The problem of crisis and crisis management within alliances has attracted a great deal of attention. This is hardly surprising. Crises between allies are no longer isolated political events. They have, in many ways, become the norm. Given the reality of the Western security system, a system that relies on interdependent alliances and a global conception of security interests, a crisis within one alliance may have serious repercussions elsewhere. The assumption of an interdependent security system and the fear of ‘contagion’ may not be an assumption which many people in New Zealand share; it is, however, an assumption which to a very large extent dictates the imperatives of American foreign and defence policy. It is for this reason that the ANZUS crisis is so important. It is not just a crisis about a narrow or a wide reading of a particular treaty, at heart it is a crisis about the nature and management of Western security arrangements. The debate over the future of ANZUS has far- reaching implications for a great many states.
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