Dangerous Allies

Dangerous Allies[BOOKS] ✸ Dangerous Allies By Malcolm Fraser – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Australia has always been reliant on 'great and powerful friends' for its sense of national security and for direction on its foreign policy—first on the British Empire and now on the United States Australia has always been reliant on 'great and powerful friends' for its sense of national security and for direction on its foreign policy—first on the British Empire and now on the United States Australia has actively pursued a policy of strategic dependence believing that making a grand bargain with a powerful ally was the best policy to ensure its security and prosperityDangerous Allies examines Australia's history of strategic dependence and uestions the continuation of this position It argues that international circumstances in the world and in the Western Pacific especially now make such a policy highly uestionable Since the fall of the Soviet Union the United States has also changed dramatically making it less relevant to Australia and a less appropriate ally on which Australia should relyMalcolm Fraser argues that Australia should adopt a much greater degree of independence in foreign policy and that we should no longer merely follow other nations into wars of no direct interest to Australia or Australia's security He argues for an end to strategic dependence and for the timely establishment of a truly independent Australia See at. Warning from a former PM Of AustraliaAustralia’s overwhelmingly dependency on just one great power is a major weakness We have regularly partaken in ‘wars’ that don’t make any strategic sense and have had uestionable outcomes It’s time to grow up and be a better and smarter partner A self serving book that could have potentially made a powerful case for the revision of the Australian US alliance Fraser was primed to bring the discussion of the strategic dependence of Australia on the US which has been an old discussion topic in foreign policy circles to the public Certainly he is a skilled enough writer a liked enough personality with enough political experience in the status uo to suggest radical ideas Indeed it's the best role for a former Prime Minister However Fraser manifestly fails in this book by never critically analysing his own opinion He handwaves and strawmans fears of an aggressive and rising China in the South China Sea and the crucial role the US plays in balancing their hard power By not acknowledging the strength of opposing arguments Fraser sacrifices academic and policy rigour in favour of creating a clear antithetical point Perhaps that could be accepted if Fraser's writing was evocative enough to make the book an easy read and could introduce these concepts to the public debate but Fraser fails on that count tooOverall a plainly written book with some interesting if unoriginal ideas but needs to be extensively fact checked and cannot be consumed in a vacuum A nice light read for students of international relations but is dangerously easy to become the only book a foreign policy neophyte consumes This book is the last word on the debate about Australia's Foreign Policy 'independence' The last word because the case is a bust At heart this book is a ho hum recitation of the long hymn of 'independence' which was sung most prominently and successfully by Fraser's arch rival Gough Whitlam and generations of lefties ever since Now however Fraser has joined them thanks to a good research assistant and with barely an acknowledgement except to claim some of Robert McNamara's legacy for himself the Fog of War admissions not the failing to win Vietnam thingIf you think Australia is too close to the US and want to know the historical justification for such a view this is your book But you probably wouldn't want to consult it to know what's going on in Asia today or where Australia should turn next Despite the title and 200 pages of build up the last section which purports to say why Australia must abandon the US alliance is by far the weakest least persuasive section of the book Fraser's argument essentially has three parts 1 Australia has been abandoned before by a great power protector Britain in 19412 The US has erred before Vietnam then Ira3 Pine Gap the Marines in Darwin make us a target make us complicit in things we don't like drone strikesThere's a good deal of truth to all three But cumulatively they don't really amount to much I read the last section of the book wonder 'Is this really it?' After years as a critic is potential complicity in drone strikes in Yemen really the best counter argument to the US alliance which Fraser can muster?Fraser's thesis is one that has been sung for forty years but while he keeps coming back to the terms 'independence' and 'strategic dependence' these don't actually seem his concerns If Australia was willing to occasionally disagree with the US and had a bigger defence force of its own I suspect this book would not have emerged from his pen And while the term 'independence' is found throughout I suspect you could remove it and not change the book very muchFraser wants a liberal open hearted activist foreign policy He sees the US as an impediment to this but other than a 'once bitten twice shy' type rhetoric about Vietnam there's hardly any substance to the 'dangerous allies' claimThe best parts of this book are due to his research assistant Cain Roberts It's uite clear who writes which sections Cain seems to have written all the pre Vietnam section which is clear and logical largely and Fraser the 1960's onwards which rambles and can never uite kick the football that has been faithfully lined up for itThe story I really want to read and that didn't appear in his biography either was how he came to shift so clearly in views That's a fascinating story indeed if you didn't know who Fraser was you'd be hard tasked from this book to know that 1 he was prime minister of Australia for 8 years 2 he was a Liberal hard right cold war warriorStill this is an important