U.S. Surrounding China with Bombers
March 10, 2016 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Strategic Command yesterday announced the deployment of three B-2 bombers "to the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations March 8." The three bombers "will integrate and conduct training with ally and partner air forces, and conduct a radio communications check with a U.S. air operations center." Stratcom didn’t say where the three B-2s went, but Air Force Times reported that they went to the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
"While Diego Garcia sits closer to the Indian peninsula, the deployment comes at a time of heightened tensions with the Chinese over the South China Sea dispute,"
Air Force Times notes.
At the same time, General Lori Robinson, the commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, was in Canberra telling the Australians they should host U.S. B-1 bombers in addition to additional B-52 deployments. Robinson, reports Reuters, also told reporters in Canberra that the U.S. would continue to conduct exercises through the South China Sea, while calling on Australia to conduct similar provocative "freedom of navigation" exercises.
"We would encourage anybody in the region and around the world to fly and sail in international air space in accordance with international rules and norms"
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Robinson as saying.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to confirm whether or not U.S. bombers would be appearing in Australian skies more often, reports Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "We have no closer relationship, obviously, than we do with the U.S.," Turnbull said.
"I’m not going to comment on a particular element of that, but I can just assure you that everything we do in this area is very carefully determined to ensure that our respective military forces work together as closely as possible in our mutual national interests."