To: The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese

Regarding: Sending Australian troops to war.

The decision-making process by which Australian troops can be sent to war must be changed. Australia goes to war too easily.

Currently, this decision is made by the Prime Minister, possibly with a tiny handful of Cabinet colleagues. Our Federal Parliament is excluded. Because of this, many critical questions remain unanswered when our troops are deployed. The process is opaque, undemocratic and undermines our security.

A decision to go to war must be made only after the most exhaustive scrutiny of all relevant information, including:

  • the exact purpose and its legality
  • the military strategy, prospects of success and exit strategy
  • the likely impacts on our troops
  • the likely impacts on civilians and how they will be addressed
  • the economic cost, and
  • alternatives to military action in dealing with the situation at hand.

We urge you to reform Australia’s war powers so that, barring emergencies, all members of Federal Parliament must debate and vote on a decision to go to war.

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