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US 'Pivot-To-Asia' Accelerates, Plans Naval Base In Australia

With Russia allegedly moving its military presence deeper into NATO territory in Europe (with a Cyrpiot base), Bloomberg reports that in response to the regions' growing strategic importance, U.S. is in the midst of a “pivot-to-Asia” that will see 60% of its naval forces deployed in the region by 2020. The latest move, Admiral Greenert confirms, "we’re doing a study together with the Australia Defence Force to see what might be feasible for naval cooperation in and around Australia, which might include basing ships," as the Indian Ocean and South China Seas are becoming "geostrategic hot spots."

 

 

As Bloomberg reports,

The U.S. is in talks with Australia about “basing” Navy vessels in its main South Pacific ally, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert said, a move that would risk inflaming tensions with China.

 

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U.S. is in the midst of a “pivot-to-Asia” that will see 60 percent of its naval forces deployed in the region by 2020, a response to its growing strategic importance. It’s a policy China claims is an attempt to contain its own military expansion into the South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

 

“Increasingly the Indian Ocean is becoming a geostrategic hot spot,” said Rosita Dellios, an associate professor of international relations at Bond University on Australia’s Gold Coast. “Africa, India, the Gulf states all share the Indian Ocean and Australia is an important player.”

 

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While Australia has no formal U.S. naval bases, it has agreed to host as many as 2,500 Marines in the northern city of Darwin and the two countries regularly hold joint military drills.

 

“This would not be a radical departure in alliance policy which is seeing an increased tempo of access to Australia by U.S. marines and will see more visits from the U.S. air force in the years to come,” said Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australian National University, where the speech took place.

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All hail The Nobel Peace Prize winner...

The potential bolstering of forces in Australia and plans to expand Exercise Malabar to a permanent quadrilateral exercise reflects the Obama administration's 2012 Pivot to East Asia regional strategy, whose key areas of actions include "strengthening bilateral security alliances” and "forging a broad-based military presence.”