Born in Ambiguity: The Historical Context of the U.S.-Australian Alliance

Don DeBats

Research output: Other contribution


Donald A. DeBats analyzes the alliance’s historical context to increase understanding at a time when new degrees of gray-zone conflict with China could test affinities between the allies. A balanced alliance arises from strong diplomatic, military, and economic relationships between partner nations. In the case of the U.S.-Australia alliance, each of these three dimensions is now based in a treaty framework and each has institutional expression. These agreements are products of the skills and perseverance of the professionals and define the formal relationship between the two countries. Their construction only became possible because trusted relationships were established in each sector. This process has been neither easy nor quick. Indeed, the final leg of the trifecta was put in place only in 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputWebsite
PublisherNational Bureau of Asian Research
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2019


  • alliance relations
  • U.S.-Australia Alliance
  • treaty framework
  • institutionalisation
  • diplomatic relations
  • military relations


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