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The second of two conversations in collaboration with Arena Publications ~ Bombs Bursting In Our Air: AUKUS, Australia and the course set for war?

with panellists Clinton Fernandes, Jenny Grounds, Nic Maclellan and Guy Rundle and chaired by Alison Caddick

Recorded on 4 October 2023


Triumphantly endorsed by Labor, the AUKUS treaty and our $300+ billion commitment to its submarines, will lace us into US imperial strategies and wars of overreach and encircling competitor nations, and commit us to an economy, military posture and life-world more fully integrated than ever before into the Anglosphere scientific-industrial-military complex. The total integration with US command, the central role to be played by nuclear technologies, the new vulnerability to attack of US bases on Australian soil and surrounding communities, the shaping of northern Australia as US garrison and the reorientation of economy and culture across the nation towards warfighting will shape who we are and relations between us. But what response can we make from a radical and critical perspective? Should we maintain a purely anti-militarist stand, or argue for an independent national defence? Why is progressivism and the labour movement so indifferent or acquiescent to this epochal shift in our condition? What does it tell us about AUKUS, the world, Australia, and how should we respond to make a difference?

About the speakers:

Clinton Fernandes is a professor at the University of New South Wales. He is a member of the Future Operations Research Group at UNSW.

Jenny Grounds is a rural GP and a past president and current treasurer of Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia, which has had a continuous involvement in antinuclear politics in Australia and internationally through IPPNW for over 40 years. From MAPW Australia evolved ICAN, which quickly became an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN delivered the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, currently signed by 92 and ratified by 68 nations. Australia is not yet a signatory.

Nic Maclellan works as a journalist and researcher in the Pacific islands. He is a correspondent for Islands Business magazine (Fiji) and was awarded the Walkley Foundation Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism in 2020.

Guy Rundle is an Arena Publications Editor, and editor-at-large with Crikey.

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Recorded: 4 October 2023


Clinton Fernandes
Jenny Grounds
Nic Maclellan
Guy Rundle




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