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Australians for War Powers Reform - General Appeal

Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry

Background

Our objectives are:

  • Campaign for independent reviews of Australia's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and public reports on all aspects of them
  • Seek reform of the War Powers under which the executive government can to commit troops to international conflict.

In March 2003 the Howard Government launched Australia, as a member of the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" into an illegal invasion of Iraq, the consequences of which were disastrous not only for the Iraqi people, but for the Middle East generally. It was able to do so because in Australia the power to take that most grave of decisions, the commitment of the men and women of the ADF to armed conflict, rests with the Executive (Cabinet) - effectively the Prime Minister alone - rather than with the Parliament.

The consequences of that disastrous decision are being played out right now in Syria and Northern Iraq, and again the Prime Minister has, by his own decision, committed the ADF to a military campaign in Iraq which has no clear purpose or time-limit, and which expert commentators say has little prospect of success.

This is not how decisions about the commitment of our armed forces to foreign campaigns should be made. The dangers of the small group decision-making which characterises the current system are manifest: we do not ask the right questions of ourselves or our allies regarding threats to Australia, the objectives, the prospects of success or the legality of the conflict. This must change - the power to make such an important decision must rest with the legislature, as it does in the United States and many other democracies, and is the emerging practice in the United Kingdom.

Who are we?

In 2012 a group of prominent Australians established the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry Inc (ARBN 161 022 979), an Australian Registered Body incorporated under Victorian law for the following purposes:

  1. To campaign for an inquiry into the steps which led to Australia participating in the invasion of Iraq, for the purposes of identifying the lessons to be learned and of developing better procedures for the future.
  2. To promote public awareness of the procedures required by current law for the deployment of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflicts, and of the risks involved in the current arrangements.
  3. To campaign for the involvement of the Commonwealth Parliament in any future deployment of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflict.

Given the current situation in Iraq and the prospects of the Government making further military commitments without consulting Parliament, the focus of our efforts is Objectives 2 and 3, which we are conducting under the banner "Australians for War Powers Reform".

How will the funds be used?

Donated funds will be used exclusively to enable us to publish and distribute materials that inform our elected representatives and the public that elects them, and to mobilise effective campaigns for reform.

The annual fees of our members and donations from our supporters pay for the very small overheads of running our organisation, and make some contribution towards campaign costs.

Our website is at www.iraqwarinquiry.org.au

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IraqWarInquiryGroup

Are donations tax deductible? No

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
Yes, immediately sent to you by email when approved.

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