Danger in Australia hosting USA military bases
If too closely aligned with the US, Australia will be associated with any mistakes. US actions, mounted from Australia, will implicate Australia. In the Cold War US joint intelligence facilities were a target for Soviet nuclear weapons……
Australia needs to be careful that it does not make inevitable the future that it should fear the most. Current decisions are being made without public debate or discussion. Once made they will be difficult to reverse.
We must not get too close to the US, BY: PETER LEAHY The Australian April 12, 2012 “……. there can be too much of a good thing, especially if it involves putting unnecessary pressure on China. By substantially increasing its
close relationship with the US, Australia may unduly complicate its relationship with China. Care needs to be taken to ensure that Australia is not caught between the US, as security guarantor, and China as economic underwriter.
As a sovereign nation Australia should maintain the ability to say no to the US and separate itself from its actions. This will require careful thought and deft diplomacy……By agreeing to the US Marine Corps and potentially more extensive air and naval access requests, Australia has confirmed that it is firmly in the US security camp…….
Concerns have been expressed by former US secretary of state Henry
Kissinger and former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.
They echo the lexicon of the Cold War when writing in recent editions
of Foreign Affairs. Kissinger notes the importance of not seeking to
confront or contain China. He does not see China’s military build-up
as an exceptional problem and emphasises China’s internal troubles. He
argues that the challenge for the two nations is to move to a genuine
effort at co-operation rather than an assumption of confrontation.
Brzezinski refers to an anxious US and an overconfident China. He
suggests that the US needs to provide room for China. This includes
reducing close military reconnaissance against China, explaining the
ambiguity of US policy on Taiwan and developing rules for naval
It is difficult to say no, even as a friend. This limits Australia’s
ability to make independent decisions. If too closely aligned with the US, Australia will be associated with any mistakes. US actions, mounted from Australia, will implicate Australia. In the Cold War US joint intelligence facilities were a target for Soviet nuclear weapons……
Future Australian agreements with the US will no doubt involve
greater access for air and naval forces to ports, training areas,
mounting bases, and repair and sustainment facilities in and across
These are momentous decisions with far-reaching consequences. They
potentially implicate Australia in a series of actions that could lead
to increased tension and even conflict with China. War is improbable
but not impossible. The Australian defence white paper of 2009
advocated a strategic posture that hedged against the growth of China.
These agreements take that process a step further. Australia needs to be careful that it does not make inevitable the future that it should fear the most. Current decisions are being made without public debate or discussion. Once made they will be difficult to reverse.
The deployments have already attracted negative attention. Indonesia
has questioned the arrival of the marines. Chinese academic Liao Kai,
writing in the US Air Force’s influential Air & Space Power Journal,
warns that Australia should keep its military co-operation within an
appropriate scope……… the US is likely to persist. Australia
needs to consider if, where and when to draw the line.
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