Australia's security relationship with the United States has both great benefits and great risks.

Essay by pocketlintHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2004

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There are many issues that must be assessed when critically analysing our relationship with America. People for this strong alliance argue that we hold similar ideals and that without America, we are leaving ourselves open to military and terrorist attacks. Those against this reliance suggest that by having these close ties with America we are alienating our neighbours in Asia, and that this close relationship with America makes us a 'sitting duck' for terrorism.

Ever since the colonisation of Australia by Britain, we have relied on stronger nations to support and protect us from possible threats. Until WW2 Australia rested sure in the knowledge that if threatened, England would rush to our aide and defend us against would be attackers. The Second World War changed this view, when it was proved that England might not have the military capacity they once did to defend us, if needed, Australia sought assistance in this arena from what had fast becoming the world's unquestioned super power, America.

Along with our neighbours, New Zealand, Australia signed what was called the 'ANZUS' treaty, which, if invoked meant that America would, theoretically, protect Australia and New Zealand against military threats, it also gave Australia and New Zealand access to American intelligence, defence science and weapons technology. New Zealand has now been withdrawn from this treaty; claiming that they could not accept the United States' policy positions on nuclear powered and armed warships New Zealand had alienated The United States. America considered these to be necessary conditions of an effective alliance and withdrew its treaty obligations towards New Zealand. For Australia however, this treaty is our single most important security alliance and the government doesn't appear to be in any rush to question the United States on any matters that may jeopardise the friendship.

There have been...