First published in New Mathilda, this article gives an overview of the Force Posture Agreement – the agreement which underpins the US Base in Darwin.
IPAN has launched the #GiveemtheBOOT campaign and is currently collecting boots for boot drenched meetings, networking, actions and tactics with the medium term goal of the Force Posture Agreement being dumped by the [unfortunately bipartisan] folk of the the LIBLAB government. The question is – how? Which groups would need to change, wiggle become activated to motivate or FORCE the dumping of this arrangement. Which allies must be activated? and which opponents must be forced to change?
Australia has long been an ally of the United States. But the extent of that relationship today remains largely secret. Bevan Ramsden from the Independent & Peaceful Australia Network sheds some light on it.
The Force Posture Agreement – entered into between the US and Australian Governments in 2015 – makes Australia a base in the Indo-Pacific-South East Asia for the US military, and from which they can parade their strength, intimidate and launch hostile acts against our neighbours.
The Force Posture Agreement facilitates:
- The stationing in Darwin, for six months each year, of up to 2,500 US marines; they are trained and equipped for immediate deployment and who, while in Australia, train for war in exercises with the Australian Defence Forces;
- Access to Australia’s airfields and airport facilities for US fighter planes and bombers;
- Access to Australia’s seaports for US naval vessels.
The Agreement states (Article VII):
“United States Forces and its contractors shall have unimpeded access to Agreed Facilities and Areas for all matters relating to the pre-positioning and storage of defence equipment and supplies including delivery, management, inspection, use, maintenance and removal of such pre-positioned material.
As mutually determined by the Parties, aircraft, vehicles and vessels operated by or for United States Forces shall have access to aerial ports and sea ports of Australia and other locations, for the delivery to, storage and maintenance in, and removal from, the territory of Australia of United States Forces’ pre-positioned material.”
In short, the Agreement enables the United States not only to station its troops in Darwin but to store on Australian soil, US war supplies including spare parts, fuel, weapons, ammunition and bombs and opens Australia’s seaports to their navy and airports and runways for the use of their air-force.
This Agreement makes Australia a base in the Indo-Pacific-South East Asia for the US military and from which they can launch hostile acts against our neighbours. That includes the islands claimed by China in the South China sea. Some commentators have suggested the US also has its sights set on the straits of Malacca, in order to put pressure on China by blocking its major shipping route.