AWPR recently wrote a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade.
The pandemic is having a profound effect on the balance of power throughout the world and AWPR has urged the inquiry to look closely at the executive power to deploy the Australian Defence Force into armed conflict without any reference to Parliament.
Five key points in relation to the Terms of Reference of this Inquiry:
- COVID-19 will have profound effects upon the balance of power and influence in the world, and in our region in particular.
- COVID-19 will intensify the move to more automated weapon systems, and more reliance on artificial intelligence.
- Any effective review of the Australian defence and strategic policy must be based on a sober and realistic appreciation of what we can expect from the lynchpin of Australian defence policy since the onset of the Cold War – the ANZUS Treaty.
- Leaving in the Executive power to deploy the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflict is not a safe and secure basis for Australian defence policy.
- Accordingly, the so-called ‘war powers’ should be relocated to the Federal Parliament, subject to adequate provision for the government of the day to take emergency action in response to direct threats to Australia.
Please view our full submission
(Image: M.Danish – Pexels)