U.S.-Australia Boost Military Cooperation

U.S.-Australia Boost Military Cooperation

As Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said on Saturday, the meeting occurs at a time when the Asia-Pacific is emerging as the central strategic theatre for the world for the 21st century. Given North Korea's missile test launches on a southern trajectory, China's increasing military power and assertiveness in the Pacific, the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean and the ongoing Islamist terror threat, Australia is in a vitally important strategic position. Clearly, the Obama administration has decided to step up US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region after policy reviews concluded that the Bush administration's attempts to project power from North America were not working. Defence Minister Stephen Smith summed up Australia's interests yesterday when he said the nation needed to be "very positively disposed" to enhancing our engagement with the US in military and defence co-operation.

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