The Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) talks next week come at a time when Australia’s most important ally is reassessing its strategic policy and disposition of forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia’s security has long depended upon a robust US military presence in the Western Pacific. But America’s pre-eminence is under challenge with the rise of China.

This paper analyses the options for a local US military presence and the implications for Australia.

For Australia, the presence of US forces is about much more than just their physical presence. It is about declaring our strategic intent in the burgeoning Sino-US competition in the Asia-Pacific.

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