Troubled waters: Australia bets on Trump in Middle East deployment,

Australia’s announcement this week that it will join US-led freedom of navigation operations patrolling the Strait of Hormuz brings the number of American allies willing to contribute to America’s latest Middle East sortie to just three. […]

Ashley Townshend, the director of foreign policy and defence at Sydney University’s United States Studies Centre, said Australia’s decision to join the US operation was “understandable, unsurprising, but very disappointing”, one principally made to satisfy a political request from the Trump administration. He argued that while Australia has clear interests in freedom of navigation and in securing energy supply lines through the Strait of Hormuz, Australia “should urge the [Trump] administration to return to a sensible path of diplomacy, which is how this ordeal can and should end”.[…]

The former secretary of the defence department Paul Barratt told the Guardian Australian involvement in potential military action in the Gulf could be illegal, and argued it was “very foolish for us to get involved in this provocative behaviour”.“This is an application of military force. There ought to be a debate in the parliament, and we ought not to engage in any activity that would foreseeably involve the use of military force without that debate.”

Arguing, too, for a parliamentary debate, the Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, said it was a “grave mistake” for Australia to contribute to the US operation, a decision that “shows we’ve learned nothing from the tragedy, the catastrophe that was the invasion of Iraq”. Läs artikel