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Issue #1481      17 November 2010

Australia tied closer to US plans for global dominance

Communist Party of Australia, Central Committee Statement

The recent AUSMIN talks between Australia and the United States laid the basis for a major escalation of military co-operation with the United States. At the annual talks between Australian and US foreign and defence ministers, the Australian government agreed to more visits by US ships and aircraft to Australia, greater US access to Australian military bases, increased numbers of US personnel in Australian bases within months, and more joint military exercises.

Labor’s opposition to missile defence has been abandoned and Australia may acquire its own missile defence capabilities. The Harold E Holt base at Exmouth in WA is the expected site for the establishment of US Space Surveillance Network sensors which are claimed to provide more accurate warning of potential collisions in space but can also be used to track and target missiles and satellites.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith’s claim that “any enhanced engagement by the United States in our region is an unambiguously good thing for Australia and our region” is dangerous nonsense.

Potential disaster

Tying Australia so closely to a super power which has gone to war every 14 months since the end of World War II has the potential to bring disaster to Australia’s economy and security.

It is economic lunacy to become involved in the US military build-up directed at China.

China is Australia’s major economic partner and the relationship saved Australia from the impact of the global financial crisis. For the Gillard government to risk Australia’s economic security and development by backing the US military threats to China is criminal.

Once again an Australian government has sold out the interests of the Australian people in favour of continuing subservience to the leader of the imperialist world.

Details of the US plans are not yet available. The US is currently engaged in a Force Posture Review, looking at the disposition of its military assets world wide. When that is completed, the US will convey its decision to the Australian government which will then comply without question.

In a joint press conference at AUSMIN, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said: “Today we agreed to create a bi-lateral Force Posture Working Group to begin developing options for enhanced joint defence co-operation on Australian soil.”

The White House and the Pentagon view China as a potential challenger to US global dominance and an impediment to its further consolidation in the fields of economics, trade, energy and transportation.

All means are employed to eliminate obstacles to uncontested supremacy, and what the world’s military superpower (the term President Obama used in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech) truly excels at is expanding its international military machine with an unflinching willingness to use it.

US strategy

The US strategy is to first exaggerate the level of China’s present military buildup, to encircle China through the acquisition of military bases in the Asian-Pacific region, to establish anti-Chinese alliances, and to deploy Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems near China as a way to negate their existing force of 20 nuclear missiles.

While the “war on terrorism” and the containment of “rogue states” still constitute the official justification and driving force, China is explicitly identified as a potential enemy.

One classified US document stated that “the US military ... is seeking to dissuade rising powers, such as China, from challenging US military dominance.”

Anti-Chinese coalition

The development of an anti-Chinese coalition has been a key effort of Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. The Pentagon is working on the incorporation of progressively more Asia-Pacific nations into what has been referred to as an Asian NATO.

The US is conducting regular military exercises, building military partnerships, stationing troops and opening bases around China’s periphery, in addition to the positioning of warships, submarines and aircraft carriers in the waters off its coasts.

The US now has military treaties with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea.

Japan, Taiwan and Australia are being integrated into a US-designed regional and broader global interceptor missile system.

Military spending

Obama’s total military budget is nearly US$1 trillion.

China’s military budget is less than one tenth of that. The Rand Corporation estimates China’s military expenditures to be between US$31-38 billion a year.

Preparing for war with China provides additional super profits for US armaments corporations.

In Australia, government subservience to the US alliance has driven military spending to astronomical levels.

The federal government’s 2009 Defence White Paper began the largest military build-up in Australia since World War II. This year’s Federal Budget continued this over the top irresponsible government spending on the military.

Today the Australian government is spending over $70 million on the military each and every day.

Cut military spending

Australia can have 100 strike fighters and lousy schools. It can have 12 submarines and three warships and deteriorating hospitals, it can have drones and a damaged environment.

In reality the majority of Australians would prefer good services, jobs and a flourishing clean environment rather than a beefed up military machine.

Only 30 percent of Australians support increased military spending, according to public opinion polls. It is time to cut military spending.

All of this creates insecurity and tensions, adds to the arms race and consequent economic deprivation, and brings the danger of war.

The US Alliance makes Australia poorer, not safer.

Lasting peace

Lasting peace with justice will only be guaranteed when the underlying causes of war – the drive for private profit and the racism, nationalism, poverty and oppression that the profit motive creates – are eliminated.

Under capitalism the threat of wars of different types will not disappear, but it is essential to adopt policies and support struggles which can reduce the danger of war significantly.

Australia needs an independent, non-aligned foreign policy, based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, self-determination and anti-imperialist solidarity which is effective, affordable and genuinely serves the defence of our country and the need for peace and stability in our region and beyond.

Campaigns

The Central Committee calls on all Party members and supporters to support campaigns to stop joint US-Australian military exercises, to close US military bases and to prevent US troop deployments on Australian soil.

We should also be campaigning to win the immediate withdrawal of Australian troops from the criminal war in Afghanistan, for a cut in the bloated Australian military budget, and for a program of conversion from military to civilian and green jobs.  

Next article – Editorial – The trend towards a multi-polar world

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