News / Asia

US, Australia Announce Expanded Military Cooperation

US President Barack Obama listens to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a joint press conference in Canberra, Australia, November 16, 2011.
US President Barack Obama listens to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a joint press conference in Canberra, Australia, November 16, 2011.

The United States and Australia have announced expanded military cooperation aimed at bolstering security in the Asia-Pacific region. President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the agreement after his arrival for a one-day visit.

Air Force One touched down after the 10-hour flight from Honolulu, where Obama hosted the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit, focusing on expanding regional free trade.

A full ceremonial welcome followed at Parliament House, complete with national anthems and a 21-gun salute.

Standing with President Obama, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced an "enhancement" of the 60 year ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, U.S.) Treaty, in which as many as 2,500 U.S. Marines will rotate through bases in the north.

“We are a region that is growing economically, but stability is important for economic growth too, and our alliance has been a bedrock for stability in our region.  So building on our alliance through this new initiative is about stability,” Gillard said.

The "force posture initiatives", as a White House statement describes them, will begin in mid-2012 with 250 U.S. Marines deployed and conducting exercises and training in Darwin and bases in Northern Australia.  This would expand to a 2,500-person Marine Air Ground Task Force.

There would also be closer cooperation between the two countries' air forces, involving what White House officials called "a significant increase" in rotations of U.S. aircraft through northern Australia and prepositioning of equipment and supplies.

Both leaders fielded reporter's questions about the extent to which the agreement is designed as part of the response to rising capabilities of China in the Asia-Pacific region.

President Obama put his answer in the context of what he calls the overall message for China, about being a world power in an economically important region.

"With their rise comes increased responsibilities," said the president.  "It is important for them to play by the rules of the road and, in fact, help underwrite the rules that have allowed so much remarkable econ progress to be made over the last several decades.  And, that is going to be true on a whole host of issues."

US South Pacific Military Buildup

President Obama, Prime Minister Gillard, and U.S. officials say a major objective of the agreement is also to increase the ability of the United States to quickly assist countries in East and Southeast Asia, and train and exercise with them, in such areas as anti-piracy and disaster response.

The president says the U.S. message to the entire region is "we are here to stay." A White House official says the United States is maintaining its security capabilities and alliances in Northeast Asia while enhancing them in Southeast Asia.  

Obama's speech to Australia's Parliament on Thursday is expected to communicate a broad U.S. economic and security vision for the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing the importance of stability and the region's potential.

A White House official says he will also address questions and concerns in the region about tough budget choices Washington needs to make and whether these will make it hard to maintain or increase the U.S. security presence.

In the northern city, Darwin, Thursday, Obama will speak directly to Australian soldiers and U.S. Marines at a Royal Australian Air Force Base.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid