The United States is "pivoting" to the Pacific, and as it does, it seeks a larger partner in its Aussie allies.
For Australia that partnership involves leadership appointments but also accepting a battalion of around 1100 Marines as permanent residents. The idea has a few leaders and residents a bit spooked, reports Clayton Bennet of nt.news.com.au.
From his report:
SEXUAL assault, violence, sustainability and security were among the topics brought up at a meeting to discuss the impact of US marines in Darwin.
Marines have stood accused of sexual assault at home and abroad. On the flip side Marines have also gained the attention of several excited Aussie ladies since the announcement of their arrival in Australia.
One Australian woman told Business Insider that "Single ladies here do go wild when a U.S. Navy ship docks ... "
"I used to be one of them ... in my early days," she explained. "But it is nice to see a load of buff American men around ... "
Overall though, it seems like Australia is looking forward to seeing the Marines, as their potential drawbacks also come with a host of benefits. American servicemen don't just add American dollars to local economies, they lead to lucrative deals between two nations.
From the Armed Service Press Service:
The secretary of state (Clinton) also congratulated the Australian Parliament for approving the U.S.-Australian Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty. “This agreement will boost trade and help our companies collaborate more closely and spur innovation,” she said. “It’s a definite win-win.”
China issued a sharp warning to the Aussies not to get involved in American strategy. Nonetheless, that 1100 Marines will double to 2500 in the coming years.
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