The Safety Of Australia As A Country Since The Cold War

2489 words - 10 pages

The Safety of Australia as a Country Since the Cold War

Australia is not as safe as it was during the Cold War because the
world has transformed from a system of bipolarity into unipolarity[1].
The hegemony of the United States has been strengthened immensely
since the conclusion of the arms race between the U.S.S.R and America.
Therefore, inevitably smaller states will balance against it, in an
attempt to rebalance global power, which will lead to an even more
insecure world.[2] Australia as a close ally with the United States,
has thus been perceived as a threat to other countries during and
after the Cold War, especially those who yearn for increased power on
a global scale. Yet, the primary difference during and after the Cold
War, is that there was an obvious enemy before — the Communists.
However nowadays various factions and governments are contending
against the supremacy of the Western world, yet since they are often
unknown and concealed, it is difficult for Australia and its allies to
contend with.

Firstly, ‘safety’ is being free and from danger, harm or evil, and the
possibility of Australia being in danger has increased since the end
of the Cold War. During the Cold War, Australia was regionally safe,
we were never under any immediate threat. The primary fear was that of
the ‘domino effect,’[3] for if South Vietnam was to fall under
Communist rule, then the rest would topple in turn. The Cold War
lasted from 1945-1991 and was a war of paranoia, and a war of
competition between the two superpowers, the United States and the
U.S.S.R.

‘The Australian view of the Soviet Union was always mediated though
alliance interests,’[4] thus imposing rigidity upon Australian foreign
policy. Despite Australia’s geographically isolated location, we were
considered a threat to the Soviet Union, through the hosting American
facilities such as Pine Gap, Northwest Cape and Nurrungar. Thus,
despite Australia’s fear of ‘reds under the beds,’ Australia was not
in direct conflict with the Soviet Union, but rather an ally who would
only be compelled to act if America was to.

During this period of bipolarity, two dominant ideologies existed,
there was an obvious enemy, the communists, the enemy had a face, and
it was an enemy that could actually be fought. During the Cold War,
conflict was conducted by state actors, by a government, and it had
the ability to influence all countries, either directly or indirectly.

Australia’s foreign policy during the Cold War was dominated by a
doctrine of ‘strategic denial,’ and was established by the Fraser
government in 1976.[5] The primary objective was to deny the Soviet
Union of any influence in the region, for if they were able to exert
influence over other countries, whether it be ‘economic, diplomatic,
education— [it] could lead to...

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