‘US militarism: what are the costs to Australia?‘, Pearls and Irritations, 31 October 2017
It is time to reflect on the close enmeshment of Australian and US foreign policy, and the real costs of such close military ties. As critical services like healthcare and education struggle with inadequate resources, our overseas aid drops to shameful levels, our diplomatic capabilities shrink and our defence materiel choices make us less self-reliant, we need to be clear what we want as a society.
Do we want to continue rapidly increasing our defence spending and being “joined at the hip” for US military adventures, while simultaneously risking a regional arms race? Or do we want to change our priorities, focusing more on keeping our community healthy, better educated and housed, improving Australia’s defence self-reliance and building good relations with other nations. Ultimately, we do have a choice.
Margaret Beavis recently wrote about the Nobel Peace Prize won by the Australian-born International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). For earlier articles by different authors advocating an independent Australian foreign and defence stance, scroll through our tagged list ‘Getting on with the world’ (most recent articles listed first, with a flurry in the last 12 months). The Honest History Book includes a chapter by Honest History’s vice president, Alison Broinowski, called ‘Australia’s tug of war: Militarism versus independence’.