Air Strikes

Response to announced Australian air strikes against IS in Iraq – 3rd October 2014

A national peace group has responded to the PM’s announcement of renewed Australian military participation in the middle east with a warning, that another war is unlikely to solve the problems caused by the last one.

Justin Tutty is a Darwin-based spokesperson for IPAN, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, who say the decision to send Australia to war has had too much influence from the USA, and not enough from the Australian Parliament.

“RAAF assets were pre-positioned in Saudi Arabia over two weeks ago,”  said Mr Tutty.

“That’s two weeks that parliament should have had to publicly debate the likelihood of our participation in the growing conflict.”

“Most other democracies recognise war powers as serious enough to require broad participation in the decision. But here in Australia, we’ve made a habit of tightening the circle of decision making, giving too much authority to the National Security Committee of Cabinet.”

“And that in turn gives even greater weight to the influence of our American allies.”

IPAN was established in response to announcements in 2011 an increased USA military presence in Australia. The network stands for an Australian defence strategy that is independent of foreign influence, and more free to reflect Australians’ ambitions for peace.

Mr Tutty says the growing USA military presence weakens Australia’s capacity to make independent decisions about future wars.

“The legally binding, 25-year agreements signed last August are significant not only because of the unprecedented development of an enduring presence of co-located rotational bases, but also because, by tightly integrating into the American attack formation, we appear to now be less free to choose to not be implicated in each military misadventure the USA may pursue.”

“It is not clear what non-violent responses to ISIS Australia exhausted before resorting to war. But it is clear that that decision has had more influence from the USA, and less from the parliament, than most Australian people would agree is appropriate.”

Justin Tutty