United States will deploy THOUSANDS of troops in the Northern Territory after Australia admitted war with China IS possi

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United States will deploy THOUSANDS of troops in the Northern Territory after Australia admitted war with China IS possi

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... 0&ito=1490

United States will deploy THOUSANDS of troops in the Northern Territory after Australia admitted war with China IS possible
US Army servicemen will be deployed in the Northern Territory for the first time
They will join a rotational force of more than 200 US Marines by September
Comes after Australia signed historic AUKUS pact with America and Britain
Beijing has fumed at the new alliance, with state media warning of nukes
By LEVI PARSONS FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP

PUBLISHED: 01:58 GMT, 16 March 2022

Thousands of American soldiers trained to use surface-to-air missile systems, High Mobility Artillery Rockets and unmanned aircraft are bound for Australia as tensions grow with China.

The rotational US Marine force of about 2200 servicemen and women will be based in the Northern Territory during the upcoming dry season from September.

It is the 11th deployment to the Top End and for the first time will include 250 US Army personnel, the Australian Defence Force announced.

The contingent is part of an ongoing US initiative in the Indo-Pacific region to prepare for a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan in coming years.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton in September warned conflict with China 'shouldn't be discounted' and on Wednesday told the US Studies Centre Beijing may look to annex Taiwan while the world is preoccupied with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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The marine deployment will complement that Enhanced Air Co-operation program between the Royal Australian Air Force and United States Air Force.

About 1000 Marines have already landed in Darwin.

They will train with the ADF to ensure they are able to respond to crises in the region.

That could include humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, evacuation missions, and reinforcing US embassies or military operations.

Darwin's location just south of more than a dozen Asian countries and some of the world's busiest shipping lanes makes it a strategic stepping-off point.

The training will include live-fire military exercises to improve cohesion between Australian and US forces and those of other regional allies.

Commander of the ADF's northern force Colonel Marcus Constable said the US alliance was Australia's most important defence relationship and central to the nation's security plan.
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'The (Marine rotational force) is a key way we increase regional co-operation with partners in the Indo-Pacific,' he said.

'Together we conduct a comprehensive range of training activities including humanitarian assistance, security operations and high-end live fire exercises.'

Colonel Christopher Steele, the US Marine Corps commander in Darwin, said the Marines from southern California were excited to contribute to regional security.

The Marines are expected to complete the rotation in October.

The announcement comes as Mr Dutton warned 'credible military force' would be used, if necessary, to deter the spread of authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific.

In an address to the United States Studies Centre, Mr Dutton warned of 'ominous signs' stemming from a Chinese-Russian alliance, saying Australia and the US would step up to shape the Indo-Pacific around mutual interests.

'Australia and the United States are in lock-step in our commitment to regional stability,' he told the forum.

Australia admits war with China IS possible over Taiwan
In September, Australia's defence minister admitted that war with China over Taiwan is a possibility and warned that his country needs to start preparing - just a day after signing an historic defence pact with the UK and US.

Peter Dutton, speaking from Washington where he was meeting with US officials, insisted that the new alliance - which will give Australia at least eight nuclear submarines and other advanced military technology - was about securing 'peace' in the region but the odds of a conflict with China 'shouldn't be discounted'.

'The Chinese.. are very clear of their intent with regard to Taiwan [and] the United States has been very clear of their intention toward Taiwan,' he said. 'Nobody wants to see conflict but that really is a question for the Chinese.'

President Xi Jinping has vowed to 'reunify' Taiwan with China in the near future, and in 2019 said he will use force if necessary. Meanwhile Joe Biden recently vowed to defend the island if it is attacked - though officials later said he 'misspoke' and that America's long-standing policy of 'strategic ambiguity' remains in place.

Mr Dutton issued the grim warning as Beijing continues to fume over the submarine pact - dubbed AUKUS - with state newspapers penning furious columns while unnamed military sources warned the deployment of nuclear-powered subs could make Australia the target of a nuclear strike. The defence minister targeted China directly, saying the Communist Party chiefs may seek to use the cover of the conflict in Ukraine as 'a useful distraction and an opportunity to pursue their own acts of aggression and coercion.'

