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Sleepwalk to War

Australia's Unthinking Alliance with America: Quarterly Essay 86

Hugh White

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Black Inc
27 June 2022
Is the US-Australia alliance now based on a fantasy?
In this gripping essay, Hugh White explores Australia's fateful choice to back the United States to the hilt in opposing China. What led both sides of politics to align with the US so absolutely? Is this a case of sleepwalking to war? What tests might the new government face?

White assesses America's credibility and commitment, by examining AUKUS, the Quad, Trump and Biden. He discusses what the Ukraine conflict tells us about the future. And he argues that the US can neither contain China, nor win a war over Taiwan. So where does this leave our future security and prosperity in Asia? Is there a better way to navigate the disruption caused by China's rise?

This is a powerful and original essay by Australia's leading strategic thinker.

Canberra's rhetoric helps raise the risk of the worst outcome for Australia- a war between China and America, in which we are likely to be involved. Over the past decade, and without any serious discussion, Australian governments have come to believe that America should go to war with China if necessary to preserve US primacy in Asia, and that Australia should, as a matter of course, go to war with it. Hugh White, Sleepwalk to War
By:  
Imprint:   Black Inc
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 167mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   216g
ISBN:   9781760643553
ISBN 10:   1760643556
Pages:   144
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Hugh White is the author of The China Choice and How To Defend Australia, and the acclaimed Quarterly Essays Power Shift and Without America. He is emeritus professor of strategic studies at ANU and was the principal author of Australia's Defence White Paper 2000.

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