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Explain the Reasons for Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War

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History Informal Task: Essay

Explain the reasons for Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war

Australia became involved in the Vietnam War for many reasons the main one being that Australia felt threatened by the expansion of communism. However this was not the only reason that Australia was involved in the Vietnam war. There are many other reasons for Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war included Australia's concerns over Indonesia, Australia's alliance and commitments to the Americans thought the ANZUS and SEATO treaties, Australia's fear of communism taking over, the principle of forward defence, the fear of the domino theory and requests for Australia's involvement from the US and the government of South Vietnam.

Australia became involved in the Vietnam war because many people within Australia believed in the domino theory at the time of the war and feared that if South Vietnam became a communist country, other countries would soon follow. Australia like most of the west became involved in the anti-communist propaganda which was broadcasted everywhere. Robert Menzies the prime minister of the time told the Australian public to watch out for "reds under the beds" because communist spies where everywhere, the petrov affair caused Australians to fear communism even more, it weakened the position of the labour party and gave the liberal party an advantage. Robert Menzies implemented a policy of anti-communism during the 1949 elections, Menzies promised to band the communist party of Australia. However a referendum was held in 1951 that refused the policy.

Australia's alliance and commitments played a huge role in Australia's involvement towards the Vietnam war. Australia's alliance to the United states and the commitments that Australia made though signing the ANZUS (1951) and SEATO (1954) forced Australia to participate in the war which was targeted to stop the spread of communism in south east Asia. Australia's friendship, similar capitalist views and alliance with the US also cause Australia to be called into the war and fight along the US in the Vietnam war, in order to help out the US and too limit the spread of communism to the south east Asia area and Australia.

In the early 1960's South Vietnam's government was under threat from a growing communist insurgency, they lost their control of the countryside outside major towns and cities. Due to this the south Vietnamese government sought military assistance from the US and Australia. Australia was sent to fight in the Vietnam war and one of the tactics that the Australia army use was Forward Defence principle which meant that Australians soldiers were sent to Vietnam to meet their enemy and fight them in Vietnam before they could reach us. At the time the Australian government though that the forward defence principle

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