It is sad that IPAN needs to initiate an inquiry into Australia’s involvement in US-led wars and the US-Alliance – A People’s Inquiry that exposes the costs and consequences of this Alliance that our political leaders and ‘the establishment’ do not allow to be made public due to ‘national security’, ‘not in the public interest’, deliberate misleading statements, and the need to maintain a security threat with increased defence spending.

The Australian Government last year signed a contract for 12 submarines costing $80 Billion over 20 years, submarines described that will be ‘out of date’ and basically an ‘attack weapon’, and a suitable vessel to participate in war games in the South China Sea with our US allies. These funds should be allocated for the Australian environment and our communities. 12 Submarines are not going to do much to protect and restore the Australian landscape, protect our wildlife, and rebuild our rural communities.

“If this $80 billion dollars was spent in our rural communities, I have estimated (as a former regional economist) that the multiplier effect would provide a minimum of 5 to 10 times the number of Australian jobs”

National security: Pine Gap plays an integral role in the use of US war drones in Asian countries conflicts. American reports estimate that 90 percent of people killed by US drone attacks are ‘innocents’. Therefore, we as Australians are complicit in these killings of innocents. Personally, I find this sad and objectionable as a global citizen. I understand, no Australian has a full knowledge of the operations of the US companies operating at Pine Gap. National Security !!!!!!!
Have an enemy: Thomas W Shapcott, Queensland poet wrote a poem “Advice to a politician”

To be a successful politician “Have an enemy, that is essential”……..”If you cannot find an enemy”………..”Change the law”… to have an enemy
Over the decades since World War II, party political leaders have successfully used the ‘Have an enemy’ policy approach to win elections- “children overboard” “stop the boats” “Yellow peril”
Achieving Change: How do we achieve this political change for an independent and peaceful Australia?
We need to change the policies of our political leaders. This is difficult as we need to take on–
The weapons industry ( Manufacturers, Defence supply companies and their industry associations –
Defence & security think tanks-
Government security, Police and defence departments that want larger budgets–University security study centres & facilities,-
Conservative media outlets, including the Murdoch press, –
US/Australian trade associations and the US diplomatic establishment……… It’s all about money and power!!

The Economic value of Peace:

1. Government expenditure on non-defence items (infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc) provides a greater job multiplier effect for Australian jobs
2. A dollar spent on war requires more funding for decades due to the results of war– veterans affairs, hospital expenses of wounded soldiers, war widows etc
3. Providing a non-conflict environment allows the development of secure and stable industries and a good, stable trade treaty
4. Expenditure on international sports, cultural and educational exchanges, and tourism provides a better long term environment for strong and stable international relations – reducing international threats and the need for long term increasing defence expenditure.
5. Being involved in overseas conflicts as a US ally, may be a cause for domestic terrorism and also subsequent white supremacist groups. This involves increased expenditure for ASIO, Federal Police and Border Force.
6. Defence expenditure involves the massive consumption of fossil fuels and subsequent impact on global warming and climate change, however this argument has not been influential on Australian political policy in the past.

There will be more ‘economic growth and jobs’ with government expenditure on education, protection and restoration of our Australian landscape and wildlife, and rebuilding our rural and regional communities.

Let us all be responsible global citizens – Go in peace