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Interoperability- even my spell check rejects it

May 28, 2015

In a few weeks I will be going to Rockhampton to try and slow down US led war preparations. Talisman Sabre are large biennial War Exercises that take place near Rockhampton in the pristine Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area on Darumbal Land.

Australia is currently deployed with US forces in Iraq and our Special Forces work directly under the command of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) in any place in the world, most likely Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria and other areas of strategic interest to our economy.

Talisman Sabre is sold to the Australian public as practice to defend this continent, playing on White Australian fears of an Asian invasion. We are scared that perhaps Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, with a population more than 10 times of Australia’s might want to invade. Of course, when you look past your fears to a bit of logic, there is no imminent Indonesian invasion.

Indonesia is not a stable State. From Papua to Aceh and beyond, the Indonesian military spends almost all of its time and resources just keeping the country together. A stable country without rowdy locals wanting a fair share of their resources, say the Papuans wanting some kind of say in their 4.6 billion dollar (per year) copper and gold mine that currently flows into the coffers of US and Australian companies. That’s why the US and Australia help arm and train the Indonesian military. Do you do that to a country your scared might invade you?

So if there is no imminent invasion from Indonesia, why do Australia and the US spend so much time and money on exercises in Rockhampton?

I started writing this piece because in my mind, I couldn’t quite grasp why the Australia was spending so much money on housing troops in Darwin. Oh, I get why the US wants them there- kind of.

The idea is that in any conflict with China over the strategic Straits near Singapore, Australian based Marines and probably in the future B1 bombers, can strike first against the Chinese (who are also Australia’s largest trading partners- you know that nice lifestyle you have- in the last ten years you can thank Chinese-Australian booming trade for that). Also, as a bonus, if Indonesia starts disintegrating (I don’t think it will any time soon) you have troops there to send in and control the resources you need.

Talisman Sabre is about bringing the Australian Military into interoperability with the US Military. Australia is the 5th largest buyer in the world of US arms. We buy their planes and guns, than we train, so when we bomb and kill people in Iraq (up to 740 civilians have been killed by Allied forces in the latest War in Iraq). Since 2001, Australia has supported a large War of Terror that has killed 1.3 million civilians. That is the fruit of the US Alliance. That is where our billions go.

In a way though, whilst Talisman Sabre is definitely large- it might be highly symbolic. US troops in Darwin, and nuclear capable B1 bombers, are expensive. Australia is currently spending nearly one billion dollars upgrading RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory and Amberley near Brisbane to house and upgrade large planes like the B1. But more than this, every day the US Marines are in Darwin, they are training and integrating with Australian forces. Exercises are taking place almost constantly that keep the Australian Military as an Auxiliary to the US Forces.

If China and the US go to war as, in my opinion, the US seems intent on doing, Australia will now be automatically on the side of the US, is that best for Australia? The decision has already been made by our politicians. Unless we as a population decide to do something about it.

I

US Marines showing Australians how to use their equipment

I’m going up to Rockhampton to disrupt Talisman Sabre in July, not just because I don’t like war- but the future of my country is already being sold out to US corporate interests.

And I want us to take it back.

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