BARACK OBAMA is to announce that the US will begin rotating Marines through an Australian base in Darwin in a permanent new military presence, intensifying the alliance in a sign of heightened concern about China.
He is scheduled to make the announcement with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, when they visit Darwin next Thursday during Mr Obama's first visit to Australia as president. The 26-hour visit will mark the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.
The Marines are the chief US ground combat force in the Pacific theatre, the so-called ''tip of the spear''.
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