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Anthony Ashbolt (Comment), in Matthew Thompson (editor), Is a US Marine base in Darwin really a good idea?, The Conversation [blog], 11 November 2011.


The American alliance is simply too costly for Australia both in terms of human lives and international relations. While our political leaders prattle on about “getting the job done”, an Orwellian nightmare persists in Afghanistan and the police we train torture detainees and are deeply enmeshed in the drug trade, the troops we train turn into Taliban and the Government we prop up is no better, in moral or philosophical terms, than its enemy in the field.

The American Century is well and truly over and it is time to forge new associations and to think not in terms of military alliances but rather in terms of alliances built upon peaceful relations. Our subservience to the United States does us no good in the eyes of growing powers like China, India and Brazil. Sending a hostile signal to China, as an expanded US military presence in Australia would do, is particularly foolhardy.

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