Reprint from Volume 37 Issue #7 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
U.S. Militarization of Australia
July 14, 2023- A recent seminar at the University of Sydney's U.S. Studies Centre (USSC) shed light on the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which provides Washington and the Pentagon with absolute control over Australia's armaments and all its military equipment.
The U.S. Department of State strictly controls all authorization regarding ITAR, and only U.S. citizens or direct U.S. control are allowed access to it. This control is evident through the strategic employment of U.S. citizens in Australia's defense industries, particularly in South Australia. The U.S. controls and monopolizes defense matters such as satellite technology, and its share declined from 83% to 50% in 2008. The U.S. then removed satellite technology from ITAR listings in 2013 to avoid unnecessary publicity and concern about its role.
ITAR treats top-tier U.S. allies such as Australia the same way as lesser strategic partners. Recent regional re-organization of defense and security provision by the Pentagon has raised concerns about the upgrading of the U.S.-Japan alliance into a global alliance, while other countries including South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam are now categorized as lower-level partners.
Today, the Pentagon is fortifying an expanded network of bases stretching from the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean across northern Australia. In 2021, the U.S. signed a trilateral military agreement between itself, Australia, and UK, called AUKUS. The U.S. also recently signed a defense agreement with Papua New Guinea and demands permanent control over sensitive areas in Micronesia as part of the Island Chain strategy. U.S. policy-makers rely on NATO as a primary bridge for U.S. influence in Europe, on the forward deployment of U.S. troops in Asia to project U.S. economic interests, etc. U.S. imperialism is keeping the whole of the Middle East militarized and waging a continuous war against Iraq in order to keep its armies in the region and maintain control over this strategic and oil-rich part of the world.
The recent defense review claims that close cooperation and interoperability with the U.S. is central to achieving balance and stability in the Indo-Pacific. As is well known, "interoperability" is the big buzzword of the day which means surrendering sovereign decision-making capabilities to whatever provocations or first-strikes the U.S. wants to launch. It stands for more militarized relations under which the Australian Defence Force will be tasked with mounting missile strikes and amphibious assaults far from its mainland. Nuclear submarines, B52 bombers carrying nuclear weapons, U.S. and UK war warships will be in Australian ports permanently. Far from preventing war in the region as claimed in Washington, total control of military equipment will be with the Pentagon, who will provide the orders for war.
At the same time, the U.S. representatives in the House and Senate, along with the U.S. media and monopoly corporations, are promoting clusters of lies about the benefits of AUKUS and nuclear submarines, similar to the clusters of lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Although AUKUS and nuclear submarines make Australia a target in the event of war between the U.S. and China, the U.S has nothing to offer in compensation but pious promises to fulfill an unwanted "responsibility to protect." U.S.-Australian military alliances aim at turning Australia into a helpless client state and an instrument of U.S. aggression against other countries.
In the coming months, U.S. imperialism is bound to further escalate its worldwide military provocations. It is the duty of the American people to stop it. In the course of this urgent struggle, we must organize the independent political movement of the people. Such a movement must be directed against the parties of war and imperialism and aim to bring to power a new government, a people's government. We can and must put a stop to imperialism's "war without end" by carrying through a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy – by withdrawing all U.S. troops stationed abroad and recognizing the sovereign equality of every country.
The real purpose behind the massive U.S. militarization drive is to reverse the victories of the democratic, anti-imperialist revolutions of the peoples which have dealt hammer blows to the imperialist system over the last 75 years and more.
Death to the War Machine and Aggressive Military Pacts of U.S. Imperialism!
U.S. Imperialism, Go Home!