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Australia In The Vietnam War Essay

1583 words - 6 pages

Australia first became a part of the Vietnam War effort in July 1962, when we sent over the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). Our involvement in the war can ultimately be contributed to two major points, which are the our alliance with the United States as well as the fear of communism reaching Australia and seizing control of our nation. The Introduction of the “National Service Scheme” (Conscription) In 1964 caused a major uproar from the Australian public and would play a key role in our involvement in the war effort. “The Battle of Long Tan” in 1966 was undoubtably the high point of the Australian war effort would turn out to play a major part in how the Viet Cong would attack the Australian troops and the territory which they could capture and operate from.

Communism is defined as an economic and political system based on having no private property and the sharing of the means of production for the common good. “The Domino Theory” is the idea that if one nation fell under communist control, its neighbours would fall simultaneously. This idea concerned Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies as the communist movement had spread down from the U.S.S.R and into the Pacific meaning Communism was fast approaching Australian shores. From 1960 The North Vietnamese Communists under the Honoi Government of Ho Chi Minh went to war with South Vietnam in order to reunify Vietnam under communist rule. (1)“In 1961 and 1962 Ngo Dinh Diem, leader of the government in South Vietnam, repeatedly requested security assistance from the US and its allies.” The US responded sending over military advisors to join the war effort in 1961 and as (1)“Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960s was in keeping with the policies of other nations, particularly the United States” we quickly followed by sending 30 troops known as the AATTV, over to Vietnam to assist the US and South Vietnamese war effort.

The policy being referred to is the ANZUS agreement and SEATO treaty which both stated that in the event of an attack on the US, Australia or New Zealand (ANZUS) or various other nations (SEATO) defensive action would be taken in order to support and come to the aid of that nation attacked. Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies strong opposition of Communism meant that when the threat of communism reaching australian shores arose he was quick to act. In 1964 the National Service Scheme also known as conscription was introduced under the Menzies government, this would prove to have paramount importance of Australia's Involvement in the war effort however at that time it was simply enforced because the numbers of army recruitments were not sufficient due to the knowledge of the effects of War after the previous world wars.

However by the beginning of 1965 the US had come to the realization that the South Vietnamese army could not hold off the communist insurgents and the North Vietnamese for longer than a few months at a time. (1)“the...

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