Media release: No Clear Mission – No SOFA?

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 4 March, 2015 | 2:25 am

MEDIA RELEASE

WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH, 2015

No clear mission – no SOFA?

Following Prime Minister Abbott’s announcement of additional troops for Iraq, Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR) have expressed serious concern at the lack of clearly articulated goals that will be met by the deployments.   While the PM has denied any ‘mission creep’, this is exactly what is happening, with our role in Iraq having evolved significantly since August-September last year.

AWPR President and former Defence Department head Paul Barratt said,

“Step by step Australia is being drawn into a vicious sectarian war of enormous complexity, with no apparent …

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Are we about to see another ‘Captains Call’ on Iraq?

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 25 February, 2015 | 2:24 am

Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR) have expressed concern that the problem of ‘mission creep’ for our troops in Iraq, already in evidence, seems set to escalate, following the NZ Prime Minister John Key’s announcement of the deployment of 143 NZ defence personnel to Iraq.

“Mission creep has been happening since the decision mid-last year to deploy ADF forces to Iraq,” said AWPR President Paul Barratt, former Defence Department secretary. “In August-September 2014, within a matter of weeks, a humanitarian mission to drop relief supplies to fleeing civilians was transformed first into using transport aircraft to deliver arms and …

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The importance of monitoring civilian losses

By: Sue Wareham | Posted in: Blog | 18 February, 2015 | 2:22 am

In late 2002, US journalist Helen Thomas strongly opposed the impending invasion of Iraq. Unlike many of her colleagues, whom she regarded as having a groupthink or “herd mentality”, she asked tough questions, considered by the herd as unpatriotic, at presidential press conferences. On one occasion in exasperation she asked White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer,

“Ari, why does the president want to kill thousands of people?”  The reply came: “Why are you saying that, Helen?   They have a dictator! They have no say in their country!”

The notion that people unfortunate enough to be born under the rule of a …

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Here we go again: Tony Abbott’s Iraq adventure

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 February, 2015 | 2:21 am

The following is the text of a presentation by CIWI President Paul Barratt to the Sydney Chapter of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, on the evening of Tuesday 10 February 2015.

BEGINS

Here we go again.

Australia is once more embarked upon military operations in the Middle East, again at the behest of the United States, and again without a clear definition of what the aims are or what we might hope to achieve.

Australia’s stance in relation to this conflict shifted so rapidly – from air-dropping humanitarian supplies to delivering arms and then positioning Special Forces on the …

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Are we again on the brink of further “Mission Creep” in Iraq?

By: Andrew Farran | Posted in: Blog | 22 January, 2015 | 2:19 am

In his 2015 State of the Union address President Obama noted that Iraq War No 3 (not his term) “will take time”, meaning there is no end in sight. But what is it that  will take time? What would be its end? Does anyone have any realistic idea about that given that a militant cancer is spreading throughout the Middle East?

The US has recently committed a further 3,000 troops to Iraq though officially their ‘combat roles’ are confined to air strikes in Iraq and Syria. It is not hard to envisage that before the US can reduce troop levels …

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A world of no-go zones?

By: Alison Broinowski | Posted in: Blog | 22 January, 2015 | 2:18 am

As the population of our ‘global village’ grows to more than 7.22 billion and mega-cities multiply, the world’s wilderness withers, agricultural land shrinks, oceans become waste dumping grounds, and former industrial sites are reduced to polluted, decaying wastelands. The climate warms and sea levels rise. Humans have rendered many areas in the world no longer accessible for humans.

These areas are ‘no-go zones’, as the lawless streets of Boston were known in the 1980s. The same term applied to Redfern’s Block in the 1990s and parts of Birmingham in the noughties. It is true of Ferguson in the mid-2010s, and …

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The latest Bulletin from the Campaign is now available!

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 14 November, 2014 | 2:17 am

Read the latest news on the Australian troops in Iraq, the views of Dr Alison Broinowski particularly around the Status of Forces agreements, a call for an inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War by war widow Kellie Merritt, articles from a number of people on views on how to take action without committing to warfare, and much more.

If you are not subscribed to the CIWI regular Bulletin newsletter, please do so here.…

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Letter re Status of Forces

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 20 October, 2014 | 2:16 am

Below is the text of a letter sent to the Prime Minister on 9 October 2014. Similar letters were sent to the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.

Begins

9 October 2014

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Abbott

The Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry has repeatedly expressed concern about the manner in which Australia entered the war in Iraq in 2003. Our organisation is equally concerned about the present situation, and the fact that errors of the past are seemingly being repeated.

We and our members are particularly anxious that …

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Letter to Members of Parliament

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 16 October, 2014 | 2:14 am

Below is the text of a letter sent to all Members of Federal Parliament on 9 October 2014.

Begins

Dear MP [ personalised ]

Your response is sought on whether Parliament should be required to authorise any deployment of the ADF into armed conflict abroad.

The Australian Government has recently authorised the deployment to the Middle East of six FA/18 combat aircraft, a Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker, and 200 SAS soldiers who will serve not only in training and advisory roles, but also in forward targeting missions. This comes despite much concern …

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Parliament should decide on the deployment of armed force

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 3 September, 2014 | 2:11 am

Malcolm Fraser and Paul Barratt

In “Parliamentary Vote Would Dangerously Restrict Executive in War” (The Australian, 2 September) Russell Trood and Anthony Bergin assert that the idea of Parliament voting on decisions to go to war is poor public policy. None of the arguments they advance in support of this claim hold water.

The point is made that Governments need the capacity to react quickly to events. Quite so, but the occasions would be rare when the capacity of the ADF to deploy would be held up by Parliamentary process. Apart from the Ready Reaction Force at Townsville, most combat …

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