Time to be neutral, Canberra Times, 23 July 2018

Time to be neutral
Nicholas Stuart’s article ‘Why are we now talking our way to war?’ (CT 4 July, p. 17) is a question we need real answers to.
The military contest and trade war between the US and China is one which we shouldn’t be drawn into, but our military and psychological dependence on the US has drawn Australia into wars in every decade since the WW2 (with the possible exception of the 80’s).  Many Australians have the perception that the ANZUS alliance protects us from war, but the opposite is the case.
We have been almost continually at war, although most Australians’ perception would probably be that we have been at peace since WW2 because the casualties have mostly been elsewhere.
The perception is also that we need to be part of the alliance so that we receive intelligence, when the reality is that American intelligence has been wrong on numerous occasions.  We have also been refused intelligence, for example on the Chinese invasion of Vietnam in 1979, when it was clearly in our interests to have that intelligence. 
It’s time to look at neutrality for Australia.
It wouldn’t be simple to get there, but we’re in a geographically ideal location with no real enemies.  If Sweden can do it, with Russia nearby, surely we can too.  It would be a huge step forward for peace in the region and respect for Australia in the world.
Kathryn Kelly
23 July 2018