VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


For peace and an end to inter-imperialist wars!

It has become a truism in contemporary politics that you cannot believe anything until you’ve heard it denied by a US spokesperson.

A case in point was last week’s denial by US General Stephen Sklenka at the National Press Club that Australia would automatically be dragged into any US war with China over Taiwan.

Sklenka had been questioned about a statement by the director of naval submarine forces for AUKUS in the United States, Dan Packer, that the US Navy would have 440 Australians serving on board 25 American submarines under the first stage of AUKUS.

"We are completely, 100 per cent integrating them into our crew, from a complete and utter perspective – they will do everything that we do," he said.

Packer’s comments come after comments last April by US deputy secretary of state Kurt Campbell that Australian nuclear-powered submarines acquired under AUKUS could eventually be deployed against China in any military conflict over Taiwan.

The US online magazine, Breaking Defense, sponsored by arms manufacturer Northrop Grumman, said that General Sklenka’s reply was designed to “mollify” Australian critics of AUKUS.

Sklenka said "I think the Australian government, the policymakers in your government will determine whether or not those Australians will participate or not.”

That, of course, is hardly reassuring at all.  The policymakers in our government are empire loyalists and betrayers of our sovereignty and independence.

It was entirely predictable of Prime Ministerial aspirant Peter Dutton, for example, when he said in November 2021, as Defence Minister, “It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the U.S. in an action if the U.S. chose to take that action. And again, I think we should be very frank and honest about that, look at all the facts and circumstances without pre-committing and maybe there are circumstances where we wouldn’t take up that option, but I can’t conceive of those circumstances.”

And cheerleader for US imperialism within the current government, Richard Marles Labor’s Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said in October 2023, Australia could not be a “passive bystander” in the event of conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

And in any case, when General Sklenka isn’t trying to “mollify” people, he sings a different tune, as he did in Darwin, in August 2022, when he said “We can talk all day long about trade deals and policy deals, but what says a heck of a lot more is who is by your side when you are in a fight. Australia is always on our side when that time comes, and we will always remember that.”

There is no doubt that inter-imperialist rivalry between China and the United States is intensifying. US imperialism is the main danger of war and the main driver of regional tensions driving the push towards war with China. 

Australia must insist on the peaceful resolution of differences with China and pursue an independent and peaceful foreign policy. US imperialism wants war to try to arrest its decline and secure its position as the head of an empire that feeds off the control of the people and resources of other countries, including Australia. Its major industries are addicted to warfare and the profits that come from the sales of arms. 

Australia must withdraw from AUKUS, expel all US military forces from Australia, and close all US military bases in our country. 

Workers must take the lead. They have nothing to gain from empire loyalism and the sale of Australian sovereignty and everything to lose by being dragged into another unpopular and unjust US war.

For socialism and anti-imperialist independence!