What were the reasons for Australia to support the Vietnam War?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unsurprisingly, Australia's initial involvement in the Vietnam War came after the United States put heavy pressure on them to provide financial and military support. According to Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies,

"... our alliances made demands on us."

Australia, like the U. S. and Great Britain, were members of SEATO (the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) and ANZUS (the Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty), and it was originally believed that South Vietnam had requested Australia's assistance via SEATO. It was later determined that South Vietnam had not specifically asked for Australia's support; rather, it came "after close consultation with the United States." The island nation did fear that communism would spread to other areas of the South Pacific, and combined with the pressure applied by its allies, Australia sent a small force of 30 advisors to South Vietnam in 1962; it was thought that Australia's experience in jungle warfare during the Malaysia campaign of World War II would be helpful to the South Vietnamese troops. Eventually, more than 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam before their final pullout in 1973.