Australian becomes US commander

Just in case you’re wondering who really is in charge of the New Zealand army:

The Obama administration in January adopted a new defence strategy to boost the country’s presence in Asia because of the region’s economic importance and China’s rise as a military power.

It aims to maintain American military pre-eminence worldwide even as the U.S. cuts spending to reduce the nation’s deficit.

An Australian two-star general will become a deputy commander of US Army Pacific, which oversees more than 60,000 American soldiers in the Asia-Pacific region, Army Secretary John McHugh said Tuesday (NZT).

Maj. Gen. Richard Maxwell Burr of the Australian Defence Force will direct training and supervise the command’s efforts to work with countries in south Asia, plus Australia and New Zealand.

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