“To judge by comments made by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds today, the Morrison Government was completely out of the loop in relation to US President Trump’s decision to remove US forces from northern Syria and give the green light to a Turkish military invasion of Kurdish controlled territory,” Senator Patrick said.
“It’s telling, though unsurprising given President Trump’s penchant for unilateral decisions and sudden announcements, that the Australian Government appears to have first learned of the latest developments in US policy from Twitter and media reports.”
“Clearly Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent visit to the White House delivered little in terms of any commitment to consultation between the Trump Administration and close US allies such as Australia.”
“While there’s no surprise in this at all, it doesn’t augur well for the management of Australia’s increased naval and air force commitments in the Persian Gulf. The danger that unilateral US action might embroil Australia in conflict with Iran is very real.”
“More than three months ago Centre Alliance called on the Prime Minister to fully brief the Australian Parliament on the situation in the Middle East and Australia’s military commitments in that volatile region.”
“The Prime Minister should make a comprehensive statement to Parliament next week on his Government’s consultations with the Trump Administration on Middle East issues and the risks associated with Australia’s ongoing and planned military commitments.”