US to increase military presence in Australia, invites Japan
Washington's intimidation tactics against Beijing involve Australia and Japan.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin announced that the US is set to strengthen its military presence in Southeast Asia, boosting its rotational presence of its air, land, and sea forces in Australia as tensions with China grow.
Speaking after the annual talks between Washington and Canberra, Austin noted, without providing much detail, "What we've agreed to do is to increase rotations of air, land and sea forces, these are rotational forces obviously, to Australia."
Washington is planning to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an airbase in northern Australia as thousands of US Marines are already on rotation through Australia's Northern Territory, and are stationed there on a yearly basis for training and joint military exercises.
The US perceives Australia as a partner in its war with China, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, in which analysts are saying that Australia can play a crucial role in logistics in defending Taiwan and US interests.
Austin added that Washington and Canberra even invited Japan to "integrate into our force posture initiatives in Australia."
AUKUS formed to counter China
In September of 2021, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia announced forming a trilateral partnership in the form of a military alliance dubbed AUKUS, to boost nuclear capabilities and "strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region" as the West grows warier of China, although they did not mention that in their announcement.
The alliance will also see the three nations sharing their know-how on AI, cyber, and quantum technologies, in addition to underwater and long-range missile capabilities.
This involved Australia canceling a submarine deal it had concluded with France, a move that Paris dubbed a "stab in the back." The row soured the three countries' relationship with Paris.
The US and UK agreed, under the aggressive anti-China, anti-Russia AUKUS pact, to supply high-end technology to Australia. Criticism has been surfacing, condemning Australia for merging its military activities with the United States, particularly its nuclear activities, despite being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).