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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

15 - Australia and the invention of peacekeeping

from Part 1 - Actor and observer


The period of 25 years between the deployment of Australia’s first UN peacekeepers in 1947 and the withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam in 1972 marks a distinct phase in Australian peacekeeping, and has been the subject of part 1 of this volume. During that time, with large relatively military commitments in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, Confrontation and the Vietnam War, Australia deployed only a handful of military peacekeepers, and the only large group of peacekeepers was the police who went to Cyprus in 1964. The election of the Whitlam Labor government in December 1972 and the end of Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War, which began to wind down in 1970 and was completed in December 1972, fundamentally changed Australia’s approach to international peacekeeping, and will be discussed in detail in part 2.