Reports Say US to Station Troops in Australia

Posted November 11th, 2011 at 3:50 am (UTC-5)
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Australian and U.S. media are reporting that U.S. President Barack Obama will use a visit to Australia next week to announce that Washington will station troops at a base in Darwin.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that Mr. Obama is scheduled to make the announcement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard when they visit Darwin next Thursday during Mr. Obama's first visit to Australia as president.

The article said the U.S. will not build a new base in the city, but will use the existing Robertson Barracks nearby.

Neither the Pentagon nor Australian officials would comment on the report.

Citing U.S. and Australian officials, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the expanded U.S. military presence in Australia is designed to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the region. The newspaper said the move is part of a U.S. effort to “refocus on Asia” as it withdraws forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.