AABCC Press Release

Bringing War To Our Doorstep

Media Release 17 September 2011

A major peace group today condemned Defence Minister Smith’s announcement of greater access for US forces to Australian bases as risking bringing war to our doorstep.

“Allowing US forces into Australian military bases will undermine Australia’s security and independence, not enhance them,” said Denis Doherty, co-ordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Coalition.

“This escalation in US military activity in Australia is primarily intended to strengthen US efforts to contain China,” Denis Doherty said.

“The Gillard Government’s decision to escalate its military relationship with the US is risking bringing war to our doorstep.

“It is madness for the Gillard Government to risk relations with our major trading partner for the sake of alliance with the United States.

“The US is a dangerous ally. The country has gone to war every 14 months since the end of World War 2

“When Australia purchased F35 planes, the then Defence Minister Faulkner said they were for use in a future coalition war in our region,” Denis Doherty said.

“It’s time Australian governments realised that military power is no longer regarded by most nations as the only or best basis for security.”

The Australian facilities to be opened up to US forces include the Stirling naval base in WA, the Bradshaw Field Training area in the NT, Darwin and Townsville. US forces will be given full access to intelligence, maintenance and other facilities at the Australian bases.

“The government is spending $30 billion a year on the military, but there is no comparable significant investment in diplomacy, aid programs and other peaceful means to avoid the nightmare scenario of military confrontation between the US and China.

“Seeking peace with justice and cutting military spending is a more effective and constructive way of making Australia more secure than investment in militarism and military alliances,” Mr Doherty concluded.

For more information please contact Denis Doherty on 0418 290 663