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The Trump Effect
Trump Scares Aussies Away From U.S.

Australians are getting less comfortable about their alliance with the United States, the FT reports:

Public support in Australia for its longstanding military alliance with the US has fallen to its lowest in almost a decade amid concerns over the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, a survey shows.

The Lowy Institute’s annual poll also shows Australians are evenly divided on whether the country’s most important foreign relationship is with the US or China, reflecting a surge in trade and personal connections with the Asian economic powerhouse.

Michael Fullilove, the think-tank’s director, said the results were remarkable given Australia has been the most reliable US ally, with its soldiers fighting beside Americans in every major conflict during the 20th and 21st centuries.

“It says something remarkable about Donald Trump that in the event of his victory, nearly five in 10 Australians would seek to move away from Washington and nearly six in 10 say they would be less likely to support Australia taking part in military actions in concert with Washington,” he said. “Trump is clearly devaluing America’s soft power.”

The United States will need a strong relationship with Australia if it is to have any hope of standing up to Beijing, so these numbers are worrisome. Still, if they’re really just about Trump then they might clear up pretty quickly if he loses in November. But if Trump wins, will Canberra break away from Washington? It looks possible.

A Trump victory in November could cause some major geopolitical realignments. We’ll be keeping an eye on polling of America’s longtime friends and allies as we approach the election.

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  • QET

    They’ll come crawling back the minute the Chinese military seizes some islands or makes other menacing gestures. Australia need us to defend them against China more than we need them to defend ourselves against China. And even if they don’t, it goes without saying that not even good foreigners must believe they can influence US elections with threats. How do you suppose it would play in the Western media if the US said that if Australia elected so-and-so we were going to re-think our military alliances? And don’t say “Hitler” because Trump is no Hitler no matter how greatly the cognoscenti need for him to be so; Trump isn’t even an Orban. The Hungarians stood firm when all of Europe were threatening punishments after Orban was elected. We should, too. There are many reasons not to elect Trump; Australian threats are not among them.

  • Jim__L

    Listening to Aussies crack politically incorrect jokes, and considering their approach to women, it’s tough for me to imagine that they’ll really be all that turned off by Trump.

    Are you sure this poll is accurate?

  • f1b0nacc1

    These are the guys who are comfortable with Obama?

  • Nevis07

    For those interested, the interactive poll is here:

    http://lowyinstitute.org/lowyinstitutepollinteractive/

    Some of it shows how contradictory their views are. For example, The vast majority of Australians support their own navy conducting Freedom of Navigation exercises.

  • lurkingwithintent

    Polls are generally for slow news days and lazy journalists to play with, who are they going to turn to who has interests that coincide with their own? This is silly stuff.

  • FluffyFooFoo

    They’ll change their minds. Trump is an actual leader.

  • Pete

    “The United States will need a strong relationship with Australia if it is to have any hope of standing up to Beijing, ..”

    What? Rather, it is Australia needs the U.S. if it is to survive China aggressiveness. .

  • FriendlyGoat

    A blowhard in charge ALWAYS “devalues” soft power, at home, at school, at work, at church, at a social club, in a hierarchy of command, and, not surprisingly, in international relations. Just don’t elect such a person and skip the catastrophes.

    • Jim__L

      We destroy our own “soft power” worldwide whenever we push the LGBT agenda. Hillary is a walking, talking example of the failure of soft power.

      Trump doesn’t speak softly, but there is a fair chance he’ll figure out what a big stick is for.

      Without that stick, speaking softly is useless.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Trump does not have “a stick” that does not involve the extreme sacrifices of other people to back up his mouth. Soft power is what you achieve in a positive way without impressing other people to carry on fights which do not need to be carried on. There is no reason be alienating those who should be our like-minded partners in a free world. As for LGBT, it’s just not the subject here.

        • Jim__L

          Any question of Soft Power needs to include the fact that we are alienating possible allies overseas by our utterly insane social agenda.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You mean Russia and Islam?

          • Jim__L

            And Africa, India, China, South America — most of the world’s population, as a matter of fact.

    • Angel Martin

      “A blowhard in charge ALWAYS “devalues” soft power,…”

      but he makes up for it with foreigners fearing an exercise of “hard power”

      • FriendlyGoat

        You think Australians are afraid of us? They just think we are going nuts and becoming unreliable.

        • John Dowd

          Soft power is like a soft erection. It does your partner no good and it’s nothing to brag about.

          • FriendlyGoat

            That kind of thought plays in the circle you travel in. Other circles know that soft power is getting others to do the right thing by being sensible and helpful.

  • Amadeus 48

    I can’t imagine Trump will be worse than Obama–only different.

  • Frank Natoli

    Wow. FT, a Leftist think tank, thinks EVERYBODY would be happier with President HRC rather than President Trump, just like they probably thought EVERYBODY would be happier with President BHO rather than Presidents McCain or Romney. ‘Sept that’s not what happened, is it?
    Anybody here recall the TAI article of a month or two ago, where the Aussies dropped a pending contract with the Japanese to buy diesel-electric attack subs, because the Aussies want a nuclear option, and only the French could provide that? And the reason the Aussies want the nuclear option is because of their fears of the ChiComs which has NOTHING TO DO with a maybe President Trump?

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