VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
Two years ago, the Australian government announced a $184 million expansion of military facilities on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) is an Australian external territory located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 3,000km north-west of Perth, Western Australia. It comprises 2 coral atolls made up of 27 smaller islands.
The expansion reflects growing tensions and war preparations in the Indo-Pacific region with the Australian servants of US imperialism bending over backwards to “do their bit”.
The CKI proposal is for airfield strengthening and extension, and for a new permanent construction wharf on West Island.
In a separate project, the ADF will next month begin $22-million works to make the Cocos (Keeling) Islands a forward-operating base as part of plans to strengthen electronic warfare support to naval, air and land forces.
The expansion plans have caused some concern on the part of local residents, according to ABC reports.
Some residents have voiced concerns about deaths of local turtles which they claim are a result of military activity denuding their sea-grasses, and some have threatened to take the Australian government to the United Nations over Australian inactivity over global warming. A letter from the Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands calling on the federal government to recognise the devastating impacts of global warming on their lives remains unanswered five months on. Last year, the UN ruled that Australia had violated the rights of Torres Strait Islanders by failing to address the impacts of climate change. CKI residents are hoping for a similar ruling.
Others worry about their long-term safety as the threat of war grows.
In January the ABC quoted the CKI chief executive Frank Mills as saying "The community, I guess, has some trepidation as to what's going to happen in terms of the upgrade,” and he questioned whether there was any possibility of the runway becoming a target for armed forces from other nations.
He might also consider asking what armed forces from other nations might be given access to the longer runway and port facilities given that the Force Posture Agreement Australia has with the US surrenders our sovereignty to the overlords, allowing them unrestricted access to Australian territory for military bases and storage of supplies.
The ostensible reason for the airfield extension is the changeover from the Lockheed Orion to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance and anti-submarine planes.
However, the US is keen to obtain additional facilities for its nuclear-armed B-52 bombers. It has its puppets in Canberra extending the RAAF Base Tindal, outside of Katherine in the NT to make space for its B-52s which otherwise must use Diego Garcia or Guam. CKI would be closer to the action in our region than Diego Garcia.
Yet another cost blowout
Earlier this year, it was reported that the initial $185 million estimate for the expanded military facilities on CKI had blown out to $568 million in just two years.
This is typical of military contracts, which are thrown around like confetti by the so-called “Defence” Department. The cash cow of military contracts is milked for all it is worth - and that is a value derived from the bottomless pit of government debt.
Consider the original Collins class sub contract of $40-50 billion which quickly blew out to $90 billion, or the $2.4 billion blowout in the F-35 contract. The P-8A contract blew out by $1.8 billion, although two extra planes were included in that. The contract for the Lockheed Martin HIMARS rockets (valued at around $300,000 each) has grown from a package costing $604 million in May 2022, to the similar package for Australia now costed at $1.5 billion. The Australian package does include some more rockets than the other one, but Asia Pacific Defence Reporter editor Kym Bergmann still believes that more than $800 million of the blowout is unaccounted for and is just price gouging by the US arms manufacturer.
War is good for big business, and if there is no war, then the threat of war will do.
Imperialism spreads its menace to all on the globe, including those on tiny coral atolls in the Indian Ocean.
With politicians from both major parliamentary parties in furious agreement over how best to serve their US masters, it is up to the people to organise and fight the menace of imperialist war.
For anti-imperialist independence and socialism!
Fight the plans for warfare between the imperialists!