Australia: Background and U.S. Relations [Updated August 8, 2008]   [open pdf - 228KB]

"The Commonwealth of Australia and the United States are very close allies. Australia shares similar cultural traditions and values with the United States and has been a treaty ally since the signing of the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS) Treaty in 1951. Australia made major contributions to the allied cause in both the first and second World Wars and has been a staunch ally of Britain and the United States in their conflicts. Under the former Liberal government of John Howard, Australia invoked the ANZUS treaty to offer assistance to the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in which 22 Australians were among the dead. Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. […]. Kevin Rudd, of the Labor Party, was elected prime minister on November 24, 2007. While Rudd has expressed his desire to draw down Australian military forces in Iraq and has reversed Australia's position on climate change--by signing the Kyoto protocols--relations with the United States are expected to remain very close. Rudd has signaled that he does not plan to significantly alter Australia's defense policy and that he sees the United States as a key source of stability in the Asia-Pacific region."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33010
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