June 19, 2006
Prime Minister John Howard said today he would warmly welcome the establishment of American military bases in northern Australia.
The Financial Review reported that two joint Australia-United States bases, designed for military training and as forward camps, would be established at Bradshaw in the Northern Territory and Yampi Sound in Western Australia.
Mr Howard did not confirm the details but said the government would welcome the American presence.
"We made an announcement some time ago ... to the effect that we were going to expand the capacity for training and operations exercises ... in northern Australia for Americans," he said.
"Whether you describe that as bases or not, I don't know.
"Can I say very openly that the notion of that sort of thing occurring in Australia ... involving American forces is not something that I would other than very warmly welcome."
Mr Howard said he expected the public and the states would support such operations, which would generate substantial income.
"As far as I'm concerned, subject always to the proper arrangements to fully respect and maintain and continue to observe Australian sovereignty, the notion of bases or operational facilities or training facilities by Americans is something I would warmly welcome," he said.
"My understanding is that all the Americans want at the present time is to have a capacity to train.
"I don't have any difficulty with that and I imagine it would be quite warmly supported by the Australian public."
WHAT THE HELL IS HOWARD THINKING! WAR WITH INDONESIA?