Australia's Defence White Paper a military victory

Australia’s Defence White Paper was released on 2 May, following the Community Consultation report two weeks ago.

Of major concern is the increased military spending outlined in the White Paper - at a time when diplomatic missions to our region are being cut. Community support for increased peace-making and diplomatic resolution of conflict, has been ignored.

While stating that “Australia will continue to lead and participate in efforts to promote disarmament and counter-proliferation”, the 138-page White Paper disappointingly devotes only one paragraph each to disarmament and the need to support nuclear non-proliferation.

The paper promulgates the myth that US nuclear weapons help protect Australians from Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and those which Iran, Islamists, or other “non-state actors” may obtain.

Interestingly, the expansion of nuclear power is seen as a possible cause of proliferation.

MAPW's submission to the White Paper Community Consultation proposed that Australia focus more on diplomatic solutions to conflict, rather than increasing military spending; while ICANi’s submission  focused on the need to eliminate nuclear weapons; and to dissociate our defence from the US nuclear umbrella. (See MAPW's critique of the Community Consultation report, which was dismissive of community input).

  • MAPW's submission has been removed from the Defence website (during a reorganisation of the submissions)  - we have left several messages asking that it be re-loaded.

On a more positive note, the White Paper does look seriously at climate change, and at the need for Australia to help with mitigation.

Read the White Paper, and the community consultation report: www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/