Australia is upgrading its military bases to host more American forces and arming itself with weapons that can threaten China.
Australia is also helping America weave a wider “latticework” of ad hoc security pacts across the Indo-Pacific region.
“We have no greater friend, no greater partner, no greater ally than Australia,” declared Antony Blinken, America’s secretary of state, during a recent visit.
Yet the risks and cost of their more aggressive security posture are causing some disquiet in Australia.
With a population of just 26m, on an island-continent spanning three time zones, Australia has capable but only modest armed forces.
As a member of the “Five Eyes”, Australia and America have long shared intelligence, along with Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
For Hugh White of Australian National University, Australia would do better to defend waters closer to home with cheaper diesel-electric submarines. »