The conscription issue during the second Indo – China war in the 1960’s tore apart the fabric of Australian society and resulted in divisions in all sections of the community. There were many reasons for Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, including the allegiance commitments of South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). The introduction of conscription illustrates the main purpose of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The conscription issues and the war itself caused social division in reaction to the Vietnam War. In 1964 compulsory National Service was introduced under the National Service Act. The Defence Act was amended in May 1965 to provide that National Servicemen could be obliged to serve overseas, a provision that had been applied only once before – during World War Two. Paragraph one
The Australian government supported the USA involvement in the Vietnam War, and Australia felt it was imperative that the North Vietnam have a proper defensive treaty, as a number of other countries felt the same way, so SEATO was created to deal with this situation. “SEATO was a much stronger agreement to support Australia’s security needs in the Pacific. It also helped to highlight the growing division between Australia and Britain and the new dependence on the United States (US).” (N/A, The ANZUS Treaty and SEATO Alliance, 2013, Skwirk.com.au Interactive Schooling) Australia joined the SEATO because it could support Australia in the Pacific. As America joined in the Vietnam War, Australia supported them to join the war as well. The Australian government feared the idea of communism overtaking their nation, this fear lead to the decision of forcing their young men to be conscripted to join the war in South Vietnam. Conscription was a tremendous issue for the families of the young men who fought in the war because many males were being conscripted sent into the Vietnam War without any choice or opinion. As a result of the fear of...
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