Ongoing foreign occupations have lasted more than 20 years in Afghanistan and 18 years in Iraq. Neither has brought justice or peace to the region, argues Alex Bainbridge.
On December 9, 1966, the Australian government signed a public agreement with the United States to build what both countries misleadingly called a “Joint Defence Space Research Facility” at Pine Gap, just outside Alice Springs.
Officially, Pine Gap is a collaboration between the Australian Department of Defence and the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. In reality this conceals the real purpose of Pine Gap as a CIA-run spy base designed to collect signals from US surveillance satellites in geosynchronous orbit over the equator.
Many Australians are unaware that up to 2500 armed personnel from a foreign nation routinely occupy Australian territory. However, soon the next contingent of US marines will arrive in Darwin, writes Nick Deane.
It is extraordinary that foreign forces should be stationed in Australia in peacetime. There has been no such foreign presence here since the end of World War II. There is no threat to Australia, so there is no need for this presence.
An emergency protest organised by Sydney Stop the War Coalition, held as the US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Sydney on April 21, drew a range of networks concerned about old and new — possibly — nuclear wars.