The Commonwealth of Australia and the United States are close allies under the ANZUS treaty. Australia evoked the 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 United States military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. On October 12, 2002, a terrorist attack on Western tourists in Bali, Indonesia, killed over 200 including 89 Australians and seven Americans. Although Australia has extensive ties with its neighbors in Asia, it is seeking to strengthen its already close ties to the United States. Since November 14, 2002, the United States and Australia have been negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Australia has led peace-keeping efforts in the Asia-Pacific region including East Timor and most recently in the Solomon Islands. This report will be updated as warranted.
CRS Report for Congress, RS21358