Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Australia and New Zealand

  • March 01, 2003
  • Dr Andrew Scobell

The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region. Conclusions reached are: Australia is one of the staunchest supporters of U.S.-led military action against Iraq. Canberra has been very willing to provide combat troops to fight alongside U.S. forces. Australia supports the U.S. action with or without U.N. approval, although significant unease and dissent are also evident in the country. Australia is confident about the strength of its security relationship with the United States. New Zealand is one of the most circumspect countries in the world regarding the merits of a war with Iraq. New Zealand is willing to contribute noncombat military and humanitarian support in the closing stages of a conflict or after a conflict only if the U.N. sanctions the war. New Zealand remains ambivalent about its security ties with the United States.