Saturday, December 17, 2005

Australian Democrats Question Coalition Involvement

The Australian Democrats welcomed the release last week of Australia’s National Security: A Defence Update 2005 but raised serious concerns regarding the Government’s intention to actively encourage ‘coalitions-of-the-willing’ as a means of securing Australia’s interests.

“The report fleetingly notes the lack of confidence in international institutions to address ‘collective security arrangements’ without acknowledging that a key reason for this has undoubtedly been the emergence of these ‘coalitions’, and deliberate undermining of United Nations and multilateral international frameworks,” Senator Bartlett said.

Australia’s defence strategy cannot continue to go down the route of alliances of political convenience as a means of dealing with perceived or real attacks on our and other countries interests.”

“Our foray into Iraq has been nothing short of a disaster for Australia and its ‘coalition’ partners. It has made every member of the coalition greater targets of terrorism, has diminished our standing in the international community, has done little to bring terrorist ringleaders to heal and has destabilised an already fragile region.

“Legitimate responses need to be channelled through the international bodies such as the United Nations to ensure an appropriate, legal and sustainable response.

“Making ‘coalitions-of-the-willing’ part of our defence strategy will cost a fortune and work against to achieve the Government’s aim – and duty - of making ‘Australia secure.” Senator Bartlett concluded


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