Election of Trump could impact Alice Springs: Mayor

p2358-donald-trump-okBy ERWN CHLANDA

 

If the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States has any impact on the defence relationships between Australia and the United States, then this could have a significant impact on the economy and on employment in Alice Springs.

 

This was stated by Mayor Damien Ryan when asked to comment on the outcome of the American election today, given that he is the mayor of the town that hosts Pine Gap, which is described as one the the USA’s most important overseas military assets.

 

The town council’s current policy about Pine Gap is that it “supports the retention of the American / Australian Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, and acknowledges the importance of this Facility for the defence of Australian territory and for the economic and social benefit of Alice Springs”.

 

 

UPDATE November 10, 10:30am

 

“For the first time in seven decades, a leading US presidential candidate is fundamentally questioning the usefulness of America’s overseas alliances and forward military presence, calling into question some enduring tenets of US grand strategy.”

 

p2367-pine-gap-kristain-l-rSo wrote three senior global security experts earlier this year.

 

Today that candidate is the president elect of the United States and the policies shaped by his views may have a fundamental impact on Alice Springs, home to the US spy base Pine Gap (photo by Kristian Laemmle- Ruff), one of the States’ major overseas military assets. It is also the town’s second-biggest employer.

 

Mayor Damien Ryan (below, left) drew attention to these possible consequences yesterday as Donald Trump was making his first triumphant public appearance following his landslide election win which – as did Brexit – took the world by surprise.

 

What’s more, Mr Trump won’t have to contend with a hostile Congress with turned much his of predecessor’s “yes, we can” agenda into pipe dreams.

 

This is what Kathleen H. Hicks, Michael J. Green and Heather A. Conley in April wrote in Foreign Policy Magazine under the heading “Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand the Value of US Bases Overseas”:-

 

p22102-Damien-Ryan“As this debate unsettles our allies in Europe, Asia, and beyond, the American people are asking: Have we been getting a bad international deal all these years?

 

“Donald Trump, the candidate most critical of America’s alliance relationships [alleges some partners] cheated the United States in economic relations while free-riding on our mutual security treaty.

 

“Without reviewing here the history of Asian security dynamics, it is safe to summarize that such an approach could create significant conflict challenges in Asia that would threaten global economic stability.

 

“Asia is now home to two thirds of total global economic growth; some 40 percent of US trade goods pass through the region.

 

“Despite claims by Trump and others to the contrary, the agreements the United States has negotiated with countries such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea to base our forces there are advantageous.”

 

The alternatives to forward basing are financially and strategically challenging, says Foreign Policy Magazine.

 

Finding room to base US forces currently in Japan, South Korea, and Europe, about 114,000 personnel, inside US territory would force the United States to absorb the costs entirely.

 

As is the case with Australia, the host countries absorb part of that cost.

 

“Even if host-nation support does not fully cover the costs of US overseas basing, a forward American military presence is economically beneficial.

 

“An alternative is to cut all forward force structure from [America’s] military altogether, a strategically naive approach given current and projected challenges.

 

“At a time when North Korea is conducting wargames for nuclear attacks on Washington and the Islamic State is planning terrorist attacks on the [American] homeland, does it make sense for us to publicly throw into doubt our entire system of alliances and forward bases?” says Foreign Policy Magazine.

 

“As Russia changes borders by force, China asserts itself militarily in the South China Sea, and the Islamic State unleashes violence around the globe, many allies are increasing their defense spending and cooperating more closely with the United States.

 

“Washington must reward their efforts, not leave them in the lurch.”

 

 

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8 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Keith
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Hello Australian Friends! I know you have a lot of pressing national and local issues to grapple with and don’t spend all day thinking about what’s happening in the USA, but I just wanted to let you know that we are working very hard to make America sane again.

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  2. Dr Who
    Posted November 17, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    @ Fred: What sort of industry do you suggest the council should try to bring in?

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  3. Fred the Philistine
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    It’s time the council got industry into Alice Springs. Ass for Pine Gap protecting us I would be worried.
    America has not won a war in the last seventy five years. America only thinks about America and no one else.

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  4. Charlie
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    The ill informed Jingoists of Pine Gap, the “window cleaners”, the “lawn mowers” from Raytheon etc … they would love the Pussy Grabber to have power, it serves their purpose.
    I resent how smug they are coming into Alice, flashing cash and giving a “you don’t know who I am, do you” attitude … just f… off home to your country which is headed for an economic melt down!
    The USA is just a big broke bully.

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  5. John Bell
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hal Duell is right: the sky has not fallen yet even though Armageddon was forecast. Ronald Reagan, a B grade Holltwood movie star, was also expected to lead Americans over the precipice, particularly in foreign policy. He was considered dangerous just like Trump
    In fact, Reagan did not do too badly at all, brokering the end of the Cold War with Russia. Not too badly at all.
    Already, for all his personality negatives, Trump has done what countless Aussie baby boomers have longed to do for many years.
    He has given the finger to the political and media elite who have been just as corrupt and untrustworthy as Trump. They have just kept it behind closed doors. One example – Mr Clinton’s infidelity while in office.
    The protesters will not rest until Trump is dethroned. In the meantime, we will see if he can walk the walk.

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  6. Come in Spinner
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    That’s what Britain said about Hitler.

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  7. Hal Duell
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Has there ever been a politician about whom so little is known than Donald Trump?
    I think we all need to take a deep breath and just wait a moment or two.
    The sky hasn’t fallen, and at the very least we may have finally seen the last of Bill and Hillary Clinton. For that alone, BOOYAH!

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  8. Come in Spinner
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Trump is an absolute tosser and hosting Pine Gap is completely cringeworthy – also very dangerous.
    Sure to be a lot of American refugees interested in buying these houses and getting out while the going’s good.

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