Overwhelming support for war powers reform – Roy Morgan poll

83.3% of Australians want Parliament to decide whether our troops are sent into armed conflict abroad, according to a nationwide Roy Morgan opinion poll released in November 2020.

In the survey of 1052 people, only 16.7% said they favour the current system whereby The Prime Minister and the executive alone decide if Australia goes to war.

“Ordinary Australians want their local MPs and Senators to oversee this life and death decision, not just the Prime Minister and a few ministers behind closed doors,” said Paul Barratt AO, a former Secretary of Defence and President of Australians for War Powers Reform …

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

Time to judge our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Somme Villers-Bretonneux Australian National War Memorial. Photo: Alamy (via Fairfax)

Reports of alleged breaches of the laws of war by Australian special forces in Afghanistan have drawn attention again to the length of the war itself and its apparent ultimate futility.

A feature of commentary on these breaches is how their severity increases the longer troops are in sustained combat, as they become shrouded in the ‘fog of war’ where the legal commitment assumes a certain relativity and the morality of the commitment becomes frayed – as does the ANZAC ideal of 100 years ago.

“Legal ambiguity at the …

The Con

Australian troops waiting for US Army helicopters to return to base in Nui Dat, South Vietnam, August 1967. Image: Michael Coleridge via Wikimedia Commons

Metaphorically, if society resembles a rug, then certainly ‘we’ are not supposed to peek under it, to check out the weave, to gain some specific insight or understanding into the makeup of the official picture, or pattern on top.

Historically, this ‘official picture’ con has been going on for some time; certainly by WW1 it was peaking with the citizens of many nations indoctrinated/incited into killing one another like never before; by a few empowered nutters …