Australia Joins Bush Star Wars Team

December 4 2003

Contact:  Bruce Gagnon (207) 729-0517
Jacob Grech (Australia),
jgrech@vthc.org.au

Australia's Defense Minister Robert Hill announced today that his government will join the U.S. in developing the controversial "missile defense" program critics call "Son of Star Wars."  Largely motivating the decision is pressure from the Australian aerospace industry that eyes the program as an opportunity for massive government investment.  Cutbacks in social spending in Australia are now expected as a result.

"The Bush administration is finding the ultimate cost of Star Wars so great that they are working overtime to convince allies to help with investments in the research and development phase of the project," says Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  "We are now witnessing the creation of a new arms race that could ultimately carry warfare into the heavens.  The U.S. plan for Star Wars is dangerous, destabilizing, and enormously expensive."

According to Jacob Grech of OzPeace, in Melbourne, "This is yet another example of the Australian Government's toadying attitude toward U.S. military adventurism.  Australia's participation will further jeopardize our relationship with many of our South East Asian neighbors.  The Australian peace movement, together with our international friends, is already moving to organize major campaigns in response to this latest move."

In addition to research and development funding, it appears that Australia will participate in Star Wars by expanding its role in missile detection by allowing the upgrading of the U.S. satellite spy base called Pine Gap, located in Australia's Northern Territory.  It is also likely the Australian Navy will purchase U.S. Aegis destroyer systems and become involved in Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) that will be used to surround and provoke China which today has only 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the continental U.S.

The Bush administration has announced it will deploy 15 so-called "missile defense" interceptors in Alaska and California before the 2004 elections even though they have yet to pass the testing phase.  Plans eventually call for 100 interceptors to be deployed at these locations.  The Pentagon and aerospace industry are also now developing anti-satellite weapons, space-based laser weapons, and a host of other new technologies that they maintain will give the U.S. "control and domination" of space and the Earth below on behalf of global corporate interests.

The Global Network, made up of 175 affiliate groups all around the world, has announced a week of worldwide protests in 2004, just prior to the expected Bush "missile defense" deployments.  During the period of September 25 - October 2 there will be local and regional demonstrations held to show growing international opposition to the U.S. Star Wars plan.  These events will be sponsored by a host of organizations worldwide including the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom.

(See News item: Australia to join missile shield)



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