‘A Pentagon-commissioned report on repositioning US forces in the region had suggested relocating a carrier from the US East Coast to an Australian naval base south of Perth as part of a shift in the US military’s overseas deployment to the Asia-Pacific region. The report had been drafted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith said on Thursday that Australia’s Indian Ocean base, HMAS Stirling would never become a US military base, although, negotiations were underway to increase the US Navy’s access to the outpost.
“We have made it crystal clear from the first moment – we don’t have United States military bases in Australia. We don’t see the need for that,” The Associated Press quoted Smith as saying on Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.’