A call for war powers reform in Australia
‘Be Sure on War: No War Without Parliament’ is a campaign established by Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR).
The organisation that is now called Australians for War Powers Reform was formed in 2012 in response to the apparent ease with which Australian troops are sent to war and the serious problems this leads to – for us as a nation, for our troops and for the civilians where we fight our wars. Decisions to send our troops to war are made by the Prime Minister, either acting alone or with a tiny handful of Cabinet members. The process is opaque. There is no opportunity for our elected representatives in Parliament to ask critical questions – for example about:
- the exact purpose of the deployment
- the legality
- the Iikely human costs
- the economic costs
- what would constitute success, and
- alternatives to military action in dealing with the situation.
In 2003 Prime Minister John Howard committed our troops virtually single-handedly a disastrous decision that defied the will of the Australian people.
The campaign is as relevant as ever now. Australia has been continuously at war since 2001, with parliament playing no role in any of the decisions for troop deployments to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. There is no accountability and no process of learning lessons.
In 2019, AWPR launched our campaign Be Sure on War, to build momentum for change. Going to war is the most grave decision a country can make; there is no room for unanswered questions about it.
Our mission is to ensure that decisions for Australian troops to go to war, barring emergencies, are made only after full debate and vote by Federal Parliament.
Join the Campaign
We need your help to spread the word that Australia can currently be taken to war by the decision of one person, and that needs to change. Please tell your friends and family and get them to support this campaign too. These are the things you can do:
Write to the paper about it
Contact your MP
Paul Barratt, President;
Dr Alison Broinowski, Vice-President;
Dr Sue Wareham, Secretary;
Rob Baker, Treasurer;
Would you like more information?
Subscribe to our Bulletin. Australians for War Powers Reform publishes a Bulletin regularly, with commentary and information on issues related to the campaign. It is delivered free to your inbox.
Sign up to campaign updates. Join our mailing list for general campaign updates and latest news on the campaign to #BeSureOnWar.