Why Menzies Committed Australia to the Vietnam War

Essay by bolandrHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2006

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The strong anti-communist stand taken by the Menzies liberal government in the 1950'2 and 1960's led to Australia taking active part in the politics of the south East Asian region. In august 1962, thirty Australian Army Instructors arrived to assist in training the South Vietnamese Army.

Menzies believed in the "forward defense" policy which was based on "it is better to fight over there than here". After Australia's experience with the Japanese in World War 2, we were ready to support the US in the fight against aggressive communist behavior.

The liberal government was concerned with the thought of the domino theory meaning if one country alls we all fall.

When Diem, the South Vietnam leader was assassinated claims that the south Vietnamese government had made a request to the Australian government for military assistance, which involved in the sending over of Australian troops. This request had been later accused of being false and just a reason for the Menzies government to become actively involved in the war on communism.

Australia became involved in the war because of our fear of the spread of communism throughout Asia. We also felt the need to been seen supporting the United States political and defensive views as well as the views on Asian domination that were created in ww2.

National Service was introduced in 1964 and those conscripted were called "Nashos". When a man turned 20 years old he had to register for national service. Those who were picked from the lottery had to attend a medical exam.44% of men failed the army's physical, educational or psychological standards.

Ministers of religion, full time members of religious orders, theology students and pacifists were exempted.17424 men were conscripted during the Vietnam war.

The majority of support for the war came from the older generation...