Commentary | 17 November 2011

Renewing an alliance

On the day of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Darwin, Australia in November 2011, Andrew Shearer writes in the Wall Street Journal about the Obama/Gillard announcement of plans to base US marines in Darwin, and examines the controversy surrounding this significant expansion of America’s military activities in Australia.
The article asks and answers the question preoccupying both industry and the security community in Australia: can a country that depends so heavily on China for its prosperity remain a stalwart US ally?
Andrew Shearer

  • Andrew Shearer

On the day of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Darwin, Australia in November 2011, Andrew Shearer writes in the Wall Street Journal about the Obama/Gillard announcement of plans to base US marines in Darwin, and examines the controversy surrounding this significant expansion of America’s military activities in Australia.
The article asks and answers the question preoccupying both industry and the security community in Australia: can a country that depends so heavily on China for its prosperity remain a stalwart US ally?
Andrew Shearer

  • Andrew Shearer

Key Findings

  • Just because Australian trade with China is flourishing does not mean Australia must be a supplicant: trade benefits both countries.
  • Opinion polling shows the majority of Australians support a greater US military presence here.
  • US’s pivot to Asia - its trade leadership, diplomatic strengthening and enhanced security arrangements - benefit Australia and provide strategic balance in the region.

Executive Summary

Beijing will grumble, but it has only itself to blame. By throwing around its increasing weight over the last couple of years, China has unnerved much of East Asia.  Its behaviour is driving US friends and allies even more firmly into Washington’s arms and creating unlikely new security partnerships, despite the fact that for many China is now a major trading partner.”

Andrew Shearer, Renewing an alliance, WSJ 17 November 2011