It was standing room only in Professor Geoffrey Garrett’s 'US in the World' undergraduate lecture as former Prime Minister John Howard explained to students and guests what the 9/11 Decade meant for him, for Australia-US relations, and for the world.

In his only appearance on campus, Howard told the US in the World students in Sydney University’s grand MacLaurin Hall, that the decade’s war on terror has required a new understanding of what war means.

"We are conditioned by history to think of war in terms of armies rolling across borders and terrible conflicts and then some kind of surrender and some kind of end where ‘we’ve won – it’s all over’.

"I don’t think we’re dealing with that [with the war on terror]."

Looking to the future, he predicted Australian governments would be unlikely not to join America in future military action “that the United States regards on proper grounds as broadly supportive of the values and structures around the world that we support.”