Redraft of Afghanistan war policy

Urgent appeal. Socialist Alliance needs to submit an updated list of over 1500 members to the Australian Electoral Commission to maintain our electoral registration and appear on the ballot at the next federal election. We're asking all existing members and those interested in joining to confirm your willingness to support our electoral enrolment by filling in this form.

For 8th national conference The Socialist Alliance recognises that there was never any legal or moral justification for the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001: this is not a “good war”.

The war is being prosecuted by the US-NATO forces as part of the US imperialism’s long-term strategic political and economic interests in the region under the guise of the “war on terror”.

Bipartisan Australian support for the invasion and occupation is both a product of the US-Australia war alliance and Australia’s own interests in that region.

Australia’s military presence does not act as a positive counterweight to the US military. Not only does it provide political legitimacy to the US-NATO command, but Australian troops have been involved in the shooting and torture of civilians.

It’s clear from all the social and development statistics that after a decade of war, life for ordinary Afghan civilians, especially women and children, has dramatically deteriorated.

Women have not been liberated. The increasing number of civilian causalities is another feature of this war. We also note the increasing number of US-NATO military casualties and applaud those soldiers who have taken a stand against the war.

The Socialist Alliance believes that there can be no democracy, or significant economic and social development, for peoples subjected to an occupying power.

Further, laws instituted by puppet regimes, at the behest of those occupying powers, do little to further the political and economic rights of the vast majority in Afghanistan. In fact, the Hamid Karzai regime has instituted laws that entrench female oppression.

We also oppose this war which has spread into Pakistan, and support the brave efforts of democratic forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan to build a political current to counter the reactionary fundamentalists and the occupation forces.

Therefore, the Socialist Alliance calls on the Australian government to:

  • Immediately withdraw the Australian troops.
  • Pay war reparations and send aid for civilian-based reconstruction efforts.
  • End support for the US war plans in the region. This includes the extension of the war into Pakistan, ramping up the threat to attack Iran, including economic sanctions, and attacks in other Middle Eastern countries and Africa.

The Socialist Alliance condemns the use of private contractors, including mercenaries, in Afghanistan, Iraq and to disrupt the Arab Spring movement. We call on the Australian government to cease using private contractors and to protest against countries, such as the US and British interests, using these contractors.