Thursday 18th of April 2024

the willing accomplice ...

the willing accomplice  ...

The dilemmas in Canberra go beyond the respective roles of the American alliance and the China trade.  They point to a failure to grasp historical reality and an equal failure to perceive the future.

In a recent article in Pearls and Irritations (8 January 2019) Richard Broinowski set out several reasons why the Canberra establishment (DFAT, MOD and PMC) in what he described as cognitive dissonance, have adhered to a pro-American set of foreign policies. This has been the case ever since then Prime Minister John Curtin’s announcement in 1941 that Australia was essentially switching its reliance on the United Kingdom to an equally dependent relationship with the United States.

Mr Broinowski then set out a series of factors why this has been the case at least up until the 2017 foreign policy White Paper, although he now detects some faint glimmerings of a possible policy shift. Such optimism in my view lacks a solid evidential foundation.

Rather than possessing a “clear-eyed vision of China” that Cairin Morris (Australian Outlook 25 November 2018) sees as part of the DFAT culture of antagonism, what is really needed is a clear-eyed analysis of the post-World War II period, of which adherence to the United States world view has been the dominant feature.

More than Cognitive Dissonance