Australians for War Powers Reform: Media Release
The tragic situation unfolding in Afghanistan should lead to a complete overhaul of how Australia goes to war.
That’s according to former diplomat and acting President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR), Dr Alison Broinowski.
“Hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan are now facing imminent danger following the complete mismanagement of the withdrawal of troops, in a war that was never properly and transparently scrutinised in Australia. There was a serious lack of oversight and accountability on both joining the war and how it was conducted.”
“In 2001 troops were sent off amid the shock of terrorist attacks on the US, but many key elements of a decision for war, including an exit strategy, were nowhere to be seen. Now the Afghan people are paying the price, as the Australian government has failed to protect those who worked with Australian forces.”
“For several months, numerous experts and NGOs have been pleading with the Morrison government to urgently offer visas to these staff and we have seen delay after delay.”
At present the power to take us to war is concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister, and the Parliament has no say whatsoever.
“We need legislation to ensure that our elected representatives have a vote before any Australian forces are sent overseas,” Dr Broinowski said.
“We also need rules in place that require Parliamentary oversight as any war proceeds. Transparency and accountability to Parliament are critical. Australian governments have repeatedly lied to the Australian people about the progress of the war in Afghanistan.”
“There is currently legislation sitting in the Senate to address war powers but both the major parties are refusing to debate the bill. They have done this repeatedly since 1985. This must change,” Dr Broinowski concluded.
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