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The Vietnam War was the prolonged struggle between nationalist forces attempting to unify the country of Vietnam

under a communist government. The War went from 1965 to 1975 which involved America and its allies, including Australia, aiming to prevent South Vietnam from an invasion by the communist North Vietnamese. There were many key reasons for Australias involvement in the Vietnam War. The Americans provided valuable support when they arrived at Australias aid during the WWII so Australia felt a responsibility to return a favour to the US to maintain healthy foreign relations. Australia also became implicated in the war due to the threat posed by the expansion of communism, known as the Domino Effect. On the political front Australia was also very anticommunist and believed to stop the war arriving at Australias front step and should use the forward defense approach. Australia's participation in the war was formally declared at an end when the Governor-General issued a proclamation on 11 January 1973. The only combat troops remaining in Vietnam were a platoon guarding the Australian embassy in Saigon, which was withdrawn in June 1973. Australia was an isolated, new and fairly small country compared to most countries in the world. This meant that Australia would need allies if they were to come under attack. It was in a position where it needed to think about its countries welfare, and its responsibility to America. After World War I Australia knew it could not defend itself against any enemy on its home ground, so Menzies wanted to strengthen Australias relationships with United States and Britain relying on great and powerful friends. The ANZUS treaty (1951) and the SEATO treaty (1954) were a way to create a closer link to America, although it does not say that US must help Australias it gives them a closer relationship. The SEATO treaty linked the United states, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines. This gave Australia strong alliances with nations equally apposed to the communist disease in South East Asia. However, Australia as a nation was fearful of the communist domination occurring and it had a strong belief in the merits of Eisenhowers Domino Theory. The Domino effect meant that after Vietnam had fallen, the surrounding countries would follow, just like a row of Dominoes eventually leading to Australia. Australias fear of communism was always an issue, being the only European settled country In the Asian pacific region. This fear of communism had resulted in one of the most restrictive immigration policies the world had seen entitled The White Australia Policy which was designed to prevent Asian Migration and only allow whites which were deemed suitable to be allowed a citizens This fear of communism also reflected in PM Robert Menzies anti-communism policy. This made the

communist party and affiliated bodies (supporting communism illegal). The arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in South Vietnam during July and August 1962 was the beginning of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. The expansion of communism was a great threat to Australia as its proximity to South East Asia drew nearer. Therefore it seemed like a total necessity for Australia to join the Vietnam war In order to keep communism out of its country and gave me an advantage of fighting away from home soil. In my personal view, I believe Australia got involved in the Vietnam war fearful of the domino theory. Countries all around the world at that time used the domino theory as an excuse to join the war so Australia wasnt an exception especially after most of the surrounding countries around Australia had become under the influence of communism. USA might have played a major role into encouraging Australia into joining the war as Australia could go into the Vietnam war not just to defend their country from communism but also to strengthen relations.

Zahab Mahmood 9b2 13/11/13

http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/vietnam.asp http://www.studymode.com/essays/Explain-Why-Australia-Was-Involved-In1064758.html http://history1900s.about.com/od/vietnamwar/a/vietnamwar.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%E2%80%93United_States_relations