Australia Captured, by Michelle Fahy

An Australian think tank was supposed to be a source for the government of unbiased policy advice. It was supposed to operate independently of the government and the defense industry. You know where this one’s going; things are no different Down Under than they are in the U.S. From Michelle Fahy at consortiumnews.com:

Michelle Fahy investigates the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s development of deep connections to the world’s largest and most powerful military weapons manufacturers.

Four RAAF Boeing F/A-18 Hornets, each priced at $90-million, plus a swarm of other flying assets, conduct a low-level fly past during a parade at Defence Department offices at Russell Hill in Canberra. (Department of Defence)

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in Canberra is the government’s primary source of outside-government advice, research and analysis on military and strategic affairs. Since its establishment in mid-2001, it has veered away from its founding vision.

There is a jarring disconnect between the lofty goals of independence expressed in ASPI’s charter, and the infiltration of ASPI by tentacles of the military-industrial complex. This has been barely mentioned in Australia’s mainstream media.

Declassified Australia investigation has uncovered a casebook example of ‘state-capture’, with the development of deep connections between ASPI, and the world’s largest and most powerful military weapons manufacturers.

Australia is a significant participant in the global arms trade at present. Its $270-billion decade-long spending spree upgrading weapons and war machines is large by international standards, and Australia is increasingly becoming an arms seller too. As Australia moves militarily ever closer to the U.S., even defense insiders say the defense industry is “awash with money.”

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen have made the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers richer, larger and more influential. At the lesser-known end of the spectrum, the Yemen war is notable for its extensive human rights abuses and war crimes: it has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Despite pleas from the UN, the arms still flow and the war continues. The weaponry for this war has been supplied by the world’s top arms manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing and missile-maker Raytheon.

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