The U.S. Embassy in Canberra and the Australian Defence Department did not respond Friday to questions about the possible effect of the trilateral defense pact on the Marine rotations.
“I do have an aspiration to make sure that we can increase the numbers of troops through the rotations,” Dutton said.
John Coyne from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the 99-year lease of the Darwin Port to Landbridge could prove an impediment to the allies' military expansion plans.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, also without giving numbers, confirmed that the United States “will expand our access and presence in Australia.”
"If that includes basing and includes the storage of different ordinances, I think that is in Australia's best interests, in our national interests at this point in time."