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Australian nuclear submarines threaten South Pacific

“The decision by the Australian government to acquire nuclear-powered
submarines is irresponsible and dangerous for the whole South Pacific
region,” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“Adding more weapons to the mix of ongoing hostilities between Australia
and China is more likely to lead to war in this region. Because of their
longer range, nuclear-powered submarines are for offensive warfare, not
self-defence. With this acquisition, they are admitting to seeking a
fight with China.”

“The newly cemented alliance between the US, UK and Australia, and
Australia’s massive buying of weapons is deeply troubling for the
region. The arms race in the South Pacific is already at a fevered pace
even before this announcement. We can expect that the Chinese will
respond in kind by further ratcheting up their own arms proliferation.”

“The issue with nuclear-powered submarines isn’t just about their
offensive war-making capability. The very production of them is an
ecological catastrophe: devastating uranium mining and onboard nuclear
reactors that produce radioactive waste are just two of the issues. That
doesn’t address their eventual decommissioning, and the toxic remains.”

“As importantly, there are major safety and security issues with any
nuclear material: any damage, failure or leak of material would be a
catastrophe for human health and would leak radioactive material all
throughout the South Pacific.”

“The US, UK and Australia have just extracted themselves from a
disastrous 20-year-long war in Afghanistan with no real reflection on
what they did there, and instead are launching themselves onto a path to
another military confrontation. The US and UK appear to be incapable of
adjusting their worldview to one in which they aren't at the centre.
That world is gone; their leadership, such that it ever existed, and
claims to uphold freedom and democracy, died with their illegal invasion
of Iraq and the massacre of millions of civilians.”

“New Zealanders are rightly proud of our nuclear-free stance. This
decision by Australia, along with a number of other high profile issues
between New Zealand and Australia, must prompt a serious strategic
rethink of New Zealand's own defence and foreign policy.”

“We are obviously deeply relieved that the New Zealand government has
not signed up to this new alliance. We have choices to make: we can
continue on the path of US-led global wars and empire building, or we
can choose to chart an ethical foreign policy based upon the
interconnection of all peoples on the planet and the necessity of
protecting our life-giving ecological systems.”

© Scoop Media

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