Australia could be the base for war waged by US Marines stationed in Darwin, according to a report recently released in Washington.
US Navy Operations chief Jon Greenert says the US navy plans to provide amphibious lift for US marines with an Amphibious Readiness Group stationed close to Darwin, probably on the Pacific island of Guam.
“The Marines were supposed to be in Australia for training. Now we are told they will be operating out of Australia. Not training but killing,” Denis Doherty from the Anti-Bases campaign said in Sydney today.
“For months we have been asking the Australian Government for assurances that US military on our soil will not be used for aggressive actions.
“The replies received from the PM’s office have not addressed that crucial question. We have been asking since April 2012. No straightforward answer has been forthcoming.
“We have already concluded that the government has received no such assurances, so in our most recent letter we have put it to Mr. Rudd that he could not provide the assurance we sought.
“Without that assurance and with the recent statement from the US Navy Operations Chief, it is clear that the US Marine can engage in hostilities from their base in Darwin.
“This move will damage Australia’s relations with China, our major trading partner, potentially damaging the Australian economy,” Denis Doherty continued.
“We have warned that the US strategic pivot to Australia and the Pacific could turn all Australia into a US base and we are watching our worst fears come true. The US pivot is increasing tension in the whole region, it is in fact making us less secure and poorer as we pour resources into military assets we do not need for the sake of the US.
“First marines, war games, ship and plane visits and drones, then the announcement of planes to be stationed in the NT, and now an amphibious group to take the marines to war.
“What further agreements are being secretly negotiated now?” Denis Doherty asked.
For more information, contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663
Visit our websites: www.anti-bases.org or www.ipan-nsw.org
The Invisibles, dressed in white and masked, symbolise the silent majority – the majority of men and women whose voices for peace and justice are ignored by both Labor and Liberal Governments.
“Polls in recent years tell us that about 70 per cent of Australians opposed Australian involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Dr Hannah Middleton from the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) said.
“About 80 per cent of respondents do not want more of their taxes spent on the military.
“But Canberra does not listen,” she said.
Refusing to be silenced, the Invisibles walked from Belmore Park to Town Hall Square on Saturday 27 July 2013 to call for no US marines in Darwin, no US foreign military bases on our land, and no US drone base on the Cocos Islands.
“Military spending is not good for the Australian economy,” Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign said.
“Australia spends $25 billion a year on the military -- that’s $68 million every single day,
“But military spending is among the most expensive and inefficient ways to create jobs.
“According to a US study, one billion dollars in military spending create 11,600 jobs, while in clean energy, the same amount creates 17,100 jobs; health care, 19,600; and in education, 29,100 jobs.”
At Town Hall Square, marchers were invited to convert a Marine into a happy, productive civilian.
Speakers from the US, the Pacific island of Guam and Australia and a ukulele band entertained the crowd while the conversion competition was underway.
“Our protest today is also against the costs of war games, like the Talisman Saber exercise underway in Queensland now,” Dr Middleton said.
“The dropping of 4 bombs by US aircraft in the Great Barrier Marine Park is just the latest example of the environmental costs of the military exercises which have the unacceptable aim of “interoperability”, turning the ADF into an arm of the US military.”
As former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said: “It’s time Australia stood up and learned to be independent.”
For further information please contact Dr Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098
Press Release 13 May 2013
Peace groups have condemned the Federal Government’s Defence White Paper (DWP), released today, as a continuation of excessive military spending and continuation of outmoded thinking on defence and security. Continued
It was announced last year that in 2013 the Government was going to produce a new white paper on Defence (military) without any input from the community! They said they were only interested in hearing from stake holders. This meant that Admirals, Generals and arms corporations and pro war academics were going to be the only ones consulted. A classic case of the fox looking after the hen house!
Undaunted we mounted a postcard campaign urging the Defence Minister to change his mind. Late last year he relented and announced that the Defence White Paper Committee would take submissions by the 28th Feb 2013. The announcement was not very well advertised and not very well communicated the Australian people. The restrictions placed on the submissions were meant to dissuade the community from sending in suggestions to the Committee.
The Anti-Bases Campaign has mounted a drive to get as many people letting the committee know its feeling that there is far too much being spent on the military at the expense of other socially needed objectives.
We have distributed widely a postcard which many have expressed thanks for as well as providing considered views on different aspects of Australia’s military spending. Please click below to view post card and submissions.