The Labor government is cold to suggestions that Australia needs to accommodate long-term presence of U.S. nuclear strike force group within its borders, in the northwest region specifically.
"We don't have United States military bases in Australia and we are not proposing to," Defence Minister Stephen Smith said in a speech he delivered Wednesday before the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra.
He was reacting to a report issued this week by U.S. think-tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that strongly recommended to Washington the wisdom of maintaining a warship strike team to be led by a nuclear capable aircraft carrier.
CSIS identified the HMAS Stirling in Perth, Western Australia as the possible anchorage location for the formidable U.S. military presence, which the group cited for its relative proximity to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.
The report, which was sponsored by the U.S. Defence Department and submitted before the U.S. Congress, also noted that the United States and Australia enjoy a long-history in military partnership.
The build up is believed as America's latest posturing to counter the rise of China in the Asia Pacific region, which was articulated on November 2011 by U.S. President Barack Obama during his state visit to Australia.
But Mr Smith is not convinced that the scenarios painted by the CSIS report were necessary both for Australia and its American allies.
"What we have talked about in terms of either increased aerial access or naval access is precisely that - greater access to our facilities," senior Labor minister was reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) as saying.
He clarified too that what the CSIS report had laid out was not exactly the position of the American government.
"The report is an independent report to the United States government. It's not a United States government document," Mr Smith stressed.
Also, ABC reported that Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett was not sold to the proposals outlined by CSIS on its report, in which Mr Smith said he cannot help but to agree.
The government position is seen by analysts as reflective of its hesitance to offend China, which presently is Australia's biggest trading partner.
In lieu of the likely base for a U.S. strike group, which reportedly will also include squadrons of combat jets to be stationed in the country, Mr Smith said he is keener to see U.S. forces being given "further or enhanced naval access to HMAS Stirling."
The defence minister also dismissed reports that the number of U.S. Marines to be deployed in Darwin will eventually surpass the 2500 previously announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
"There is no suggestion being made to us that Australia should receive such a large number of marines transferred from Okinawa or from Guam," Mr Smith was reported by ABC as saying.
"We're proceeding on the basis of the agreement between the Australian Government and the United States administration of a six month rotation out of Darwin," he added.
The Canberra occasion was also used by Mr Smith to provide updates on the defence white paper that will be released on the first half of 2013, major substance of which he flagged as pretty much in line with the dominant task and priorities of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The ADF, the government said, is geared to respond with equal importance on the rise not only of China but also of India.
In fact, Australia's reinvigorated military partnership with the United States operates on such premise, Mr Smith said.
"The strategic rationale for that is the growing importance of India and the growing importance of the Indian Ocean rim, particularly in a naval and maritime sense," he pointed out.
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