and environmental catastrophe, not protecting our security. We will be poorer, not safer. This is a disgrace,” Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition declared.

Australia’s current military expenditure exceeds Federal spending on education and under Marles’ plan will soon approach the same level as health spending.

“We face serious community problems including cost of living pressures, a housing crisis, racism, a failing mental health system and more,” Doherty said.

“There is a desperate need for a federal government to solve these problems but the Albanese government has gone missing. Instead, Marles and others are playing a hairy-chested approach to geopolitical problems,” he said.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported last year that China’s military spending was one third of the USA’s, and that the US outspent the next 10 biggest military spenders in the world combined.

“Marles repeated claims of China’s ‘aggression,’ but it is clear he is ramping this up to cause fear and insecurity,” Doherty said.

“There is no threat of Chinese aggression – it is a beat up to frighten Australians into paying more for the military. The only victors in this outrageous announcement of exorbitant military spending are the powerful, profit-hungry weapons corporations.

“Increased military expenditure and intensifying militarism have not and cannot solve conflicts and tensions in the world,” he said.

“There is no military solution to the disastrous consequences of climate change and environmental degradation.

“The world needs co-operation, not the confrontation in Marles’ dystopian handouts to the arms manufacturers,” he concluded.

For more information contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663
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