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THE United States will be able to build permanent military facilities on Australian soil and expand to locations across the country under a deal struck between Tony Abbott and Barack Obama.
The deal — which initially covers up to 2500 US forces rotating through Darwin but can be expanded — will allow the US to bring warships, planes and troops in Australia.
New bases can be set up across the country and the number of troops increased without limit over 25 years under the deal, senior US officials confirmed.
Tony Abbott told News Corp Australia that he wanted to increase ties with the US military and have greater involvement in peace keeping missions.
He would not rule out sending troops into combat if needed but hoped this would not be required.
The deal, in Mr Abbott’s first formal meeting with Mr Obama in the White House, came amid a rapidly escalating crisis in Iraq with an insurgency by al-Qaeda linked radicals.
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