US urges us to fight IS nearby
THE man in charge of more than 80,000 US marines is urging Australia to be ready to join operations against Islamic State militants in South-East Asia.
Lieutenant General David Berger is visiting Australia as Talisman Sabre military exercises get rolling in the Northern Territory and off Rockhampton.
He told the ABC the “movement of violent extremist organisations” was a “very real problem” for countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The commanding general of US Marine Corps Forces Pacific expected Australian forces could soon join US personnel fighting Islamic extremists in the region.
He said Australia’s neighbours would need assistance to stop the threat posed by IS-inspired militants.
“It’s ... a threat that moves in order to survive – it doesn’t own a state so it’s mobile,” he said.
The exercises involve more than 30,000 Australian, US and New Zealand troops, 21 ships, including aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, and 200 aircraft.
STARTER’S FLAG: US Navy Admiral Harry Harris and Australian Navy Vice Admiral David Johnston unfurl the Talisman Sabre 2017 flag off Sydney yesterday.