The largest contingent of US marines yet, 2,500, have started to arrive in Darwin.
Among the war exercises they will carry out with the Australian Defence forces (ADF is) the Talisman Sabre war exercises on and off the coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
This year the stated concept for the exercise is the invasion and ‘capture’ of an island’ to enable back up forces and a command structure to be established’ from which an attack can be made on a ‘mainland’.
This scenario follows the new US Marine operational structure called EABO (Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations), which involves dispersal of US forces across islands, to make it ‘difficult for China to counter.’
Recently, US Marines have practised the invasion and capture of an island, le Shima, off the coast of Okinawa, in accordance with this strategy.
The HMAS Adelaide and Canberra have been modified with amphibious landing gear to enable the transport of military forces and their landing on a distant shore. In recent war exercises US Marines have been imbedded on these Australian naval ships.
IPAN calls on the Australian Government to take cognisance of this situation and the potential to draw Australia inevitably into a military conflict with China, our major trading partner.
The US Marines in Darwin and their involvement with the ADF is clearly not for the defence of continental Australia but for projection of US military force in our region with the potential for escalation and war with China.
In the interests of the peace and economic security of Australians, IPAN calls on the Australian Government to terminate the Force Posture Agreement, which underpins the stationing of the US Marines in Darwin and send them home as soon as possible.
IPAN calls on the Australian Government to pursue an independent foreign policy based on peaceful solutions to conflict and inter-country relations of peace, friendship and trade to mutual benefit.