Australias forward defence policy

Topics: Vietnam War, Cold War, Communism Pages: 2 (435 words) Published: March 10, 2014
Interact with History Question: "The Australian policy of 'forward defence' was based on the notion that it was better to fight potential enemies in Asia rather than wait and have to fight them on Australian soil. Write a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald in which you either support or oppose the concept of 'forward defence'".

Dear Sydney Morning Herald,
I'm writing to you today in order to discuss the main reasons in which I support the concept of 'forward defence'. During the 1950's and 1960's the fear of communism remained the political issue that gripped Australia. The governments defence policy was dominated by the idea that sending troops overseas to fight against possible enemies was the best way to prevent a war from being fought on Australian soil and I agree with this idea.

Like the war in Korea, the outbreak of war in Vietnam was seen as the result of communist aggression. Australia extremely feared the domino effect which was believed to mean that if one nation fell under communist domination, it's neighbours would fall like a line of domino's. So the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam war was at the time a smart strategic idea and not at all surprising given the belief that 'the takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia'.

On April 19th 1965 Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced Australian involvement in Vietnam and stated 'We do not and must not overlook the point that our alliances, as well as providing guarantees and assuring for our security, make demands upon us'.

I believe Australia needed to continue the fight against Communism far from our soil because it would connote the most disastrous defeats abroad and the most incredible difficulties for it's friends and allies desiring to help them. Defence alliances were so important because with Australia's vast territory and small population it would not of been able to survive a surging communist challenge abroad without the...
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