Aussie politicians posturing in response to President Trump’s immigration bans would do well to pay attention to the new Secretary of State. Former oil executive Rex Tillerson used his confirmation hearing to assert that the new administration will deny China access to artificial islands they’ve built in the South China Sea.
When I woke to the news that the USA military would be conducting amphibious manoeuvres on my local beach, I decided to seize the opportunity to protest the context of a growing foreign military presence in and around Darwin. This growing foreign presence has contributed to the largest ever Darwin component of the biennial Talisman Sabre war rehearsals, amid counter-strategic posturing towards China.
It’s almost a year since the public learned of an agreement between Australia and the US to base an ‘enduring presence’ of US Marines in Darwin. The first tranche of around 200 Marines have been and gone in a six-month stint of well-honed PR activity, and the Americans are floating the idea of raising their number even beyond the full company of 2500 announced last year. So how has Darwin welcomed the influx?