Australia rejects US aircraft carrier base

2012-08-02 11:02

Sydney - Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith has rejected a proposal to base a US nuclear aircraft carrier and other warships in the country, a move that would rankle key trade partner China.

The idea of using the Australian navy's western base, HMAS Stirling near Perth, to host an American carrier group, and other fighter jets was reportedly raised in a study of US military posture in the Asia-Pacific.

Media in Australia said the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report, commissioned by the US Defence Department, has been submitted to Congress.

Smith said after a speech late on Wednesday that while increased US access to HMAS Stirling was possible long-term, American aircraft carriers would not be based in Australia.

"The report is an independent report to the United States government. It's not a United State government document," he said.

"We don't have United States military bases in Australia and we are not proposing to. What we have talked about in terms of either increased aerial access or naval access is precisely that - greater access to our facilities.

Focus on Asia

"The strategic rationale for that is the growing importance of India and the growing importance of the Indian Ocean rim, particularly in a naval and maritime sense."

In June, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta announced in Singapore that the United States would shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the Pacific by 2020 as part of a new strategic focus on Asia.

It followed a visit to Australia last year by US President Barack Obama who announced an enhanced defence co-operation with Canberra which will see up to 2 500 US Marines deployed in the country.

It is part of Washington's plan to bolster its military presence in the strategically vital Asia-Pacific, amid concerns about China's increasing assertiveness.

The CSIS report considers various options for increasing, decreasing or leaving US military presence in the region at its current level, Australian media said.

Another proposal canvasses expanding the Marines' presence to a full air ground taskforce that would see thousands more troops in Australia's north, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Smith played this down.

"There is no suggestion being made to us that Australia should receive such a large number of Marines transferred from Okinawa or from Guam," he said.

The United States announced in April it would pull 9 000 Marines out of Japan as it seeks to ease a long-running standoff over the future of its huge military presence in one of its top Asian allies.

  • arm.witmens - 2012-08-02 11:14

    RISK on a large scale.

  • Gavin - 2012-08-02 11:20

    China rules the world -

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 11:32

      "Let China slumber, for when she wakes, she will conquer the world." -Napoleon

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:43

      Fidel holds an old-style hegemony paradigm of the world. And he openly wants the neo-Communist Chinese regime, run by a politburo, to rule the world.

  • ian.vanhelsdingen - 2012-08-02 16:02

    @fidel... you seem very anti-western...but wait until Africa becomes colonised by anti-liberal comunist China and you'll be changing your tune pretty fast...if you think Europeans are be opressive and brutal you aint' seen nothing yet...

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 16:13

      Whether they will be worse than the west, we'll have to wait and see, you appear to have already made up your mind but you don't say what you are basing that particular opinion on. Do you just think the Chinese are terrible people and that it is inevitable that they will behave like that? I for one, will start getting worried when the troops start disembarking.

      Cavefacio - 2012-08-02 16:40

      fidel deletes own posts? I do not understand why Oz refusing US basing facility will anger China. According to my knowledge rankle means anger, infuriate, annoy etc. What is a big majority? By a large margin? The majority is more than the minority. Be that as it may it is clear that fidel also not only is anti-west, but also one of those that blames all the ails of Africa on others. The "corrupt ruling class" could have said no. Before or after they became the rulers. Or should one believe that an African becomes corrupt when receiving money/trading/is involved in commerce?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:44

      Fidel has openly stated that the neo-Soviet Russian regime and the neo-Communist Chinese regimes are going to bring democracy to the Middle East, democracy they themselves don't have.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:47

      Fidel distorts reality with a highly immature and biased "the West is evil" core belief. He has stated this again and again and again. This leads him to unwittingly support oppression. He doesn't know he's doing this, but doing it he his. There's nothing to discuss with him as long as he chooses to hold this one belief. Many people have tried.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 18:10

      @Cavecio I didn't delete anything. It's the stupid annoying moderator or some imbecile who decided to censor my comment by reporting it as not complying with the house rules. African ruling elites who refused to be supplecants of western powers were all assasinated or overthrown, starting from Nkrumah, to Lumumba, to Machel, to Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, to Moamar Ghaddafi, etc. The west will not tolerate any independent African state because her economy is linked to Africa. It's strange not to read any comment relating to how Australia has sold out to China as we often hear on these threads regarding South African economic and political relationship with the Chinese. @Enrico China's borders haven't changed in over 3000 years. The Tibetans were misled by the Americans in the 1950s, who wanted a frontline state to counter the newly established communist Republic.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 18:21

      Case in point. Fidel's highly immature anti-West core belief at play again, crafting a pseudo-victim reality that unwittingly leads to raw oppression and autocracy.

      Cavefacio - 2012-08-02 18:40

      @fidel. Erm it is actually Cavefacio not Cavecio. Find out what it means, it will further your education which you sadly seem to lack. For example the death of Machel is as a result of either a pissartist pilot or Russian conspiracy. Take your pick, but the then USSR was certainly not a western power. The South African complicity was a false flag operation. How do I know this? The same info that makes you such a clever global political and social political expert.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 19:14

      @Cavefacio Apologies about the mispelt, nevertheless your post neither supports your point nor detracts from mine. I am not anti west. I am anti western Imperialism!

      Cavefacio - 2012-08-02 19:34

      Thanx fidel for the apology. Mature. Please note that I am using the same logic as you do. That said though, The ME imperialism of Hussein (Kuwait, remember that?), the Yom Kippur attack, USSR vassal states, Falklands and numerous other do not bother you?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 20:08

      I am more concerned about foreign imperialist whose policies have a direct impact on this beautiful continent and her people.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 17:02

    The ties between Australia and the US are extremely strong. They are virtually unshakeable.

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