This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Go to bag

My Library Bag

Requests (0)


The odd couple : re-configuring the America-Australia relationship

ISBN: 9780645247992
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Upswell (UBD)
Origin: AU
Release Date: July, 2024

Book Details

A set of provocative ideas about recalibrating the relationship between Australia and the USA to deliver peace and prosperity rather than conflict and disharmony America matters. Australia matters. They matter to each other. They matter to the world. Their institutional and structural alignments are deep & powerful. Americans believe in themselves. Australians believe in each other. They are mates. They are gregarious. Americans are single-minded and ambitious. Success is the reward for effort. Australians are happy-go-lucky. They do not push themselves too hard. Americans honour success. Australians cut down tall poppies. Both are brash. There are also many contrasts. America is religious. Australia is secular. Curiously, their differences help to explain why they are so close and why their relationship is so superficial. They share interests- they like winning and being in charge; they like wealth, and they like being liked. They like condescension, and excluding people they do not like. ‘National security’ is a major shared interest. So is racism. America’s (and Australia’s) recent wars have all been against non-whites. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are worse off for the wars we fought. So are we. Despite the political rhetoric, America and Australians do not share values. They do not share the values of equality, inclusion, respect, tolerance and trust. They do share a pervasive sense of insecurity. America supports a gun and war culture regardless of the costs, and Australia supports American adventurism unconditionally. Their focus on security emphasises war, not peace. America is floundering and appears to have lost its way. It needs friends that advise and encourage. As rich and powerful first-world nations, America and Australia share a problem, how to recalibrate their relationship to deliver peace and prosperity rather than conflict and disharmony. In The Odd Couple, Allan Behm suggests ways that America and Australia can transcend military glitz to strengthen well-being and human security worldwide. America needs a friend, not a flunkey, and Australia may become its best ally.