Yesterday, the National Journal reported that President Obama will announce a new military pact with Australia during his visit. In the story, Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, is quoted as saying that the deal would, “send a clear signal to the Asia Pacific region”.
The Washington Post expands on the story, saying it is part of President Obama’s 2009 promise to expand US presence in the Pacific.
Among other things, the pact would allow US Marines to conduct operations out of Australian bases. The Washington Post article also says that China is watching.