ANZUS cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Asia-Pacific: ships in the night?

Type: Article

Description: This article discusses how the ANZUS states of United States, Australia, and New Zealand that sit on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific, are increasingly using their armed forces to deliver Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response (HADR) as a way of engaging with the region. This is a neglected topic both in international relations and research on regional security in the Asia Pacific. This assessment reveals new developments in regional engagement between the ANZUS states and the Asia-Pacific. It finds that despite a shared language, broadly similar regional goals, and a need for interoperability; the ANZUS alliance itself does not appear to be driving closer military coordination on HADR. This article finds instead that HADR is being used to build new informal security networks that combine traditional and non-traditional security threats as a form of soft balancing against China.

Author: Vanessa Newby

Published in: Australian Journal of International Affairs Volume 74, 2020 - Issue 1: East Asia, Peacekeeping Operations,and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Publisher: Australian Institute of International Affairs

Publication time and place: November 2019, Canberra, Australia

Pages: 72-88

Publication webpage:


  • Resilience
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
  • National Security
  • International Security

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