Is Australia secretly preparing for war?

Australia is committing to a new and controversial form of warfare. What does this mean for our future?

It’s hard not to have incredibly conflicted feelings about unmanned drones. They offer safety for one side, utter devastation  for the other.

Now Australia is directly involved. It is committing itself to drone warfare.

According to The New Daily, the Australian Defence Force has sent personnel to the US Air Force to help pilot and operate MQ-9 Reaper Drones.

“This is more than just training,” said Professor Richard Tanter of the University of Melbourne. “This is participating in warfare”.

These terrifying machines, controlled remotely, can fly for days over targets, and are often blamed for increasing radicalisation in Muslim areas.

New figures just released by the Defence Department reveal Australia has participated in more than 1,000 missions over Iraq since 2014, with a total of 631 bombs dropped. Two further bombs have been dropped on Syria this year.

“This is more than just training,” said Professor Richard Tanter of the University of Melbourne. “This is participating in warfare”.

Professor Tanter said there’s no way to know how many people – military or ordinary men, women and children – have been killed by these bombs.

Nor do we know for sure how much of this damage has a been funded by Australian taxpayers.

Professor Des Ball, former head of the Australian Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, said he “would not be surprised” if the total number of children killed exceeded the number of terrorists.

In another worrying development, Australia could be buying these drones for itself – something more likely since Italy announced it would be taking them on board.

Dr. Jennifer Hunt from the Centre for International Security told The New Daily that drone sales were becoming a huge business – and one that has the potential to be abused if left unchecked.

“Given that Australia has also been a close partner in this arena it is unlikely that Australia would be denied the opportunity to procure this technology,” she said.

Clinton Fernandes, Professor of International Relations at UNSW Clinton, warns that this version of warfare can only make radicalisation worse, as it allows an area to be “patrolled basically indefinitely”.

“The sense that you might die at any moment is dreadful”.

How do you feel about Australia be participating in drone warfare? Should our government and defence department be more open in telling us?


4 responses to “Is Australia secretly preparing for war?

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