Australia-US: Richard Marles urged to put everything on the table in negotiations with the US

Experts say Australia should be ready when the Defense Secretary lands in the US for the night.

Australia should be ready to put everything on the table ahead of talks with the US this week, according to Australia’s leading defense think tank.

Defense Secretary Richard Marles flew out on Sunday for the first ministerial visit since the May election.

The development of the AUKUS submarine program is expected to be high on the agenda, as is the Albanian government’s latest offensive in the Indo-Pacific region.

The complex backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Pacific Islands and China’s People’s Liberation Army aggression in the South China Sea means Australia must take an unhindered approach to the US, security experts say.

Beck Shrimpton of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said everything should be on the table when he talks to his US counterparts.

“Deep, constructive and purposeful US regional engagement has always been a key challenge within our Alliance, but there are many strategic issues that require a collective approach at this time, in which Australia-US cooperation is absolutely critical,” she told NCA. Timeline.

“There should be no questions left to discuss with our closest strategic ally and partner.

“What ultimately unites us are the core interests and common values, although sometimes we express them independently of each other, as we should.”

Mr. Marles expanded his presence in the Indo-Pacific region after being sworn in in May.

Visiting India, Singapore and Japan, Mr. Marles forged closer defense ties with Australia amid shared concerns about China’s military power.

His visit to the US is overshadowed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s presence at the Pacific Islands Leaders’ Forum in Fiji on Wednesday.

Ms. Shrimpton said Beijing’s attempts to exploit internal divisions in the SDF are of concern, as are China’s efforts to create an alternative security architecture in the Pacific.

Privately, the US has been encouraging Australian politicians to step up their actions in the region for some time now.

The Biden administration welcomed the Albani governments’ renewed focus on the Pacific.

Mr. Marles highlighted the progress of the AUKUS submarine program as a key point of discussion with Lloyd Austin.

Plans for Australia’s future submarines are expected to be made public by March next year after the Department of Defense’s “review plan” is completed to decide which vessel to use.

In a statement, Mr Marles said he was “ambitious” about what the two countries could achieve together.

“I look forward to bringing new energy to the table. It is imperative that we work together with our allies and partners to protect the rules-based international order,” he said.

Ms Shrimpton agreed and urged the new government to make a visit to “put their own stamp” on the AUKUS agreement.

“The Chinese government has issued a clear challenge to the US, its allies and partners in key technology areas,” she said.

“We must demonstrate that we can compete effectively, and we will only do so by using our respective capabilities and technological advantages to achieve common goals.

“There is an early opportunity here to address vital issues related to technology and the industrial base.

“The government should use every interaction with the US to move on to concrete projects that can cut a path through traditional barriers to cooperation, including in the areas of export controls and acquisition policy.”

Originally published as Australia urged to put everything on the table in negotiations with the US