Thursday, 4 August 2022
Australian Defence Force: Review, India: Jammu and Kashmir
This week the government announced a review into the Australian Defence Force, but we don't need a review to tell us what we already know. Former chief of the ADF Chris Barrie has made it clear that climate change is one of the largest security threats to Australia and our very vulnerable region. Yet it receives little more than lip-service in Australia's defence policy. We also know that, over the last decade, Defence has overseen repeated multibillion-dollar budget blow-outs across the portfolio, with chronic project delays, despite a budget that grows year on year. It's troubling that this review is being undertaken by two of the key architects of the current defence posture, and it's difficult to see how they can turn a genuinely independent mind to the task. For all these reasons, the Greens will be closely monitoring this review and the major parties' continued uncritical support of excessive military expenditure.
Tomorrow, 5 August, is the third anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which stripped away Jammu and Kashmir's constitutional protections and autonomy. This is a day of mourning for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for the diaspora here in Australia—indeed, across the globe. The Australian Greens acknowledge the rights of the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir to freedom and self-determination. We also acknowledge and support the work of the diaspora to bring global awareness to this human rights crisis. The Australian government has an obligation to raise the attacks on Jammu and Kashmir in its diplomatic engagement with India. This is about Australia speaking the truth to our friends and acknowledging the universal rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to basic human freedoms.