Weighing up pros, cons of US base in Townsville
if the international political interests of Australia and the US coincided.
Since the war on terror seems likely to engage both countries for the foreseeable future, such an outcome is more than likely.
The potential economic benefits for Townsville are obvious, but there could be social costs as two similar though different cultures attempt to co-exist.
After decades as a major military base Townsville already knows the highs and lows of having a large garrison in its midst.
If it is chosen for any new US Australian base, Townsville will no doubt be enriched by the experience.