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Issue #1757      November 16, 2016

Trump’s election provides opportunity

IPAN Statement

US President-elect, Donald Trump, has served notice of a US withdrawal from a “protective” military role for allies in South East Asia and the Pacific. He has urged these allies to take responsibility for their own defences. He has claimed that he intends to pull American military forces back from its outposts in over 90 countries.

Nick Deane, speaking for the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) said, “Trump’s election has removed a major plank underlying the defence strategies of successive Australian governments, which have consistently relied on the US as our fundamental protector. They have led Australia into US-initiated wars which have caused the unnecessary deaths and suffering of millions of civilians, often in countries which have posed no threat to us.”

He continued: “These defence strategies; the structure of the ADF; spending on military infrastructure; acceptance of US military bases on Australian soil, and the integration of Australia’s ADF with the US military forces, have all been driven by a belief that our alliance with the US and the presumed merits of the ANZUS Treaty were the best option for Australia’s security.”

IPAN believes that Mr Trump’s foreign/defence policies “pull the rug from under the feet” of this belief. Further, IPAN believes that Australia is more than capable of standing on its own feet and defending itself.

“A new, independent approach to defence has now become imperative – one that shakes off the idea of the need for any foreign protector, once and for all”, stated Mr Deane. Such an approach would put Australia in a position to pursue foreign policies in the best interests of its people. It would also provide a chance to establish peaceful and mutually beneficial relationships with our neighbours.

“Representing diverse community sentiment for an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy, IPAN welcomes the opportunity that this election result provides for Australia to be a stronger, independent voice for peace in the world”, stated Mr Deane.

IPAN urges the Australian government to now draw together the best military, defence and foreign policy experts to develop a comprehensive and independent Australian defence policy which includes military, civil and industry involvement.

Next article – Make the Pledge

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