'This threat emanates chiefly from Beijing, which has its own openly stated territorial ambitions, and which recently entered a 'no-limits' cooperative partnership with the Kremlin,' Mr Dutton said.

To counter Beijing's growing aggression in the region the US, Australia and the UK announced the AUKUS pact which will see Canberra secure nuclear-powered submarines in the coming decades.

The move outraged the communist superpower with state-controlled media outlets warning the move could see Australia become the target of nuclear strikes.

Labor defence spokesman Brendan O'Connor told the USSC the ALP would seek to maintain strategic ambiguity over Taiwan - which China regards as its territory and not an independent nation.

It follows comments from the defence minister, who said it would be 'inconceivable' Australia would not back US troops in a military conflict over the island.This is because declaring intended military action in response to hypothetical situations only serves to tilt the strategic calculation in favour of those who seek to instigate conflict,' Mr O'Connor said.

But Labor leader Anthony Albanese said China needed to be called out for stance on Ukraine, after Beijing offered Russia economic lifelines that will enable it to withstand Western sanctions.

'China has a responsibility to call out Russia's behaviour and its aggression,' Mr Albanese said.

'It's outrageous. It's against international law and it should be called out by all countries, including China, which has a particular responsibility due to its closeness to Russia and also because it's a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.'

Mr Dutton further warned of the possibility Australia would be targeted by escalating cyber-attacks, following its support of Ukraine in the face of Russia's invasion.

'The Kremlin has long sought to weaponise the internet as a means of conducting a form of asymmetric warfare in the post-Soviet era,' he said.
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Mr Dutton also labelled Russia's invasion an 'unprecedented disaster' that could destroy President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president would be evaluating the costs and outcomes of the conflict in Ukraine to determine his next steps in the fight, he added.

A united West - in defiance of the response Mr Putin was expecting following the invasion - was the only thing standing between 'liberty and the abyss', Mr Dutton said.

'Today, it is the Ukrainian people fighting to defend their freedoms against extinction,' he added.

'If President Putin succeeds, all free nations will face a darker tomorrow.'

It comes as the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning President Putin as a war criminal.The US has placed a fresh round of sanctions on Russian military leaders and suspected human rights abusers, as well as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

US President Joe Biden is also planning to visit European NATO allies for the first time since the invasion began.

But as Russian troops edge closer to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was unlikely the country would be joining the NATO military alliance.

Mr Putin has said steps toward integrating a Russian neighbour into NATO were the main trigger for the ongoing invasion.

'We have heard for many years about the open doors, but we also heard that we can't enter those doors,' Mr Zelensky said.

'This is the truth, and we have simply to accept it as it is.'

Mr Zelensky will address the US Congress on Wednesday (AEST), likely in a bid for more help.
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Why is Australia getting the subs?
Why nuclear submarines?
Nuclear submarines are powered by nuclear reactors which produce heat that creates high-pressured steam to spin turbines and power the boat's propeller. They can run for about 20 years before needing to refuel, meaning food supplies are the only limit on time at sea.

The boats are also very quiet, making it harder for enemies to detect them and can travel at top speed - about 40kmh - for longer than diesel-powered subs.

The first nuclear submarines were put to sea by the United States in the 1950s. They are now also in use by Russia, France, the United Kingdom, China, and India. A senior US defence official told reporters in Washington DC: 'This will give Australia the capability for their submarines to basically deploy for a longer period, they're quieter, they're much more capable. 'They will allow us to sustain and to improve deterrence across the Indo-Pacific.'

Zack Cooper, a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, said nuclear submarines would hugely boost Australia's military capability. They are going to be much, much more capable in the large, expansive ocean that is Australia has to deal with,' he told the ABC.

Will Australia have nuclear weapons?
Scott Morrison made it clear that the nuclear-power submarines will not have nuclear missiles on board. Australia has never produced nuclear weapons and signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1973 which prevents non-nuclear states which don't already have them from developing nuclear weapons.

Mr Morrison also said the Australia has no plans to build nuclear power stations which are widely used around the world. 'But let me be clear, Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability,' he said. 'And we will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations.'
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