The Socialist Alliance condemns the increased US military presence in Australia, announced by PM Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama during Obama’s visit to Australia in November 2011 as a setback for peace.
The new Australia-US deal will allow for 250 US marines to be stationed in Darwin in 2012, increasing to 2500 by 2016. There will be increased US military ship visits to Darwin and other ports in northern Australia. There will be more US warplanes, including B-52 bombers, based in Darwin. More joint US-Australian military exercises will take place on Australian soil.
US military equipment will be stored in northern Australia, including cluster bombs. The likely use of depleted uranium munitions in joint military exercises in northern Australia poses an extreme threat to the environment and human health — particularly that of local Indigenous people.
The existing US intelligence base at Pine Gap in central Australia has become more important as the US war machine becomes more technologically sophisticated. Pine Gap has long been essential to US covert communications and its capacity to wage nuclear war.
Socialist Alliance calls for: