Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Australia's invlovement in the vietnamn war.

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From 16 up to 17 Australia was involved in the war in Vietnam. Approximately 47000 Australian men and a large amount of women served there. There were a few reasons why Australia fought in the Vietnamese war. Australia’s foreign policy in the 150’s responded to what appeared to be the download push of aggressive communism in South-East Asia and the need to meet these threats away from Australia. The Korean War had reinforced the sense of a monolithic communist system but had also been a big step in securing a firm alliance for Australia with the great and powerful United States. Australia was obligated to fight along side the United States and every other signatory country of the ANZUS treaty and the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty (SEATO).

In 151, Robert Menzies had suggested that Australians would have to be organized for a war against Soviet communists within three years. That same year in August, compulsory military training and universal conscription were brought forward.

Australia’s commitment of troops to the United States and United Nations forces fighting in Korea was a stand against another domino falling to Chinese communism as if moved southwards. The fear of communism wide-ranging the world became an Australian election issue in 14. As an election promise the leader of the Liberal party, Robert Menzies, pledged that he would introduce legislation to outlaw the communist party. The decision to assign troops to the conflict centered on the fear of communism. The opportunity of communism spreading to Australia from Asia was regarded with increasing seriousness as political change came to the region. Australia feared the domino theory, so the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam was not surprising given the belief that ‘the takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia’.

It was clear that because the United States was involved in this war, Australia would support its great and powerful ally and friend. As Australia had assisted the U.S in the Korean War so, too, it was prepared to become involved in the Vietnam War. Given Australia’s military weakness and the potential danger from our nearest neighbor, the very unstable Indonesia, it was in Australia’s interests to commit the United States to Asia and the fight against communism. As the British withdrew from its world commitments, the Australian government saw the U.S as the powerful Western nation to take its place. It was Australia’s best concern for this to happen, and Australia’s role in Vietnam was motivated by this willpower to keep the United States involved in Asia. Many documents about Australian involvement in the war are still unavailable, but enough material has suggested that Australia actively wanted involvement in the conflict. Some historians have suggested that Australia wished to involve the U.S in the struggle against communism, and that Australia’s zest for the war may have influenced the U.S government in 164 when they made the choice to increase their military forces in South Vietnam.

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Led by Robert Menzies, the conventional politicians built a more secure position for Australia in the world ‘under the US wing’. The two main alliance agreements establishing Australian security were the ANZUS agreement of 151 and the SEATO treaty of 154. The ANZUS alliance was made up of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. They all agreed to come to one another’s aid in the event of attack. The SEATO alliance consisted of the South-East Asia Collective Defense Treaty provided for defensive action to be taken incase of the event of an attack on the United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand. South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were also assured protection under the treaty’s security preparations.

The opportunity of communism spreading to Australia from Asia was regarded with increasing seriousness as political change came to the region. Australia feared the domino theory, so the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam was not surprising given the belief that ‘the takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia’.

At the end of World War II, a Vietnamese communist leader named Ho Chi Minh claimed Vietnamese independence from the French. It was to take another 0 years before a unified and self-governing Vietnam was established. In an Australia was still wrapped up in the fear of communism, the government’s defense strategy was dominated by the idea that sending troops overseas to fight against potential enemies was the best way to prevent a war from taking place on our soil. So it was, that the war associating this Vietnamese struggle for independence involved in Australians. Fighting against communism well beyond Australian borders was called ‘forward defense’. It was a policy that many Australians became a critical of as the anti-war movement gained support. The Australian government agreed to the US requests for military advisers to support their presence in the region. Thirty Australian army advisers were sent to South Vietnam in 16.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson, mostly known as L.B.J, arrived in Australia in October 166. As the first American head of state to visit Australia he was given a welcome usually reserved for only the royal. The United States was facing international disapproval for the increase of war in Vietnam and looked to Australia for gestures of support. In 166 the war was the focus of public debate and protest. Many Australians were concerned at our readiness to fall into line with American foreign policy. Later in 166, the Australian people returned the Liberal Party/Country Party coalition government to power with a vast majority of Australians at the federal election. Most Australians were seen to support the war and so the number of troops sent to South Vietnam was once again increased.

The intensity of the disagreement in Australia over involvement in Vietnam, and the issue of conscription, contributed to the election of a Labor government at the end of 17. Twenty-three years of conservative Liberal government had ended. The new Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, straight away abolished National Service and recalled the Australian Army. Australia’s military participation in Vietnam was over. In March 175, the communists launched their Spring Offensive and, in an overpowering victory, took control of South Vietnam in April 175. The longest war of the 0th century had come to an end.

It was tough, but we can say that for all the reasons Australia went to fight in Vietnam they conquered such as, they avoided communism from invading, Australia still remains good allies with the U.S and we are now seen as more dominant.

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