US Re-Ignites Nuclear Fears With Australian Support

June13, 2002

Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has today condemned US plans to withdraw from the Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The treaty is considered a cornerstone of peace initiatives over the last few decades, withdrawal bringing increased uncertainty and instability. Australiaís increased support for US unilateral decisions brings further concerns for our region.

The withdrawal from the ABM treaty has been the focus of considerable international concern because of its potential to reignite a cold war era,î said Friends of the Earth spokesperson Dimity Hawkins.

The ABM treaty was brought into effect in 1972 as a bi-lateral agreement between the US and the Russian federation (then USSR). A Key element of the agreement is the restriction on developing missile defence shields. The move by the US to abrogate the treaty is an essential step towards renewed plans for a Missile Defence (MD) or ëstar warsí system. Missile Defence is part of an offensive war fighting system that would give the US domination of space.

ìThe current administration is aggressively pursuing a renewed cold war agenda under the guise of the War on Terror,î said Jacob Gretch. ìIn recent days the Australian PM John Howard has further supported US war fighting plans.î

ìOur security is closely tied with United States The military over reaction of the Bush administration is on a scale we have not seen for decadesî said Ms Hawkins.
ìIt is disproportionate to the threat, inappropriate for our times and has a real potential to further destabilise international security.î

Friends of the Earth will tonight hold a briefing on plans for a national protest at the US military facility Pine Gap in October.

ìAustralia must not support unequivocal war mongering such support will only backfire on the Australian community,î concluded Mr Gretch.


Pine Gap Protest Briefing
6:30pm Thursday 13th June
Trades Hall Bar, Cr Victoria & Lygon St, Melbourne

For further information contact:

Dimity Hawkins
Friends of the Earth
Mob: 0425 786 301

Jacob Gretch
Mob: 0402 246 491