Warning against collective defense agreements "which dangerously intensify geostrategic military tensions with China," a group of international peace advocates on Friday published a letter decrying the new trilateral pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while calling for "peace, justice, and disarmament."
The letter, whose signatories include peace groups and activists from over a dozen nations, was released as leaders of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia—the Quadrilateral Security Dialog, or "Quad"—met in the White House to share concerns about China.
It also follows the announcement earlier this month of the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) pact, which contains provisions for new weapons sales and was described by one British peace group as an "anti-China" alliance.
Read the full letter:
Meeting on the eve of the Quad alliance summit, peace, justice and common security advocates from the Quad and AUKUS member countries, and Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, India, Britain, Germany, and the U.S. met to analyze and build opposition to the dangerous and increased militarism of the Quad and AUKUS alliances.
The incipient coalition decries the Quad and AUKUS alliances which dangerously intensify geostrategic military tensions with China. In addition to increasing the dangers that accidents or miscalculations to trigger escalation to catastrophic wars, this increased military competition seriously undermines the possibility of U.S.-Chinese and broader international cooperation to reverse the existential threats of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. The strategic competition between the great powers includes the danger of a great power war which will destroy the planet.
Opposing the recently announced U.S.-Australian-British alliance, Australian peace organizations are demanding that Australia not become a staging point for the U.S. military, that Australian sovereignty not be abrogated to the U.S., and their government must not encourage the nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe inherent in the agreement to purchase submarines powered by highly enriched uranium.
President Biden has spoken of an inflection point. Negotiation and announcement of the AUKUS alliance indeed marks a dangerous turning point in geostrategic situation.
- Instead of increasing stability and security, the Quad and AUKUS alliances fuel dangerously spiraling cold war-like arms races that must be reversed with common security diplomacy.
- The transfer of highly enriched uranium and related technologies to Australia violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and encourages nuclear weapons proliferation. It provides Australia with resources needed to become a nuclear power, and significant political and military figures in India, South Korea, and Japan ask why they have been denied these capabilities.
- Announcement of the AUKUS alliance has disastrous global strategic ramifications. Coming on the heels of the precipitous NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration has again acted without consulting its NATO allies. This fuels calls from European and E.U. leaders to create an independent European military superpower. The new military alliance strengthens worldwide the arms race.
- The AUKUS alliance increases pressure on ASEAN and other nations to choose between sides in a way that compromises their independence.
Forty years ago, the adoption of common security diplomacy played major roles in the negotiation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and the end of the Cold War. The new international peace coalition is committed to building international pressure for Indo-Pacific demilitarization and common security diplomacy to address and reverse the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics.
No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars. Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate.
(signatories as of 9:00 am Manila time of Sept.24)
- International Peace Bureau
- Asia Europe Peoples Forum—Peace and Security cluster
- Independent and Peaceful Australia Network
- Australian Anti Bases Campaign Coalition
- Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
- Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy
- Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
- Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice (Guam)
- Le Mouvement de la Paix (France)
- Veterans For Peace Chapter 113 Hawaii
- Peace Women Partners, Philippines
- Action for Sovereign Philippines
- I Hagan Famalao'an Guahan, Inc. (Guam)
- KILUSAN (Movement for National Democracy) Philippines
- KAISAKA (Unity of Women for Liberation) Philippines
- Maui Peace Action (Hawaii)
- Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers/BMP) Philippines'
- Philippine Women’s Network for Peace and Security
- Annette Brownlie (Independent & Peaceful Australia Network, Australia)
- Hannah Middleton (Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, Australia)
- Denis Doherty (AABCC, Australia)
- Ross Wynther (IPAN, Australia)
- Anuradha Chenoy (Asia Europe Peoples Forum, India)
- Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau, Germany)
- Michael Klare (Committee for a Sane US-China Policy)
- Joseph Gerson (Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, U.S.)
- Mililani B. Trask (Hawaii)
- Dave Webb (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, U.K.)
- Tina Ebro (Asia Europe Peoples Forum, Philippines)
- Dong Huy Cuong (Asia Europe Peoples Forum, Vietnam)
- Francis Daehoon Lee (Peace MOMO, Korea)
- Roland Simbulan (Professor at the University of the Philippines)
- Corazon Valdez-Fabros (International Peace Bureau, Philippines)
- Alain Rouy (Le Mouvement de la Paix, France)
- Merci Angeles (Peace Women Partners, Philippines)
- LisaLinda Natividad (Guahan)
- Kevin Martin (Peace Action, U.S.)
- Jim Anderson (Peace Action, National Office, U.S.)
- Emily Rubino (New York Peace Action and the CPDCS, U.S.)
- Cole Harrison (Massachusetts Peace Action, U.S.)
- Mele Stokesberry (Maui Peace Action, Hawaii)
- Kyle Kajihiro (Hawaii)
- Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace Chapter 113-Hawaii
- Ruchama Marton (Physicians for Human Rights, Israel)
- Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex Press, Australia)
- Mandira Tamrakar (Nepal)
- Fabiana Elias de Mesquita (Brazil)
- Maria Miel Laurinaria (Philippine Women's Network for Peace and Security)
- Djoana Janier (Scrap VFA Movement, Philippines)
- Dr. Kate Dewes (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
- Rasti Delizo (Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Philippines)
- Aida Fulleros Santos (International Women's Network against Militarism, Philippines)
- Lot dela Cruz (Stop the War Coalition Philippines)
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community and was authored by Brett Wilkins.