Trump vetoes resolution to curb war powers against Iran

By Paul Barratt AO, President Australians for War Powers Reform

As reported here, on Wednesday 6 May, President Trump vetoed a war powers resolution that would have curbed his ability to direct military action against Iran without Congress’ authorisation.

This is important to all Australians because, in then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s memorable phrase (August 2017), on matters of national security, Australia and the United States “are joined at the hip”.

This creates a very fragile and dangerous situation for Australia. The US is maintaining a very aggressive posture against Iran, and Australia has deployed HMAS Toowoomba …

Doing things differently

By Dr Alison Broinowski, Vice-President of Australians for War Powers Reform

Australians, like people everywhere, are dying to get back to normal. As long as that doesn’t include actually dying, of course. Most of us are pragmatically prepared to wait the pandemic out, up to a point.

That point had already come, some Australians thought, sooner for them than for others. Kerry Stokes and his wife, fresh off the plane from Aspen, couldn’t wait, not to go into quarantine on Rottnest, but to get back to their rather more comfortable house. Stokes – whose Western Australian media didn’t report it – couldn’t wait …

No war with Iran: No war without parliament

Our correspondence with the Prime Minister regarding Iran, 2019

Letter to the Prime Minister

27 June 2019

Dear Mr Morrison

I write on behalf of Australians for War Powers Reform, an organisation dedicated to achieving Parliamentary involvement in any decision Australia might make to deploy members of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflict. The purpose of this letter is to convey our concern about the prospect of military action against Iran.

Australia has no quarrel with the government of Iran, which since 2015 has fully observed the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as verified

Should Australia be doing arms deals with Saudi Arabia?

Boys hold missile shrapnel they collected from the site of a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen. Canberra-made weapons are being sold to the Saudi Arabian government. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

The war in Yemen is again in the headlines following an airstrike outside a rural hospital in Yemen’s north west last week which the BBC reports killed at least eight people, five of them children, and injured eight others.

Public pressure continues on Western governments to cease supplying the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with weapons. This pressure is intensifying in the UK, as its weapons are …

Palm Sunday refugee rally address: Australia’s wars of choice create refugees

Text of an address to Rural Australians for Refugees in Armidale, NSW by Paul Barratt, President, Australians for War Powers Reform Palm Sunday Refugee Rally, 25 March 2018


Good morning ladies and gentlemen

My remarks this morning are directed not so much to how we treat refugees who come to our shores seeking help, but how so many of them come to be refugees in the first place. This is appropriate because many people have become refugees as a result of wars in which we have participated, such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Most Australians would be …

Our Agreeable Illusion Ends

Hugh White, ‘Without America. Australia in the new Asia,’ Quarterly Essay 68, Melbourne: Black Inc. 2017

For years Hugh White has contributed knowledgeably to Australia’s defence and foreign policies, while deploring the prevailing feebleness of our public debate about them. With almost no public debate, Australia has for sixteen years been spending $95 million per day on fighting unnecessary wars in distant countries. Having had no independent inquiry into them, it remains a mystery how Australia can avoid similarly counterproductive wars in the future.

Professor White continues to credit the United States with maintaining peace and stability in Asia …