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Reply to Laincoubert's post # 62.|
You are right that the US bases give the US more power (although China and the US would call it 'ability to protect their interests'), and you are right that it does not give Australia more power (although some politicians might think so).
It does, however, give stability to this region. There are many successful, stable countries (Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Phillipines...), but some which are struggling (Fiji, PNG, Solomons...). Taiwan and China are also having their own little turf war here, which is not helping these small island states. The US gives a stability which can not be provided by anyone else. It is not perfect and the US can be as stupid and selfish as any other country, but it has worked so far.
Finally, there are few countries in Asia that do not have this insurance. North Korea has China, while South Korea, Japan, India, Vietnam, Singapore, the Phillipines, Taiwan... are all involved in alliances with the US to some extent. Only a few host bases, but a in the past few thousand years, alliances have been used as insurance. It does not make a country a slave to another country, and these may fade as China becomes more established in its new position as a superpower, but saying countries do not need these alliances means you are very idealistic. I admire you for that, but I don't think it is wise to run a country based on ideals in the place of realism.