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Australia and New Zealand have shared values, common interests and a proud history of shared military endeavour. Over more than a century, from the shores of Gallipoli to the sands of Iraq, Australian and New Zealand troops have fought alongside each other. But spine-tingling evocations of past glories neither recognise nor explain the reality of the Australia – New Zealand (A–NZ) alliance today. With the strategic balance teetering in the Asia–Pacific, a more cold-hearted assessment is needed.