The strategic alliance between the U.S. and Australia was strengthened last week in the face of a resurgent China. As the American military seeks to maintain a presence in South East Asia, it will increasingly rely on its allies’ training ground. “The model U.S. planners appear to have in mind for Australia, Singapore, and around the South China Sea involves regular and frequent training exercises, temporary access to host countries’ facilities, and frequent consultation by staff officers and advisors.”
What’s the Big Idea?
New cooperative relationships between the U.S. and East Asian states may have implications beyond nipping China’s military bud. An increased presence in the region could aid the American effort in Afghanistan. “U.S. policymakers have high hopes for using security force assistance to build up regional deterrence, help partners prevent insurgencies and lawlessness, and reduce the demand on U.S. forces for global security.” What remains to be seen is how American forces will cope with looming budget cuts.