US Threatens Australia
"Increase Military Ties Or Else…"
by Zohl de Ishtar, August 1998
Women for a
Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific
International Peace Bureau, Oceania Representative
United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
and Defence Secretary William Cohen recently visited Australia
and Aotearoa/New Zealand to do some very heavy threatening about
military alliances. They made it clear that Aotearoa would not
be allowed to rejoin the ANZUS (Aust/NZ/US) Alliance unless it
rejects its nuclear free legislation. In Australia they made it
clear what that alliance actually means.
Meeting with Australia's Defence Minister Ian McLachlan
and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, they threatened that if
Australia doesn't substantially upgrade its military hardware.
Unless Australia engages in the same technology, doctrines and
training opportunities it will not be able to keep up with US
developments, undermining its ability to participate in joint
operations. This would result in Australia losing its status as
a "valuable" US ally and be unable to participate in
wars, training, etc., with the US.
They insisted that Australia increase its military
budget accordingly, and establish a "joint defence acquisition
committee" with the US. This committee would enable US and
Australian experts to consult, cooperate and collaborate so that
technology and information gaps are eliminated and Australia had
the ability to function under a US controlled alliance.
The US is developing a combination of satellite
and laser technology that goes far beyond that witnessed during
the Operation Desert Storm attack on Iraq in 1991. Their plans
to militarise and control space, outlined in a document called
"Vision for 2020", require the development of ground-based
anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), space-based ASATs and space-based
earth strike weapons. This systems, as with all weapons systems,
are controlled and coordinated by ground bases such as those in
Australia, Ka Pae'aina, Marshall Islands and other nations. This
is requires an incredible military budget which is greater than
the economy of all South-East Asia countries combined.
In exchange Australia will be allowed to upgrade
its involvement in the US new space-based missile early-warning
and monitoring system. This includes stationing Australian defence
personnel at Colorado Springs, HQ of the US early-warning system.
Increased weaponry and other facilities would strengthen
Australia's readiness for future cooperation in the Middle East,
specifically against Iraq. It would also enhance Australia's ties
with the Central and Atlantic commands, and therefore with the
US army command, and increase its involvement with the US Pacific
Command, based in Ka Pae'aina/Hawai'i, which provides training
with naval and air components. Part of the package is that the
USAF facility at Nurrungar in South Australia will close after
30 years, but that it will be replaced by two new antennas to
be built at Pine Gap, the CIA intelligence stations near Alice
Springs. The antenna will link into the new geostationary satellites
targeted to pick up on tactical and intermediate range missiles
(like those of Iraq, India and Pakistan), as well as intercontinental
ballistic missiles. The data collected by these antenna will be
sent directly to Colorado, rather than to Nurrungar as before.
"US warns of defence risk", The Australian, Greg Sheridan,
31 July 1998.
"Star Wars Returns to Dominate Space",
Bombs Away. Newsletter of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy,
Vol 12, No 1, Spring 1998. p3.