Oz to eclipse Britain as prime ally of US: analysts

New Zealand Herald
By Greg Ansley
June 4, 2011

Australia’s relationship with the United States could become one of Washington’s most important, rivalling Nato and the special ties to Britain, new American strategic papers predict.

But both papers, lodged with China on the rise, also question present Australian strategic directions and the hugely expensive cutting-edge hardware being bought for its navy and air force.

Colonel John Angevine, a distinguished US military thinker now serving in Afghanistan, warns that Australia is hobbling its ability to deal with the lower-level regional crises it’s most likely to face and says Canberra should rethink its shopping list.

Angevine and Transatlantic Academy research fellow Iskander Rehman also believe Australia should base more US forces on its soil, including strike forces such as submarines and F22 Raptor stealth fighters.

The US already has a significant presence in Australia and is planning to expand the joint naval communications base in Western Australia, to join cyber warfare programmes, and is also understood to be discussing pre-positioning American combat and other material in Australia and increased joint training. …

Read on: www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10730219