12 May 2021
Stronger Together: US force posture in Australia’s north—a US perspective on Australia’s strategic geography
Stronger together: US force posture in Australia’s north—a US perspective on Australia’s strategic geography
This report argues why, and analyses how, Australia’s defence force capabilities and strategic geography can enable US force posture initiatives in the Indo-Pacific to promote greater regional cooperation in ways that advance US and Australian national interests.
Lieutenant Colonel Hanks writes that there are ‘practical and tangible areas for US-Australia cooperation and growth which include: 1) expanding the Australian defence industrial base while securing and hardening supply chains; 2) increasing US Army force posture in northern Australia; 3) increasing multinational training opportunities; and 4) in conjunction with Australia, expanding the defence partnership with Indonesia.’ ‘The US now relies on increased cooperation from partners and allies to regain the initiative from the PRC in the Indo-Pacific. Australia’s defence strategy and policies are better aligned with US defence strategy and policies today, than ever before.’
The report argues that military modernization alone will not effectively expand the competitive space and disrupt PRC grey-zone decision cycles. Thinking asymmetrically, Australia can use its strategic geography and defence capabilities to enable US force posture initiatives in the Indo-Pacific to promote greater regional cooperation and, through greater deterrent posture and capability, reduce the risk of conflict.