Why is Australia willing to give its sovereignty, soldiers, and unconditional moral support to the USA?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Australia has been aligned with the United States since World War II. Prior to that, it had been closely linked with Great Britain. However, during World War II and after the fall of Singapore to Japan, it became obvious that London could not protect Australia from Japanese aggression. Australia then...

View
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Australia has been aligned with the United States since World War II. Prior to that, it had been closely linked with Great Britain. However, during World War II and after the fall of Singapore to Japan, it became obvious that London could not protect Australia from Japanese aggression. Australia then became an ally of the United States, and it served as a base for American troops during the WWII.

The Cold War saw the establishment of military alliances by Washington throughout the world. These alliances, which were designed to deter the Soviet Union, included the Pacific Security Treaty (1951). This alliance, also known as ANZUS, comprised the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. This agreement served as the legal basis for Australia's close relationship with the United States after World War II.

Because of New Zealand's maverick foreign policy, ANZUS has ceased to function. For example, in 1985, New Zealand blocked nuclear-powered American ships from using its ports. Indeed, New Zealand's policies have showed that there is a viable alternative to a slavish dependence on America.

Australia ought to emulate the example of New Zealand and forge a more independent foreign policy. Even during the Cold War there were many Australian critics of the American alliance. Specifically, Australia's decision to send thousands of troops to fight in an unwinnable war in Vietnam was unpopular. In this century, as America's penchant for futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq manifests itself, it is clear that Canberra needs to reevaluate its historically close alliance with Washington.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team