Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty

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Definition: Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty


Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty


Full Definition of Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty


The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) was concluded at San Francisco on September 1, 1951, and entered into force on April 29, 1952. The treaty bound the signatories to recognize that an armed attack in the Pacific area on any of them would endanger the peace and safety of the others. It committed them to consult in the event of a threat and, in the event of attack, to meet the common danger in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. The three nations also pledged to maintain and develop individual and collective capabilities to resist attack.

In 1985, the nature of the ANZUS alliance changed after the government of New Zealand refused access to its ports by nuclear-weapons-capable and nuclear-powered ships of the U.S. Navy. The United States suspended defense obligations to New Zealand, and annual bilateral meetings between the U.S. Secretary of State and the Australian Foreign Minister replaced annual meetings of the ANZUS Council of Foreign Ministers. The first bilateral meeting was held in Canberra in 1985. At the second, in San Francisco in 1986, the United States and Australia announced that the United States was suspending its treaty security obligations to New Zealand pending the restoration of port access. Subsequent bilateral Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) meetings have alternated between Australia and the United States. The 12th AUSMIN meeting took place in Sydney in July 1998.

The U.S.-Australia alliance under the ANZUS Treaty remains in full force. Heads of defense of one or both nations often have joined the annual ministerial meetings, which are supplemented by consultations between the U.S. Commander in Chief Pacific and the Australian Chief of Defense Force. There also are regular civilian and military consultations between the two governments at lower levels.

Unlike NATO, ANZUS has no integrated defense structure or dedicated forces. However, in fulfillment of ANZUS obligations, Australia and the United States conduct a variety of joint activities. These include military exercises ranging from naval and landing exercises at the task-group level to battalion-level special forces training, assigning officers to each other’s armed services, and standardizing, where possible, equipment and operational doctrine. The two countries also operate several joint defense facilities in Australia, mainly for signals intelligence gathering.

Whilst Australia has fought alongside the United States since the treaty signing including the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and elsewhere, the ANZUS treaty’s provisions for assistance when a member nation comes under threat were officially invoked for the first time by Australia after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

New Zealand also fought alongside the United States in Korea and Vietnam and supplied logistical support for the Gulf War, peace-keeping forces in Afghanistan, and engineers in the Iraq war.

The alliance engenders some political controversy in Australia. Particularly after Australian involvement in the 2003 war on Iraq, some quarters of Australian society have called for a re-evaluation of the relationship between the two nations.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th November, 2021 | 0 Views.