U.S. President Barrack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have an important announcement to make next Thursday, at Darwin. The announcement will be regarding America beginning to rotate Marines via Australian base.
Former Australian Defence official and intelligence analyst Alan Dupont said: “This is all about the rise of China, the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army and, particularly, it’s about the increased vulnerability of US forces in Japan and Guam to the new generation of Chinese missiles.”
“The new Chinese missiles could threaten them in a way they’ve never been able to before, so the US is starting to reposition them to make them less vulnerable. Australia’s ‘tyranny of distance’ is now a distinct strategic advantage.”
Reportedly, these marines will use the Robertson Barracks, the Australian base near Darwin, which is home to at least 4500 Australian soldiers.
Both Obama and Gillard are not likely to question that China is a factor in the decision.
“This is a strong gesture that even in the face of budget constraints, the US reaction to the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan deployment is not to go home but to pivot [into the Asia-Pacific],” says former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, Jim Steinberg.
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