Anti-Communism and Forward Defence
The Australian public had been manipulated into fearing that a monotholic 'red tide' of communism was coming to Australia, due to the strong anti-communist policy of the Liberal government. We became so convinced that the Liberal government were in power for 22 years straight.
Menzies stated that "the takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia," as the "Domino Theory" claimed that unless this was stopped then after Vietnam had fallen to communism, the surrounding countries would follow, eventually leading to Australia. Minister for External Affairs, Paul Hasluck in his judgement the South Vietnamese were not dealing simply with a situation of civil unrest that it really was, but with a "large scale campaign of assassination and terrorism."
Indonesia, West Iria and America
Greg Pemberton points out, "Australia's defence and foreign policy during the post war period cannot be fully understood without reference to Indonesia."
Indonesia, through leader Ahmed Sukarno had made strong relationships with communist China. Fear of having a communist nation right next to us reinforced the already large anti-communist stance. Indonesia had taken over West New Guinea from the Dutch. Dr Sukarno threatening "more confrontation," Australia just let it go as, without support from the US and Britain, it had no capacity to resist or attack. In 1962, Australian troops were sent to north Borneo in Malaya to support the new formed independent Federation of Malaya against a threatened attack by Indonesia. Dr Sukarno told Australia not to interfere in the invasion, going on previous happening, warning that if Australia did become involved, "the responsibility would be Australia's alone."
Both Britain and the United States however had seen it against their interests to provoke Indonesia, who commanded considerable power amongst other third world countries and also due to their...