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No strategic plan, no national interest objective: PM Abbott commits Australia to US war in Iraq

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says Tony Abbott has sent Australians to another war in Iraq with a claim that following the United States is in our national interest.

"The Greens stand with those Australians who are asking why is it in Australia's national interest to join in a another war in the Middle East without a clear strategic objective or risk assessment?" Senator Milne said.

"How will this war make us safer? Won't it make us a bigger terrorism target and a more attractive recruiting ground for jihadists?

"Why would we not be better served by a strategy to combat extremism with inclusion at home, whilst supporting global efforts to cut off financial and personnel support to ISIL?

"From day one, Tony Abbott committed to sending Australians to war in Iraq. For weeks the question has not been if, but when," said Senator Milne.

"The increased terror threat level, the new terror laws, the atmosphere of fear, the marginalisation of Muslim people and women in particular have all been consistent with a decision to go to war.

"At no point has the Prime Minister bothered to consult the community or their elected representatives, despite two attempts by the Greens to launch a formal debate in the Parliament.

"If Australian troops asked Tony Abbott why they were being deployed, what would the Prime Minister's answer be?

"Is following the United States into the Middle East going to make Australia safer? I don't think he can answer that question.

"Parliaments in both the UK and Turkey have endorsed military actions in recent days, but Tony Abbott seems to think that his executive government can do as it likes just, as the Howard government did.

"I commend the swift and vocal community backlash that is pressuring Presiding Officers at Parliament House to reverse the segregation of people wearing face coverings in the building.

"The Australian community has declared: We are better than this," said Senator Milne.

"The Prime Minister needs to pull his MPs into line and the Presiding Officers need to remember they preside over the people's parliament, not Tony Abbott's war cabinet."

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