June 19, 2004

AXIS OF GOOD FILES:

Australia, US in missile pact (Courier Mail, 19jun04)

AUSTRALIA would formally commit to the US missile defence program at a joint conference to be held in the US next month, Defence Minister Robert Hill said today.

Senator Hill said the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) would formalise Australia's long-term commitment to participate in the US missile defence program.

"We intend to sign the MOU at the next Australia-US Ministerial Consultations planned in the US for early July," Senator Hill said.

Senator Hill said the MOU would provide a 25-year framework under which broad areas of cooperation can be agreed, before entering into more specific arrangements once individual projects were agreed to.

"This is a long-term commitment to securing our future and strengthening the alliance," he said.

Senator Hill said the first area of cooperation would involve research, development, testing and evaluation of technologies that could be used in the missile defence program.

"This will not only be in our strategic defence interests by further developing our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, but also provide maximum opportunities for Australian industry," he said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 19, 2004 8:02 AM
Comments

This is good from the aspect of securing a strong military alliance in that area, with the ascendance of China to regional prominence. Don't be surprised to see Japan become closer to China and more distant from America over the next 25 years. Japan's recent economic revival has more to do with exports to China than to the US.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 19, 2004 1:31 PM

Robert - you may be right as Japan probably fears China more than the US.
This news about Australia is good. Also wasn't a free trade agreement signed between the US and Australia or is that still in the works?

Posted by: AWW at June 19, 2004 4:28 PM
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