Nov 9, 2012

All the way with the USA? How Darwin received its US troops

When the "enduring presence" of US marines in Darwin was announced locals were too giddy by Obama's presence to question it. Justin Tutty from BaseWatch examines what happened when they arrived.

It’s almost a year since the public learnt of an agreement between Australia and the US to base an “enduring presence” of US marines in Darwin.

The first tranche of around 200 marines have been and gone, in a six-month stint of well-honed PR activity, and the Americans are floating the idea of raising their number even beyond the full company of 2500 announced last year. So how has Darwin welcomed the influx?

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6 thoughts on “All the way with the USA? How Darwin received its US troops

  1. Duncan James

    Curious about the reference to “the local paper” … it’s the NT News, the Territory’s only daily published from Darwin (a metro paper by definition). It doesn’t need to be hidden behind a generic reference, in fact it looks churlish. The ABC’s NT team refers to the News as “the local paper” all the time, too.
    Some snotty cringe factor at work? We don’t need to be protected from this iconic, cheeky brand!

  2. Duncan James

    Ah, I see … now you’ve updated the yarn to refer to “lifting editorials” – from 2004!
    Doesn’t just look churlish … it is.

  3. zut alors

    Fear the worst. On ABC’s Lateline this week Bob Carr stressed (on no less than SIX occasions) that the US military are not seeking a base in Darwin. We can guess what that means.

    He doth protest too much?

  4. ulysses butterfly

    Nice article Justin.

    The local newspaper should be replaced with a balanced media outlest and hopefully digital will achieve that very thing. Looks like the loyalists with a Murdoch brand on their butt have followed you here.

    The local rag may be many things but a “news” paper – mmm. That would involve quality journalism. Serious work. Higher levels of insight, light not heat. Expertise in lowest common denominator nonsense is not journalism.

    I recall the foreigners aka American services at a bus depot in Darwin 15 years back. I presume from Pine Gap spy station. It was noticeable how loud and self confident they were. True I was pretty overworked and worn out but I seemed to notice a jarring extroverted, rulers of the world confidence, inviting a challenge, a jutted jaw and postured swagger.

    I’ve heard similar (and worse) about the US swagger in Vietnam during the ‘American’ war as it’s called there … sourced to Australian armed services. Maybe those veterans are the sources we should go to?

    I’ve also read a comment that Australians should not fool themselves they are like Americans. That rather we are more English in social norms, a bit more restrained, a bit less bullcrap, and that Americans are actually a completely different ‘race’ meant in a cultural sense. If anything Australians are somewhere between the English and the US in anglo dominant cultures.

  5. geomac62

    I,m against any foreign troops being stationed permanently on Australian soil / We are not Iraq , Sth Korea or a former colony of the USA such as the Philippines . Another point that should be addressed if we are to have military permanent or otherwise is the same treatment under Australian law . What happens if an Australian person in our defence forces commits a crime ? Although I,m sure there are some policies in place they still front a court same as anyone else . Exactly the same should apply to military from abroad be they Asian or American , wherever they come from .

  6. mattsui

    Transparency between the Australian people and our leaders is too much to ask for when it comes to U.S. military relations. But it is good to see people are still asking questions.
    The Americans on Okinawa, Japan are still causing trouble, 65 years on from that deployment. Serious sexual assault and drunken brawling. Local governors are at a loss, seeking justice from outside the closed shop of the U.S. bases. The Japanese Government unable to bring any pressure to bear on American Brass.
    Don’t expect any better at home.

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