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I'm preparing an oral presentation on whether or not Australia should leave ANZUS, but can't find much information regarding the effect the separation would have on the Five Eyes agreement.

On the Wikipedia page for ANZUS it states:

"The two countries [US and AUS] also operate several joint-defence facilities in Australia, mainly ground stations for spy satellite, and signals intelligence espionage in Southeast and East Asia as part of the ECHELON [aka Five Eyes] network."

Does this imply that Australia's Five Eye's connections are detached from the ANZUS treaty?

On the Wikipedia page for Five Eyes, it says:

"These countries [Aus, Can, US, NZ, UK], with a similar common law legal inheritance, are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

Can it be taken from this that they are totally separate treaties, and as such, are independent?

More generally, if Australia left ANZUS, would its military intelligence suffer in any way?

  • My opinion is that whatever events might lead to us leaving the ANZUS alliance, and the message sent by leaving, would certainly jeopardize Five Eyes and generally undermine (in particular) US inclination to share information. I can find nothing to directly support this opinion, but offer this Sydney newspaper opinion piece for recent discussion of Five Eyes: smh.com.au/national/… – Orbital Aussie Jan 21 at 0:31
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Question

Would Australia leaving ANZUS affect its Five Eyes benefits?

Answer

Five Eyes treaty being beneficial to both the US and Australia could survive beyond ANZUZ treaty. The big issue though is that given the ANZUZ defense treaty is not binding, the only reason Australia would leave the treaty is to send a message they were distancing themselves from the United States potentially in favor of a different alliance with someone else.

The Five Eyes Treaty gives Australia unfettered access to raw intelligence, technology, and techniques which would be devastating if they were disclosed. When the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard stole and disclosed some of these raw signals intelligence to an ally, the damage done to US intelligence elicited an unsolicited 48 page letter to the court by the then Secretary of Defense. This caused the court to break a plea bargaining agreement and sentence Pollard to Life in Prison.

If Australia was to be seen as distancing themselves from the United States, I would expect the US to explore it's options with regards to trusting Australia with some of their most important intelligence, and intelligence gathering secrets.

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