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Australia Willingly Joins Obama in the “Foxhole”Australia Willingly Joins Obama in the “Foxhole”

Australia Willingly Joins Obama in the “Foxhole”Australia Willingly Joins Obama in the “Foxhole”

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June 13, 2014 (LPAC)– Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in Washington to willingly, under British Commonwealth direction, volunteer his country to stand in the front lines against China, even though the Australian economy is heavily dependent on trade with the world’s second-largest economic power.

According to a U.S. statement overnight, discussions between President Barack Obama and the visiting Australian Prime Minister resulted in a commitment from Canberra for help in pushing forward with expanded missile-defense plans, ostensibly as a counter to North Korea. The talks also firmed up U.S. intentions to position more warships and aircraft in Australia, {according to the Wall Street Journal}.

Japan has had a joint ballistic-missile defense system with the US in place since 2010. And Washington is pushing hard to jam a THAAD ABM system with associated advanced radars down the throats of the South Koreans.

Washington’s statement on June 12 said the U.S. was now examining ways for Australia to participate in a bigger regional system, using the country’s coming fleet of missile destroyers equipped with advanced Aegis radar capability. “We are working to explore opportunities to expand cooperation on ballistic missile defense, including working together to identify potential Australian contributions to ballistic missile defense in the Asia-Pacific region,” the U.S. statement said.

The Abbott government has pursued austerity in domestic programs in order to fund a new fleet of warships as part of an offensive military build-up that includes investments in new stealth-fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, amphibious carriers and submarines that could have no potential target except China. The build-up will cost close to 90 billion Australian dollars (US$85 billion) over a decade. (For comparison, named “enemy” North Korea’s total output of about $40 billion is less than half of Australia’s expected outlay — to defend against the belligerent, but poor and distant country.)

After the talks, Australia’s Tony Abbott said his country had agreed to arrangements for an expanded U.S. military presence at whatever level was deemed “appropriate and necessary” by Washington and its allies for safeguarding regional stability. In 2011, the U.S. and Australia reached a deal to rotate a 2,500-strong U.S. marine expeditionary brigade through Darwin in North-west Australia as part of Washington’s “pivot” to Asia.

Using typical double-talk, Abbott told Australia’s Sky Television “We’re not talking about U.S. bases.” “We’re talking about the United States using our bases on a more regular basis, and having an appropriate legal arrangement for this to go forward.” An arrangement similar to that in the Philippines where the Constitution directly forbids foreign bases.

Australia and Japan also agreed to expand military ties, including joint development of military hardware during talks in Tokyo this week.

Obama said the latest agreement laid a platform for the “additional reach” of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific, and he praised Mr. Abbott’s government for boosting defense spending. “Aussies know how to fight, and I like having them in a foxhole if we’re in trouble,” Obama said in Washington June 12.

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