US/Australia Relations High Now
Relations high- security alliance
, Lowey Fellow Foreign Policy, 4-4-
, Originally in SydneyMorning Herald, Brookings,
It is unhealthy for an alliance to be tied too tightly to the fortunes of particular leaders. Indeed, there is goodevidence that, with its embrace of the Bush Administration, the Howard government was loving the allianceto death. In the three years since 2005 in which the Lowy Institute has conducted its annual poll, the percentage of respondents rating the alliance as "very important" to Australia's security has declined from 45 per cent to 36 per cent. The dualism of Australians' attitudes to Washington showed up in the 2006 poll, inwhich 70 per cent of respondents thought the alliance was either "very important" or "fairly important" toAustralia's security, but 69 per cent believed we were taking too much notice of the US in our foreign policy.If the intimacy of the Howard-Bush relationship undercut the alliance in Australians' eyes, it also hurt us insome Washington constituencies. A case in point was Howard's claim last year that al-Qaeda would be praying for a Democratic victory, which drew this deadly response from Barack Obama: "I would suggestthat he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them to fight in Iraq, otherwise it's just a bunch of empty rhetoric." Here was a leading contender for the presidency making light of a dangerous deploymentwe had undertaken largely for alliance management reasons, and implying we were not living up to our fullresponsibilities - the opposite of the view we like to encourage.
Both countries committed to long-term alliance- similar foreignpolicy
, Staff Writer, Strategic Forum, Aug
Australia is America's oldest friend and ally in the Asia-Pacific region and second closest ally in the world.However, there currently is a debate in Australia about what the United States expects from the alliance andthe nature of American power. Australia's self-reliant defense posture in Southeast Asia and the South Pacificcontributes to mutual security. That posture is strengthened by the U.S. security guarantee and access to U.S.intelligence, defense science, weapons, and military logistics support. The alliance also enhances Australia'sstatus in world affairs, especially in Asia. Australia will remain a committed U.S. ally for the foreseeablefuture. Canberra and Washington share views on fighting the war on terror, dealing with the spread of weapons of mass destruction, supporting democracy, and preventing the emergence of failed states. However,the challenges Australia faces in its own neighborhood have first priority. Maintaining support for thealliance will also rest upon Washington's success in convincing the Australian public that U.S. policies are both necessary and legitimate and that Australia's contributions to mutual security are not taken for granted.
Despite recent events, relations remain highNYT
, New York Times, 2-24-
Posted on Star News Online,