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Has The War On Iraq Affected Australia'a National Security

2031 words - 8 pages

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on American soil, the world has entered a is new phase, a new fear and a new enemy. George W. Bush making it clear that one is either a friend or a foe and there is no in betweens. The war on Iraq, whether founded or unfounded has divided and bound our country with others, our Prime Minister's sentiments clearly lying with the Americans and American interests. John Howard's strong reliance on the U.S was apparent with his military support for the invasion of Iraq to dispose of Saddam Hussein's regime. With Howard's words of Australia being a good friend of our "great and powerful allies" and that our support of America would strengthen our national security and place in the world. Whether the war on Iraq has strengthened or weakened our national security is a hot debate within the nation and several issues and questions need to be addressed, it is not just a black and white issue of support the war or not, it is a complex layering of Australia's history and foreign policy. It's what the war represents which is the heavy support of the U.S and the distancing of our nation away from our region and the economic, political and cultural issues that pose the most threat to our national security. In this present state of time the war on Iraq has neither strengthened or weakened our national security significantly, the war has had effects, both positive and negative on the nation yet it is the long term issues that the war on Iraq has raised that could weaken Australia's national security.Australia and the regionAustralia from the dawn of it's existence has been in a most awkward and precarious situation. It is in the unique circumstance of being a western country in the east, it's apart of Asia yet identifies itself with a European descent. This often contradictory nature of Australia has had great impacts on its identity, it's government and foreign policy making. American political scientist Samuel Huntington describes Australia as being a "torn country"# "It has mistakenly tried to define itself by economics as part of Asia, instead of by culture as part of the West"# Australia has always relied on another superpower to protect and define us, this was Britain for decades yet post World War Two the U.S defended us when Britain didn't and Australia had found a new protective friend and the ANZUS alliance was a product of this. The alliance was called upon during the Vietnam war then for years there was no "real" conflict in which Australia was involved in. Australia under the years of Labor government found itself embracing and encouraging relations with the region, we formed new economic and political ties with our neighbours, "Engagement with Asia, it was argued, was a nation building exercise, a catalyst that would create at last a mature nation"# These ties with Asia seemed also to be a establishment of harmony with a region that was not so stable itself. The Asia Pacific is home to eight of the...

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