1st Edition

Korea and the Evolution of the American-Australian Relationship, 1947–53 Aligning Interests

By Daniel Fazio Copyright 2024
    300 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Fazio examines the significance of the US-Australian Korean engagement, 1947–53, in the evolution of the relationship between the two nations in the formative years of the Cold War.

    In the aftermath of World War Two, divergent American and Australian strategic and security interests converged and then aligned on the Korean peninsula. Fazio argues that the interactions between key US and Australian officials throughout their Korean engagement were crucial to shaping the nature of the evolving relationship and the making of the alliance between the two nations. The diplomacy of Percy Spender, John Foster Dulles, and James Plimsoll was particularly crucial. He demonstrates that the American evaluation of the geo-strategic significance of Korea was a significant factor in the making of the ANZUS alliance and events in Korea remained central to the evolving US-Australian relationship. Their Korean engagement showed the US and Australia had similar and overlapping, rather than identical interests, and that their relationship was much more nuanced and problematic than commonly perceived. Fazio challenges the Australian mythology on the origins of the ANZUS Treaty and presents a cautionary insight into the limits of Australia’s capacity to influence US policy to benefit its interests.

    An insightful read for diplomatic historians, providing greater depth to understanding the broader historical context of the trajectory of the US-Australian relationship and alliance since the beginning of the Cold War.


    PART I: From Tension to Co-operation: 1947–49

    1. Different Objectives, Converging Interests: The Origins of the US-Australian Korean Engagement

    2. A Clash of Policies and Personalities: S.H. Jackson, the US and the 1948 South Korean Election

    3. Opposition, Convergence and Collaboration: US and Australian Korean Policy, 1948–49

    PART II: Formalising the American-Australian Alliance: 1950–51

    4. Korea 1950: America’s Search for Allies and Australia’s Pursuit of a Security Relationship with the US

    5. Architect of ANZUS: John Foster Dulles and the American Origins and Making of the Treaty

    PART III: Diplomatic Partners: 1952–53

    6. America’s Australian Diplomat: James Plimsoll and the 1952 South Korean Political Crisis

    7. The Ambassador and the Americans: Percy Spender’s Public and Private Diplomacy on China and Voluntary Repatriation of Korean War POWs




    Daniel Fazio is a Lecturer in History and Politics at the University of South Australia.