Today marks a special milestone for the U.S. – Australian Alliance. Seventy years ago, we formally established the “Unbreakable Alliance” that continues to provide stability and security for the Indo-Pacific and beyond. While the Alliance itself is 70 years old, Australia and the United States have fought side by side in every major conflict since World War I.
The United States will never forget that twenty years ago, on September 11, Australia invoked, for the first time in its history, the collective defense article of the ANZUS Treaty. Once again, Australia sent troops to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States and other allies and partners through nearly 20 years of combat. It is a testament to the enduring nature of “Mateship.” Our Australian allies stood by with us to the very end of our presence in Afghanistan and the United States will be forever grateful.
As we celebrate the signing of the ANZUS Treaty and the U.S. – Australian Alliance, we are also setting our sights on the future. Our shared interests and values ensure that our Alliance will continue to advance our shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
In a few short days, I look forward to hosting Australian Minister for Defence Dutton at the Pentagon, followed by this year’s Australia – United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations here in Washington, D.C. Together, we will work to ensure that our Alliance continues to move forward with strength and purpose for decades to come.