Time to reappraise US relations

Speaking on ABC-TV's 7.30 program, former prime minister Paul Keating said Australia should ‘cut the tag’ with America's foreign policies now Donald Trump has been elected president, focusing less on the alliance between the two countries and concentrating more on relationships within Asia. ‘We've got to this almost sort of crazy position now where the American alliance, instead of simply being a treaty where the United States is obliged to consult with us in the event of adverse strategic circumstances, it has now taken on a reverential, sacramental quality,’ he said. ‘I'm not talking about simply the government; I'm talking about some people on the Labor side as well. ‘We had the prime minister almost saying prayers to the alliance.’

While Keating wants the alliance continue, ‘what we have to do is make our way in Asia ourselves with an independent foreign policy’. ‘Our future is basically in the region around us in South East Asia,’ he said. ‘What we should be thinking about is an independent policy which does worry about Indonesia, that does worry about South East Asia. ‘We'd actually be more useful to the United States, by the way, if we were doing these things. ‘Isn't an independent balanced foreign policy the answer? Or do we stay in a crouch saying hail Mary's to the alliance?