Talking Points!

One of the significant historical debates in Australia concerns the reasons why Australia entered into a conflict in Vietnam. This debate has links to the historiography of the Cold War itself. When considering Australia’s reasons for entering a war in Vietnam alongside the USA during the 1960s, it’s necessary to consider a variety of perspectives.

Broadly speaking, when considering reasons for Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War, historians have pointed to a number of inter-related factors. These factors include:

 A historical undercurrent of fear within Australia of Asia

  • Deep roots to Australian fears of Asia and Asians are found in Australian history. Fears of China / Chinese were common throughout the 19th century while these were (to some extent) replaced by fears of Japan during the early decades of the 20th century. It is easy to draw links between these fears and an Australian xenophobia and racism.
  • The…

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