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Windows of Opportunity

East Timor and Australian Strategic Decision Making (1975–1999)

Angus L. Porter, Wing Commander, Royal Australian Air Force
2017, 99 pages
Cost: $12, AU Press Code: DP-27



This study analyzes Australia’s involvement in the 1975–99 East Timor crisis and examines how global and regional power dynamics have influenced Australia’s pursuit of the national interest. It addresses the question of why Australian support for military intervention in East Timor took 25 years to develop. To answer this question, the study is divided into three key periods of East Timorese history covering major shifts in great-power dynamics and significant changes in Australia’s strategic outlook. More specifically, these divisions represent periods of Australian dependence on great-power patronage and periods where Australia leveraged national power to alter the direction of Southeast Asian security.


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