Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets with U.S. Marines at Robertson Barracks in Darwin (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

America’s presence in the Top End is ramping up.

On Monday, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was forced to reject suggestions Australia could position US missiles near Darwin, citing the fact that, despite rhetoric from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper after the dissolution of a prohibitive Cold War treaty, the US has made no such requests.

Along with a demand to join Trump’s growing quasi war with Iran, Pompeo left the question of missiles up in the air (!) but called on Australia to sideline economic ties with China in lieu of defence ties: “You can sell your soul for a pile of soybeans or you can protect your people,” he told a Centre for Independent Studies panel at the NSW State Library.