Sunday 29 May 2022 | 12:16 | SYDNEY
Sunday 29 May 2022 | 12:16 | SYDNEY

Lowy Institute busy on 60th anniversary of ANZUS

19 August 2011 12:25

Stephanie Dunstan recently joined the Lowy Institute as Strategic Communications Manager after a number of years working for the UN in Bangkok and New York.

As Interpreter readers are likely aware, 1 September is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. To mark this foreign policy milestone, the Lowy Institute has been busily hosting events and launching publications examining the role of the Australia-US alliance today and into the 21st century.

Last week the Institute welcomed Dr Kurt Campbell (above), US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, one of America's most senior and influential Asia policy officials. In a roundtable dinner discussion with political leaders, government officials and strategic thinkers, Dr Campbell addressed security challenges in the Asia Pacific and the future role of the Australia-US alliance in ensuring that Asia's future is peaceful and prosperous. He commended the Lowy Institute for its work on regional public opinion, the South Pacific and Asian security, which he said had influenced the policy debate in Washington, DC at the highest levels.

Earlier in the same week Andrew Shearer interviewed Dr Michael Green, another of America's most influential experts on Asia and formally Senior Director for Asian Affairs in the Bush White House. With Michael in Sydney while the world's financial markets were turning on their head, we managed to squeeze in a quick interview, getting his take on the strategic implications of the US debt crisis. Our own Lowy International Economy Director, Mark Thirlwell, also gave his views, linking the wild market fluctuations to policy failures in Europe and the US. 

And this week Andrew Shearer reviewed Australian public attitudes towards the US alliance in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America's unprecedented credit downgrading. In a new paper in the Lowy Institute's Perspective series, 'Uncharted Waters: The US Alliance and Australia's New Era of Strategic Uncertainty', Andrew challenges popular commentary that Australia should distance itself from the US in deference to our growing economic links with China, arguing that over the coming years the alliance will become more, not less, important to Australia. This unique take on the future of the alliance was immediately picked up by national commentators, adding to a robust discussion and debate on US-China commentary.

The ANZUS commemoration continues on 31 August, the eve of the actual 60th anniversary, with the launch of a Lowy Perspectives paper by Dr Steven Casey, 'Obama's Alliances', examining how the Obama Administration's thinking on alliances has evolved since it took office in January 2009.

Then in early September, the Lowy Institute will travel to the Washington, DC to host a high-level  event supported by the Australian Embassy, 'America's Torn Asian Allies? A Policy Symposium on the Future of US Strategic Relationships in Asia'. Bringing together senior policy-makers, business leaders and scholars from Australia, the US and Asia, the symposium will explore how various countries in Asia seek to manage the potential tensions between their burgeoning economic links with China and longstanding security ties with the US.

In all, a busy time at the Lowy Institute as we acknowledge this foreign policy milestone!