This is the text of remarks made by Richard N. Haass, Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State.
The remarks were delivered at the conference “The U.S.-Australian Alliance in an East Asian Context” at the University of Sydney.
It is a pleasure to be here today, in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, to celebrate 50 years of a strong and enduring partnership between the United States and Australia. It is equally a pleasure to escape the stifling heat of a Washington summer, but I can assure you that my motives are mostly pure. Although the treaty itself is only 50-years-old (the same age as I will be in a month’s time and therefore to be considered still young and vibrant) the roots of the Alliance actually go back to the first World War when Australian troops led by Lt. General John Monash were joined by the U.S. 33rd National Guard Division at the battle of Le Hamel in France in the summer of 1918. Le Hamel was a successful engagement — a smashing success to be more precise — and a good omen for the future of the relationship.