Australia: Background and U.S. Relations
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Commonwealth of Australia and the United States are close allies under the ANZUS treaty. Australia evoked the treaty to offer assistance to the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in which 22 Australians were among the dead. Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In October 2002, a terrorist attack on Western tourists in Bali, Indonesia, killed more than 200, including 88 Australians and seven Americans. A second terrorist bombing, which killed 23, including four Australians, was carried out in Bali in October 2005. The Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, was also bombed by members of Jemaah Islamiya JI in September 2004. The Howard Governments strong commitment to the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq and the recently negotiated bilateral Free Trade Agreement FTA between Australia and the United States have strengthened what were already close ties between the two long-term allies. Despite the strong strategic ties between the United States and Australia, there have been some signs that the growing economic importance of China to Australia may influence Australia lllllllllll external posture on issues such as Taiwan. Australia plays a key role in promoting regional stability in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Australia has led peace-keeping efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, including East Timor and the Solomon Islands, and has supported U.S. efforts in the war against terrorism in Southeast Asia. Australia has also worked closely with Indonesia to counter terrorism in Southeast Asia. This report will be updated.
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