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Wed 16 Nov 2011 11:30 AM

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US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific

President Barack Obama arrived in Australia on two-day visit to bolster ties with US ally

US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
US president Barack Obama (C) shares a laugh with Australian prime minister Julia Gillard (L) and Australian governor general Quentin Bryce (R) after arriving in Australia (Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
President Barack Obama landed in Australia on Wednesday where he is expected to announce a deepening of US military presence in the Asia-Pacific, starting with US Marines rotating in and out of the Australian port of Darwin - a gateway to Asia (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
US troops in Darwin, only 820 kms (500 miles) from Indonesia, would be able to react quickly to any humanitarian and security issues in Southeast Asia, eliminating days of sailing from US bases in north Asia or the Pacific. (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Obama was met by prime minister Julia Gillard after stepping off Airforce One and greeted with a 21 gun salute when he arrived at Parliament buildings in the Australian capital (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives in Canberra on November 16, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Some Asian nations are expected to welcome the US military move in Australia as a counterbalance to China's growing power, especially its expanding maritime operations, and a reassurance that Washington will not scale back its engagement in the region due to a stretched US military budget (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Obama plans to raise maritime security in the South China Sea at a regional summit on Bali this week, defying China's desire to keep this sensitive topic off the agenda (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Darwin, nicknamed the "Pearl Harbour of Australia" after a World War Two Japanese raid dropped more bombs on the city than those on Pearl Harbour, will give the US military open access to East Asia sea lanes and the Indian Ocean (Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Australia says hosting US troops and the pre-positioning of US supplies in Darwin is not the precursor to a US base, but analysts say rotating more than 2,000 US Marines in and out of the northern port city, and more frequent US naval visits, will give Washington a de facto base (AFP/Getty Images)
US plans to deepen its military footprint in Asia-Pacific
Obama will make an ‘anchor speech’ outlining the US vision for the Asia-Pacific to the Australian parliament on Thursday before a whistle stop in Darwin before flying to the Indonesian island of Bali for the East Asia summit (Getty Images)