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PostAustralia and Defense (Harry Papasotiriou, Greece, 11/21/11 1:25 am)
Our esteemed editor JE wondered: "Hasn't Australia always proved it can take care of itself?" (See JE's comments to Jon Kofas's post of 19 November.)
The answer is no. During WWII Australia was threatened by Japan, Britain was unable to protect her, and ever since Australia has been relying on the United States for protection. In the first half of 1942 the Japanese forces reached very near Australia at an alarming speed. Had the Battle of Midway gone the other way (had the Japanese won), Australia would have been directly threatened.
JE comments: The Japanese did bomb the city of Darwin, but the Australians were never invaded. Fear of imminent invasion was the reason they developed the Boomerang fighter plane, an Australian design, and probably explains Australian attitudes towards its Asian neighbors even today.