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Quaker Submission to Defence Strategic Review
The Australia Yearly Meeting Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee (QPLC), on behalf of Australian Quakers, have contributed a Submission to the Government's Defence Strategic Review, signed by Presiding Clerk Bruce Henry .
The major areas of our concern are the expansion of production and export of weapons, increased participation in preparations for war (e.g., RIMPAC, Pitch Black, Pacific Vanguard, Talisman Sabre), the commitment to offensive strategies rather than territorial defence, and the focus on bilateral rather than multilateral relationships. We have reached a stage where the costs of waging war have exceeded the capacity of people and the planet to survive.
We have doubts about Australia’s official defence and foreign policies, and about the alarmist commentary by some public officials and media to confront China over Taiwan. Public opinion shown in Lowy Institute Poll in 2021 reflected this growing concern. 57% opposed military conflict with China, and 72% said good relations are possible with both US and China.
The other major threats facing humanity include environmental crises (shortages of water and food, collapse of ecosystems, pollution, climate change), the increasing production and stockpile of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the potential for significant ongoing pandemics, and powerful and uncontrolled technology.
Australia’s support for AUKUS is misplaced and should be reviewed and reversed. Its purpose is contrary to the real needs of defence policy, is too closely linked to US global military strategy, and reduces our capacity for independent approaches. It also increases the likelihood of Australia being drawn into a war with China.
To read the full Submission go HERE.
Image credit: Defence.info