Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:24 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:24 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Our foreign policy needs independence


Fergus Hanson


2 February 2009 11:36

Alison Broinowski writes in with this reply to part two of Graeme Dobell's post on the Downer legacy.

I hope Graeme Dobell’s series on the alliance will point out, in addition to the American views he has quoted, the long series of statements that make it clear that the United States has no intention, and never had, of defending Australia unless its own interests were under threat. The ANZUS alliance indeed commits it to no more.

I hope too that he will analyse the effect of statements by Howard (March 2008) and Rudd (April 2008) in Washington, one echoing the other, that the United States is an overwhelming force for good in the world. It may once have been so, although Stephen Kinzer’s 'Overthrow', an account of the history of American interventions in other countries, even those of its friends, even casts doubt on that.

During the Bush presidency, those around the world and in Australia (as surveyed by Lowy) who repose their trust in the United States to defend them has dwindled. Australia has found itself among the tiny number of credulous countries, and has repeatedly been seen to vote in support for American policies in the UN along with a handful of minor states plus Israel. It is difficult to see how Australia, that still shows how its foreign policy lacks independence, can expect to win a seat on the Security Council in 2012.