Pakistan – is this the next war zone?

In the lead-up to the last federal election I took issue with Australia’s foreign policy under a possible Rudd government, surmising that a change of government will still see us led into a sequence of wars with minimal (or even no parliamentary) debate being allowed.

See http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/after-the-iraq-pullout-what-next/

At that time the next US military target could have been a number of countries in northern Africa, the Middle East, South America, Asia – Sudan, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea being hot candidates. 

With two recent US air strikes into northern Pakistan and instability rife in that country the next major incursion is firming up as Pakistan. I predict that during the next few years the Afghanistan war is very likely to morph into a Pakistan engagement, and Australia’s troops will be morphed into that combat zone.

Our long-standing alliance with the US is a tacit agreement to engage our own nation in a state of perpetual warfare and Mr Rudd has made it clear he has no intention of altering our status in this regard. So, like it or not, this is our lot.

Although I am pro-peace, my concern is not necessarily whether or not such a Pakistan engagement will be justified or not, simply that the process that leads us into such premeditated wars is grossly unsatisfactory. At present a decision for the Australian nation to go to war is executed by simple decree of executive government followed by a cursory rubber-stamping by the parliament. The public is steered away from any meaningful debate and pre-emptory decisions do not allow time for a debate to germinate.

It is therefore prudent for concerned Australians to anticipate our next military engagement and start talking about it sooner rather than after the event. For all his good intentions we should not presume that Obama will be able to overcome his military chiefs’ obsession with war as a necessary ‘price of empire’.


Chris Harries

Chris Harries

With two recent US air strikes into northern Pakistan and instability rife in that country the next major incursion is firming up as Pakistan. I predict that during the next few years the Afghanistan war is very likely to morph into a Pakistan engagement, and Australia’s troops will be morphed into that combat zone.

Our long-standing alliance with the US is a tacit agreement to engage our own nation in a state of perpetual warfare and Mr Rudd has made it clear he has no intention of altering our status in this regard. So, like it or not, this is our lot.

Although I am pro-peace, my concern is not necessarily whether or not such a Pakistan engagement will be justified or not, simply that the process that leads us into such premeditated wars is grossly unsatisfactory. At present a decision for the Australian nation to go to war is executed by simple decree of executive government followed by a cursory rubber-stamping by the parliament. The public is steered away from any meaningful debate and pre-emptory decisions do not allow time for a debate to germinate.