New Permanent US Military Presence On Australian Soil – ‘Biggest Operational Addition To Alliance Since 1980s’

Rudd mum on US troop boost, takes aim at Greens (ABC News, Nov. 12, 2011):

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has refused to give details of the extra military ties expected to be announced when US president Barack Obama visits Darwin next week.

Media reports suggest Mr Obama will announce the US will begin rotating Marines through a base in Darwin, with a new permanent presence on Australian soil.

Mr Rudd was asked today if he would confirm the report and he was very diplomatic in his response, but less so in comments directed at the Greens who have suggested any decision to boost US troop numbers should be put before Parliament.

Australia and the US have been working together for a year on ways to boost military cooperation.

They want to bring in more US troops to strategic areas including Darwin, as well as increase the number of joint exercises and the amount of training.

Mr Obama will announce the details during his visit. Defence Minister Stephen Smith has called it the biggest operational addition to the alliance since the 1980s.

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