The 21st Century Australia-United States Alliance

United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

Built on the bedrock of shared values and interests, the breadth, depth and mutual benefits of the sixty year old Australia-United States Alliance are justly celebrated. But the challenges and opportunities facing the Alliance in the 21st century will be very different from those of the past. Identifying these challenges and opportunities and developing strategies for responding to them is vital not only to the national interests of both countries but also to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

In March 2011, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recognised this with funding for the three-year Alliance 21 project. Led by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, the project has since enlisted 50 of the best strategic thinkers on both sides of the Pacific to identify the new challenges and opportunities, and set out policies for reinforcing US/Australia links and fostering future benefits.

Under the direction of The Honourable Robert Hill AC and Professor Geoffrey Garrett the ambitious project is providing analysis and strategic direction across six themes:

Beginning in 2012, a series of Alliance 21 seminars covering each theme have been held in the US and Australia involving each theme’s expert authors. These have prompted discussion and feedback on issues ranging from non-traditional threats to security and Islamic extremism, to the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the possible ramifications of America’s forecast energy self-sufficiency.

Many of the papers presented at these seminars are available for download from this site. The remainder will be posted as they are finalised.

More seminars are being held on both sides of the Pacific throughout 2013 and all six themes will be discussed together at two major summits, the first in Washington DC in January 2014, the second in Canberra later that year. The final report containing policy recommendations to help steer the Alliance through the 21st Century will be presented to the Australian Government in 2014.

This research and analysis is being funded by the Australian Federal Government, together with corporate partners: Dow Chemical, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, GE, News Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Pratt Industries and Raytheon.

Alliance 21 is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising its Co-Directors, senior executives from the Commonwealth Departments of Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet, as well as two representatives from our corporate partners.

Read More


Aust GovtDowChevronConocoGENews CorpPrattMorgan StanleyRaytheon