Defence of state or country has become more relevant since the events of September 11th and beyond. The debate over foreign military installations on Australian soil has also heightened since the actions of September 11th, however, since the cold war and the threat of Soviet invasion the military installations been in place. The 1960's saw the establishment of the bases in places like Pine Gap, Nurrungar and North West Cape (Nurrungar and North West Cape are now closed but remain in reserve if needed). D Doherty, Fighting Foreign Military Bases, International Secretary for Pax Christi International. URL: http://www.paxchristi.net/PDF/SD04E98.pdf.
The purpose and significance of these military installations has been debated by public and politician alike. However, Pine Gap was and still is set up with a fairly definite intention which is 3CI, or to command, control, communication and intelligence. In 1998, a report was undertaken by the United States and Australia looking into the validity of maintaining Pine Gap. The report states: "Commitment of both the Australian and United States Governments to cooperation at the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap. The Pine Gap Facility is an intelligence collection facility, which serves to support our mutual security interests, and contributes to global security." An agreement to extend the period of operation of.
the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap, .
It is the relevancy of these bases that has been the topic of debate,the official Australian Government reason for supporting Pine Gap is its role in the verification of compliance with various arms control treaties such as the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties (SALT) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty).
Foreign military installations have become an easy target for protest groups, Pine Gap; despite its desolate location (20km east of Alice Springs) was the object of protests during the 1980's and also throughout the Gulf War , where of which Australian Army personal were sent in to observe the protesters, and over 300 people were arrested in 1986.