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Issue #1739      July 13, 2016

US alliance: Australia a nuclear target?

Statement, International and Peaceful Australian Network

The UK Chilcot Inquiry into PM Tony Blair’s decision to take the UK into the Iraq war together with the United States and Australia in 2003, labelled this decision as unjustifiable with flawed arguments and intelligence assessments which were never challenged. It states that the incompetence of Blair, US President Bush and John Howard (Australia’s PM at the time) was “mind boggling”. Further the rush to meet the US timetable before exhausting peaceful options for “disarmament” and Blair’s assurance to Bush that “I will be there with you, whatever”, demonstrated a grovelling and unquestioning subservience to the US.

The same criticisms have been made of Howard by Andrew Wilke MP, previously an assessment officer with Australian Intelligence. Howard also demonstrated that grovelling and unquestioning subservience to the US foreign policy, a trait to which successive governments of both major Australian parties have adhered, to this day.

Nick Deane, spokesperson for IPAN said: “This blind acceptance of US foreign policy has saddled Australia with a number of US military bases; and none more important to US war efforts than the Pine Gap Joint Communications Facility, 20 kilometres south east of Alice Springs and established now for 50 years.”

Whilst successive Australian governments have kept the Australian people in the dark concerning the roles of Pine Gap, research by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability states:

“Pine Gap is perhaps the most important United States intelligence facility outside that country, playing a vital role in the collection of a very wide range of signals intelligence, providing early warning ballistic missile launches, targeting of nuclear weapons, providing battlefield intelligence data for United States armed forces operating in Afghanistan and elsewhere (including previously in Iraq), critically supporting United States and Japanese missile defence, supporting arms control verification, and contributing targeting data to United States drone attacks”.

The Defence White Paper 2009 clearly states: “Defence thinking is that in the event of conflict with the United States, China would attempt to destroy Pine Gap”.

Nick Deane added, “With the United States adopting a confrontational approach to China which could lead to hostilities and pulling Australia into this scenario through the US-Australia Alliance and its bases on our soil, we should all be asking whether Pine Gap serves our interests or whether it should be closed for our security and safety”.

IPAN urges concerned persons to register for its anti-war conference in Alice Springs on October 1 and join the close Pine Gap protests in Alice Springs.

For conference details:

For Close Pine Gap protest details:

Next article – Organisations push for post-election summit

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