US military boost in Australia
President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced at a joint news conference that their two countries have agreed to maintain U.S. military forces in Australia. International relations professor Michael Corgan is a specialist in international security with extensive government service in political and military planning, especially NATO. He offers the following comment on the agreement:
“This is all move and counter-move.
“Privately, most ASEAN nations want the U.S. to keep its presence strong in the area to offset China’s growing sense of primacy in the region.
“Moreover, there are eight million nations overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea – China being the most assertive and claiming the most territory – but six of them have individuals or forces occupying the islands, reefs, whatever. It’s a potential showdown area.
“Remember that holding territory extends one’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and all the fishes and marine life in it.”
Contact Corgan at 617-353-3553; firstname.lastname@example.org