Analysis of Australia's National Strategy in the War against Terror   [open pdf - 76KB]

"Australia has long valued its close relationship with the United States, and it is the principal relationship in Australia's National Security Strategy. For many years, successive Australian governments have sought to develop defense self-reliance within the framework of this bilateral relationship. The strength of this relationship has been increasingly evident since September 2001 as Australia has, among other actions, deployed military forces to support the United States in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Australia's strategy in the War Against Terror has included an absolute commitment to the United States; however, this has drawn strong criticism both domestically and from the international community toward Australia. Regardless of this criticism and hindsight, it is too late for Australia to reverse its strategic direction, and therefore Australia's future is linked closely to that of the United States. This paper identifies significant Australian political and military responses to international terrorism since September 2001. It considers the impact of terrorism on the Australian economy and the country's resource capacity to maintain its current strategy in the War Against Terror. The analysis of Australia's strategy in the War Against Terror draws conclusions about the Government's assessment of the strategic risks associated with Australia's strong alliance with the United States. The paper concludes that Australia's strategy in the War Against Terror has been successful so far; however, a number of strategic risks are identified. Finally the paper includes four broad recommendations that focus on Australia maintaining its broad support for the United States in the global war on terror while restricting its commitment in economic and military areas, and asserting itself more aggressively in regional issues."

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