Allies in name alone

Featured in

  • Published 20150414
  • ISBN: 9781922182807
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE VIETNAM WAR lingers in the collective memory like some unspeakable crime, locked away in the nation’s attic. Contrary to popular belief, America did not compel Australia to join the war in Vietnam. Australia leapt at the chance – an opportunity to find ‘a way in and not a way out’, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies told his Cabinet on 17 December 1964.

Australia entered the war hoping its alliance with the United States would deliver real military and economic benefits. Australians dared to dream that the US would replace Britain as their regional protector and financial benefactor. However, when Australia withdrew from Vietnam it was left with less military and financial security, and more isolated in the Asia–Pacific region than ever. In hindsight this was easy to predict, but even at the time there were many warnings of such an outcome.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

A half-formed nation

MemoirHAPPY BIRTHDAY OLLIE! I thought I’d drop you a line about life, the state of the planet and the future of our country. Don’t worry,...

More from this edition


FictionThe tumult and the shouting dies;The Captains and the Kings depart…Rudyard Kipling, ‘Recessional’ SAM COMES UP to her at work. He’s wearing his favourite shirt,...

A hundred in a million

EssayMARTIN O’MEARA, A Tipperary man who had enlisted in Perth, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for carrying both wounded comrades and ammunition under...

An unexpected bequest

EssayIT IS IMPOSSIBLE to look at daguerreotypes of nineteenth-century Australian women in their hats and heavy, long dresses without wondering how they managed to...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.