The Alliance between the United States and Australia (ANZUS) is currently thriving; but no alliance should ever be taken for granted, especially during periods of major structural change such as that now transpiring in Asia. This paper presents a candid audit of ANZUS, comparing and contrasting United States and Australian expectations of the Alliance.
Particular attention is given to three core mission areas with the potential for alliance discord or deeper collaboration going forward: addressing security challenges outside the Asia-Pacific; shaping a new multilateral architecture in this region; and maintaining maritime security. US and Australian interests in all three areas are converging. Yet this convergence is also overshadowed by the larger question of whether US‑China and Australia-China relations are diverging in an ‘Ascending Asia’ On the first core mission area, the Alliance should maintain a predominantly Asia-Pacific focus, even while cooperating on out-of-area missions. On the second, the Alliance should serve as a central hub for Asian regional order and architecture. On the third, the Alliance should focus on leading in the management of shared maritime challenges.
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