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Politics Australia had reasons for wanting to join the Vietnam War quite apart from considerations of South Vietnamese sovereignty It was considered necessary to maintain good relations with our alliance partners the United and constituted a critical step in maintaining a defense Initially Australia provided financial support to the Republic of Vietnam RVN and when widespread conflict became more widespread Australia provided military advisers The United States who had been keen observers of the conflict soon committed itself to military intervention and Australia wished to show her support The problem was that the South Vietnamese government was not so convinced of the utility of Australias presence How was Australia to solve this dilemma The official reason The official and propagated account of Australias decision to enter the Vietnam War holds that Australia at the behest of the South Vietnamese government and together with the noble American nation entered reluctantly into war to safeguard the world from communist peril Vietnam constituted Australias longest involvement in a war and the first confrontation in which involvement was not always viewed as a simple logical process The Australian troop force in Vietnam build up steadily in the years 1965-1967 Even before this Australia deployed military advisers and sent aid to the South Vietnamese government The actual Australian contingent was minor in comparison to force sizes of other allied countries Additionally it was predominantly located in an area which was perceived as being of critical strategic importance for the overall war Australias presence was concentrated around a small area of Vietnam Phuoc Tuy province Here the majority of Australian regular and national service troops were located together with New Zealand troops thus forming the integrated ANZAC force Conflict in the area reached proportions which were not initially envisaged by the Australian government The Australian presence also included a team of military advisers They were far more widely distributed The strongly visual domino metaphor whose
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