Australians: "the Kind of Alliance Partners We Want" (was Re:Americanization of global finance)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Sep 26 13:54:33 MDT 1999

>me, i'm still inclined to go with dennis' estimations of the situation.  US
>hegemony is kaput i tell ya, and the last ones to notice might well be
>those in the US.   and is there no clearer indication of this than the
>Australian govt delivering the threat of breaking off military ties with
>the US unless the US at least appears to behave like the good hegemon it's
>always been?

It seems Australians are only too eager to pay out of their own pockets to
do what the U.S. government deputized them to do.

*****   New York Times  September 26, 1999

Getting Tough Gets Tough for Australia


...And now that Washington has deputized it to do the neighborhood policing
job, does Australia have the political and financial wherewithal to follow
through on its own?

For Australia, which has an army of only 24,000 soldiers -- about the same
number the Indonesian Army had in East Timor alone -- these are milestone

...Washington has committed just 200 troops for the operation, most of them
for logistics, and only 100 for East Timor itself. It was hardly the
commitment Australia had in mind.

An optimist might find a good side to this. Australia won points in
Washington because it was setting a precedent that was comfortable for the
Americans: It was leading a regional peacekeeping force, sent in harmony
with American policy, that did not require the use of American muscle

"Unlike the Europeans, who were reluctant to go into Kosovo, the
Australians showed themselves to be adults and to take part in adult
supervision," said Douglas Paal, a member of the Bush Administration's
National Security Council who now heads the Asia Pacific Policy Center, a
Washington research institute. "The Australians were not waiting for Uncle
Sam. That's the kind of alliance partners we want."

...[N]ow Australians have been told, in effect, that the bond is not a free
one. With defense spending at the equivalent of less than $10 billion --
only 1.8 percent of the gross domestic product -- the commitment to East
Timor of 2,000 soldiers -- to rise to 4,500 in coming weeks -- is more than
the current military budget can bear, Australia's preeminent defense
analyst, Paul Dibbs, said. Last week, Australia started to call up
reservists....   *****


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