Australia in the Vietnam War

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The only time Australia has come under direct attack from another country, was when Japan bombed Darwin and sunk a number of ships in Sydney, during World War 2. The question then has to be asked, why Australia has been involved in so many conflicts. A number of recent conflicts in this century come to mind, they include, The Boer War, World War One, World War Two and The Vietnam War. By far the conflict that drew the most outrage from Australian citizens was the Vietnam War. Australia has been drawn into these conflicts through a number of treaties and alliances made with other countries. Often it is not the conflicts that have drawn most outrage from Australian citizens, rather the insistence of other countries, for Australia to accept large numbers of post-war refugees.

The introduction of conscription into Australia during the Vietnam War, caused much outrage in the Australian public. Vietnam was the first war ever to be properly televised, the public saw for the first time the true brutality of war. The public started to question Australia’s involvement in the war. Moratoriums were held around Australia in protest against conscription and Australia’s involvement in the war. Much of the protesting was done by students and the younger generations, there was still support for the war effort. This was reflected in the November 1966 elections, when there was a landslide victory for the Liberals. Conscription did have an effect on the Liberal governments popularity, a few months after a complete troop withdrawal in 1972 from Vietnam, the Whitlam Labour government replaced the McMahon Liberal government. Historically, one of the influencing factors of the Liberal’s election loss was the Governments choice to get involved in a war that had little to do with Australia.

Australia’s involvement in Vietnam came about due to the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation(SEATO). Australia was a country involved in SEATO. After Americas request,...
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