SYDNEY, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Next month marks two important milestones - the tenth anniversary of the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS security treaty during the height of the Cold War.
In a new paper in the Lowy Institute's Perspective series, 'Uncharted Waters: The US Alliance and Australia's New Era of Strategic Uncertainty', Andrew Shearer reviews Australian public attitudes towards the US alliance in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America's unprecedented credit downgrading.
"Since its inception in 1951, the Australia-US alliance has been key to Australia's security and prosperity".
"Today Australia and the alliance are confronting new dangers. It is imperative that Australia and the United States act with urgency and foresight to put in place a more robust network of Asia-Pacific security links".
"The window of opportunity to shape a favourable future security order in Asia is closing fast".
Despite calls for Australia to distance itself from the United States in deference to our growing economic links with China, public support for the alliance has been growing steadily. Shearer argues that this is a direct result of Australians' concern, shared around much of the Asia-Pacific region, about China's increasing assertiveness and longer-term intentions.
"With an increasingly assertive China, it is essential that Australia retains the freedom and capacity to make its own national security choices", said Shearer. "Over the next decade the alliance will become more, not less, important to Australia".
'Uncharted Waters: The US Alliance and Australia's New Era of Strategic Uncertainty', will be launched today at the Lowy Institute at 1pm.
It is available for download from the Lowy Institute website at: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1669.
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SOURCE Lowy Institute for International Policy