Embassy of Australia
United States of America
Embassy address: 1601 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington DC 20036 - Telephone: (202) 797 3000 - Fax: (202) 797 3168

ANZUS - 60th Anniversary

Australian Ambassador Kim BeazleyEnduring Bond

....Ambassador’s Message

ANZUS stands for Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty. The Treaty separately binds Australia, New Zealand and the United States to cooperate on defence matters. The ANZUS Treaty is the core document underpinning the enduring military alliance between the United States of America and Australia. This year marks its 60th anniversary. However our two nations have enjoyed a close military engagement since well before that date.

This engagement might be said to have begun even before Australia was created. Troops from both countries were involved in the so-called “Boxer Uprising” in China in 1898. Not long after the Australian colonies federated in 1901 the then Australian Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, invited the American “Great White Fleet” to visit in 1908. More significantly, Australian and United States forces fought alongside each other in the First World War, with American troops going into action for the first time at the Battle of Hamel on 4 July 1918.

In 2001 Australia invoked the ANZUS alliance for the first time in support of the United States. This exhibition, Enduring Bond: 60 Years of ANZUS begins to tell the story of that alliance with the “Great White Fleet”. The arrival of the Fleet was an historical watershed. It set the stage for close co-operation between the United States and Australia, around the world, time and again.
Australians and Americans have fought together in seven major conflicts: the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the past century, there has never been a major conflict in which one country has been engaged without the support and assistance of the other.

Australia-US alliance

Australia has a formal alliance with the United States known as the ANZUS Treaty, which was concluded in 1951. The ANZUS Treaty binds Australia and the United States to consult on mutual threats, and, in accordance with our respective constitutional processes, to act to meet common dangers. It was invoked by Australia for the first time in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

The Alliance is the foundation of defence and security cooperation between Australia and the United States. This increases Australia's ability to protect itself and its interests by providing access to world-leading defence hardware and technologies, access to training courses and combined exercises, and to vital intelligence capabilities. Such cooperation supports joint efforts against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. For more information about the defence relationship, see the Department of Defence's website.

The Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) are held between foreign and defence ministers on an annual basis, and are hosted alternately by Australia and the United States. Formal consultations among senior officials include policy planning talks, political-military discussions and military-military talks. The 2010 AUSMIN confirmed the enduring value of the Australia-US Alliance and its adaptability in meeting contemporary and evolving strategic challenges.

Australia, the United States and Japan have a ministerial-level Trilateral Strategic Dialogue, which advances practical trilateral cooperation to promote stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Trilateral cooperation complements and enhances the strong bilateral relationships between Australia, Japan and the United States.