book We need of our former leaders writing about issues not just trying to assert their legacy in history More of it please but if you're anyone but this book serves as a last word not because of the bang of its argument but its whimper It was when I was reading Simon Mawer’s Tightrope see my review and came across the part about the American betrayal of its allies in the late stages of WW2 that I remembered that I wanted to read Dangerous Allies by Malcolm Fraser in which he argues that Australia should be independent of the US in its foreign policy The notable point about this opinion being that Fraser was a Defence Minister who acuiesced to the Americans sending men too young to vote to fight and die in the Vietnam War which the Vietnamese call the American War Fraser was also the Liberal Prime Minister who went to his grave with unanswered uestions about any external involvement in the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975 thus disappointing any conspiracy theorists who naïvely thought he might one day ‘fess up So this book is not predictable Leftie anti American stuff; this is a book by a conservativeNo I don’t believe that leopards change their spotsWell the book came in from the library no way I was going to add to the Fraser coffers by buying it and I have just finished reading it It’s a bit repetitive here and there and a lot of it is clunky I admit to skimming over the chapter about the history of Australia’s transition to a fully independent nation as distinct from one which relied on the Brits for defence and foreign policy and which had no ambition to change thatI’m not slack it’s just that I already know all that from doing Constitutional Law at ueensland University but also because I was paying attention to Gough when he talked about the remnant bits of dependence that lurk in our systems of law and governance But if you weren’t paying attention when someone interesting like Gough was talking about it with such elouence and passion you’re not very likely to find it interesting at all in this somewhat plodding book Anyway leaving aside that there might not be anybody left to care after a nuclear war Fraser’s message is that Australia’s alliance with the US makes us vulnerable in the event of a stoush between China and the US probably triggered by Japan and the issue of those islands with a hybrid name DiaoyuSenkaku He says the US would probably lose since they’ve already lost three wars because they don’t have the domestic fortitude to win Vietnam Ira and Afghanistan If the US retreated to the western hemisphere to resume an isolationist position that would leave us friendless and adrift in Asia LH Goodness knows how we would get on if they refused to trade with us now that we have jettisoned most of our manufacturing industry including the food processing and car industriesTo read the rest of my review please visit Dangerous Allies is an excellent read and a must read for Australians interested in the welfare of their country Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser earned the ire of the left because he participated probably unknowingly in what was effectively a CIA lead coup d'etat in Australia in 1975 After leaving national politics he developed an exemplary humanitarian International profile He was a member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament The value of Dangerous Allies is that it prompts in a stimulating way consideration of perhaps Australia's most important uestion about it's future Should Australia remain the obseuious servile unuestioning ally of the United States or are there good grounds to be mistrustful of America Has the behaviour of the US been that of a worthy ally? We need the US for defense but we only need defense because of the US The US grossly distorted their interpretation of the ANZUS treaty to their own advantage and Australian politicians obseuiously allowed this abuse Definitely five stars for this book Malcolm Fraser died in March 2015 Malcolm Fraser pens a decent argument here for Australia to step away from its historical leanings of being dependent upon world superpowers for its defence and to forge its own way in international affairs Two thirds of this incredibly well researched book is on the history of Australia's defence policy and then the last third left to why we should look to our own defence instead of piggybacking on the biggest kid in the yard What is unfortunately all too obviously missing is the how Australia is realistically meant to go about this policy shift This is ultimately not a new argument that is being made with others such as Hugh White having done a better job however Fraser brings his formidable knowledge of the subject to the table making this a must read for anyone interested in the area though it will leave many eager for Interesting insights from a prime minister who started his prime ministership under dubious circumstances and was mediocre in many respects However his arguments are well formed and in the later years of his life he constantly fought for less fortunate people in society His arguments certainly made me think about how different Australian and American values are and the lack of foresight and intelligence of Australians A lot of it comes down to Australians doing their military on the cheap along with many other public services Rambles on in parts but the overall theme of Australia following its past and present colonial giants and what it should do about its own foreign policy were a most interesting read from this former Liberal read conservative Prime Minister An interesting and compelling argument about Australia's foreign policy though a tad dry and a little sloppily written at times Also a little harsh on Japan I feel Malcolm Fraser writes on the history of Australia's strategic alliances and outlines a draft for a new independent direction

Dangerous Allies PDF ¼ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 372 pages
  • Dangerous Allies
  • Malcolm Fraser
  • English
  • 06 May 2015
  • 9780522862652