US Forces (song)

"US Forces"
Single by Midnight Oil
from the album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Released 1982
Format 7"
Genre Alternative rock
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Peter Gifford[1]
Producer(s) Nick Launay & Midnight Oil[2]
Midnight Oil singles chronology
"Read About It"
"US Forces"
"When the Generals Talk"

"US Forces" is the third single released by Australian rock band, Midnight Oil, from their fourth studio album, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

The music video was filmed in the Central Coast of New South Wales at the Vales Point Power Station, Mannering Park.[3]

The song denounces American military intervention in foreign affairs. The song has been used many times to demonstrate the view of Peter Garrett selling-out, as the Australian Labor Party, including Garrett himself, currently support the current Australian-American security alliance, along with the war in Afghanistan.

In 1983, for the "US Forces Live" video, Peter Garrett, the lead singer, explained the song to the crowded audience:

"Midnight Oil are here today because we're concerned about the issue of nuclear disarmament. And I think when we're in Europe, we realized how close people were to becoming to understand that, if the Russians or the Americans decided that they were actually going to set something off, they would be faced with the possibility that they may have nuclear warheads detonated in their backyard, or in their laundry. And so we became aware of the nuclear thing, and when we got back here we started to think about it, and get concerned about it. People in Australia are unaware that nuclear devices have been detonated here at Maralinga in the early fifties, and they're unaware of the facilities that the Americans have put here, which are used in their defense network and their attack network. And the Oils - we want to keep on making music, and we want people to keep on enjoying it, so, consequently, we think its very important to come and play and to dance and to learn and that's why we're here."

Track listing

  1. "US Forces" (Moginie, Hirst, Garrett, Rotsey, Gifford)[1] - 3:50
  2. "Outside World" (Instrumental) (Moginie, Hirst, Garrett, Rotsey, Gifford)[1] - 4:32


"US Forces" was later released on 20,000 Watt R.S.L., which was released in 1997.[1]

Chart history

Chart (1982) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[2] 20

Chaser parody

The Australian satire show, the Chaser's War On Everything, made a parody of "US Forces", named "US Bases", about Peter Garrett's alleged selling-out. "US Bases" is set to the tune of "US Forces". It was featured in Episode 17, Season Two. The song features Andrew Hansen as Peter Garrett. [4]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) search engine". APRA. Retrieved 17 November 2010. Note: requires user to input song title e.g. US Forces
  2. 1 2 Steffen Hung. "Discography Midnight Oil". Australian charts portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  3. "". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  4. "The Chaser Us Bases Midnight Oil Parody". Retrieved 2013-04-22.
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