The strategic essence

Desmond Ball

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The US-Australia alliance effectively began in December 1941, when, just two weeks after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of the war in the Pacific, and more than a month before the fall of Singapore, Prime Minister John Curtin declared that: 'Without inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom'. From March 1942 to October 1944, General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters for the direction of operations in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was located in Australia. A myriad of Allied intelligence organisations and associated arrangements were established, involving signals intelligence (SIGINT), coast watching, long-range reconnaissance and unconventional operations, some of which contributed substantially to the Allied victory. Most of these were disbanded after the war, but those concerned with SIGINT were reorganised as the central element in the post-war UK-US-Australian intelligence relationship. In 1947-48, the SIGINT connection was codified in the UKUSA Agreement, which remains the most important international agreement to which Australia is a party.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)235-248
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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