Howard did not explain why he had taken nearly a week after the Howard Doctrine was reported in the Australian national weekly, The Bulletin, and almost daily criticisms by Asian countries, before claiming that the article did not reflect his government’s approach to regional affairs.
Howard told the AustralianParliament yesterday: "I make it clear that the Government does not see Australia as playing the role of a deputy for the United States, or indeed any other country in the region.
"Neither does the Government see the United States itself playing a
role as a regional policeman, although continued American involvement in
the region is vital to our security."
The burial of the Howard Doctrine of Australia as Deputy Sheriff in Asia to US as global policeman should be a lesson to the Australian Government that it has not yet developed the mindset to be accepted as an Asian nation, or such a notion would not have entered the head of any Australian political leader.
The Australian Government should try to repair the damage which the short-lived Howard Doctrine had done to Australian relations to Asian countries, by turning an commendable international initiative into a dubious one.
It is most unfortunate that at a time when Australia can rightly look forward to regional and international appreciation for its leading role in the UN-mandated security force into East Timor, there are now considerable suspicions about Australian intentions.
Although Howard has quickly buried the Howard Doctrine, Asian nations
will be watching whether there will be any attempt to resurrect in some