Between 1962 and 1972, Vietnam was the battleground for Australia?s largest war commitment to date. No other issue in Australian society has seen as much controversy for so long as the question and wisdom of the Australian involvement in the Vietnam War. During this ten-year period, many protest movements arose and questioned this involvement and the suffering it was causing, not only on Australians but also on the local Vietnamese. An end to Australian involvement was demanded in many pretests and rallies that were held all around the country. The results of these movements were unheard of leading to the removal or troops and a change in government. Even though this war ended some thirty-one years ago, the veterans and people of the time are still paying for the resulting atrocities.
But why did Australia get involved in a conflict that had no direct effect on the people. The prime minister of the time, Robert Menzies, now Sir Robert Menzies, would like us to believe that we got involved due to the domino theory.
This theory suggests that if Vietnam were to succumb to communism, then its surrounding nations may choose or be forced into also accepting communism. Much the same way in which one falling domino in a line causes a chain reaction for the rest to fall.
The Australian public later found out that the domino theory was not the only reason behind Menzies pledging Australian forces in Vietnam. Menzies believed that the troop commitment in Vietnam would setup an insurance policy for Australia. Due to our treaty arrangement of ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and United States) and SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation) Australia also pledged it?s help. These treaties stated that is Australia were ever to be called upon by either the United States,