Vietnam War Analysis

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The Vietnam War is perhaps one of the most influential events in Australia’s international history, perhaps even more relevant than either of the world wars. Up until the Vietnam War, Australia’s foreign policy revolved around her historic links to Britain, and her desire to have a positive relationship with strong western powers, such as the United States. An Australian Academic Dr. Alison Broinowski made a statement in 1988 that “Most Australian’s seem not to have noticed a shift in gravity from the declining west to the dynamic, modernising East has been going on for some years. Our minds are in the wrong time zone. It is important we make friends with our neighbours.” In the past especially during the Vietnam War, Australia may have overlooked …show more content…
The Vietnam War of 1962 to 1975 was one of many proxy wars supported by both sides of the conflict. Australia, amongst many other western allies became heavily involved, supporting the South Vietnamese in an attempt to eliminate the spread of communism in the east. However there is much debate over Australia’s involvement in Vietnam, with some arguments suggesting it stemmed from a desire to strengthen foreign relationship with the United States (US) who was thought to be a superpower at the …show more content…
Herbert London made a comment that after the Vietnam War, “keeping a balance between collective security based on American strength and directed at Asia, and the simultaneous cultivation of friendly relations with Asian states, became the essence of the new Australian foreign policy.” Under the Whitlam Government in 1972, relations began with communist Vietnam and the White Australia policy which had been the centre of Australian foreign policy began to dissolve. By the abandonment of these European views, Asian immigration of refugees sparked a chance to improve diplomacy between Australia and South East Asia. As a country, Australia was beginning to recognise and develop upon important relations with South East Asia. The idea that Australia’s minds were in the wrong time zone seemed a completely irrational notion as Australia began humanitarian work to rebuild Vietnam and even set up the Vietnamese Family Migration Program in the 1980’s to reunite separated families. Under the Whitlam government, Australia’s foreign policy was beginning to be shaped not on what Britain or the US were doing but on what Australia needed to thrive in their geographical

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