Nuclear Free Pacific
Unfortunately, Australia is trying to stop this momentum towards the banning of nuclear weapons; out of allegiance to our American ally, our diplomats have been seeking ways to undermine the good work that is being done by the majority of states on this issue. We have also recently agreed to extend the bombing campaign against ISIS, confirming perhaps what David Stephens says: there is an ‘ingrained loyalty to the American alliance which reinforces bellicosity.’ As with Gallipoli, there is a failure to examine adequately the purposes and costs of each war we enter. While we may deplore the rise of ISIS, further bombing is not likely to destroy this ideology; moreover, the hostility shown by some Australian commentators towards Muslims not only demonises an entire group of people, but it also fuels what ISIS seeks, namely greater division between Islam and the West.
There is another key point here: military force, while it might have had some value in the past, lacks usefulness in the present. By 2015, it should be clear that simply throwing more bombs onto a problem will not solve that problem. Even the most militarily powerful state in the world has had to retreat from situations which it thought could simply be won by the application of armed force. Yet notions of military security prevail, even though the usefulness of force in achieving our goals, or its relevance to broader security concerns, is declining. The US’ wars have been disastrous – morally, legally and strategically; they have increased the level of terrorism and polarised politics globally. But we continue to think that the use of force will solve our problems and that the purchasing of obscenely expensive military weaponry is a natural condition.
Is it too much to expect that our political and military leaders can learn from past mistakes? It is believed that we should demand nothing less.