B-52s to Australia: Biden’s Relentless Push for WW 3

November 2nd, 2022 - by Angus Grigg, Lesley Robinson and Meghna Bali / Four Corners @ ABC News

A strategic defence expert called the plan “forward deterrence” 

US Air Force to Deploy Nuclear-capable B-52
Bombers to Australia as Tensions with China Grow

Angus Grigg, Lesley Robinson and Meghna Bali / Four Corners @ ABC News

(October 31, 2022) — The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, a provocative move experts say is aimed squarely at China.

An investigation by Four Corners can reveal Washington is planning to build dedicated facilities for the giant aircraft at Tindal air base, south of Darwin.

The US has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a “squadron operations facility” for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance centre and a parking area for “six B-52s”.

Plans for the Tindal air base expansion include a parking area that can accommodate six B-52 bombers.

Becca Wasser from the Centre for New American Security says putting B-52s in northern Australia is a warning to China, as fears grow Beijing is preparing for an assault on Taiwan.

“Having bombers that could range and potentially attack mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions over Taiwan could also expand further,” she says.

The bombers are part of a much larger upgrade of defence assets across northern Australia, including a major expansion of the Pine Gap intelligence base, which would play a vital role in any conflict with Beijing.

The B-52s have been the backbone of the US Air Force for more than 60 years, with the capability to deliver long-range strikes of both nuclear and conventional weapons. The US documents say the facilities will be used for “deployed B-52 squadrons”.

“The ability to deploy US Air Force bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power,” the US Air Force told Four Corners.

Asked when the B-52s would begin their deployment at Tindal, Australia’s Department of Defence declined to comment.

The Tip of the Spear
Some worry having B-52s rotating through Tindal each year locks Australia into joining the US in any conflict against China.

“It’s a great expansion of Australian commitment to the United States’ war plan with China,” says Richard Tanter, a senior research associate at the Nautilus Institute and a long-time, anti-nuclear activist. “It’s a sign to the Chinese that we are willing to be the tip of the spear.”

Mr. Tanter sees the planned deployment of the bombers as more significant than the rotation of US Marines through Darwin each year.

US marines and Australian soldiers conduct annual exercises in the Top End.(ABC News)

“It’s very hard to think of a more open commitment that we could make. A more open signal to the Chinese that we are going along with American planning for a war with China,” Mr. Tanter says.

Ms. Wasser says the growing importance of northern Australia to the US makes Darwin and Tindal targets in any war with China.

Her work includes running war game exercises to examine how a potential conflict might unfold.

Military analyst Becca Wasser and her team explore the risks Australia could face by joining the US in a fight over Taiwan.

She says in the war game scenarios where Australia either joined the fight or allowed Washington to use bases in the Top End, “it did very much put a bullseye on Australia”.

“Ultimately these attacks were not successful because of the long range required and because China had already expended its most capable long-range missiles earlier in the game, … but who’s to say that in the future, China might have more advanced missile capability that would be better suited to potentially attacking Australia.”

The Pentagon wants a hub for B-52 bombers near to China

US to Deploy Nuclear Bombers to Australia

RT News

(October 31, 2022) — The US military has devised a plan which would see nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers deployed in Australia on long-term rotational missions, and turn the country’s Northern Territory into a crucial military hub in Washington’s standoff with Beijing, the national broadcaster reported on Monday.

The Pentagon reportedly seeks to build a “squadron operations facility,” which would include a maintenance center and enough parking area for six B-52s at the Royal Australian Air Force military air base Tindal, according to ABC’s Four Corners investigative program.

The air base expansion could cost up to $100 million and is expected to be finished in late 2026. The new facilities are “required to support strategic operations and to run multiple 15-day training exercises during the Northern Territory dry season for deployed B-52 squadrons,” the report said, citing US documents.

An “enhanced air cooperation” between Australia and the US was discussed during last year’s  AUSMIN ministerial meetings, but while the sides agreed on “rotational deployment of US aircraft of all types,” there was no official confirmation of plans to deploy B-52s at Tindal.

“The ability to deploy US Air Force bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power,” the US Air Force reportedly told the program.

Washington’s build-up of its military assets is not limited to Tindal. The US is currently constructing a massive $270 million jet fuel storage facility on the outskirts of Darwin, some 200 miles from the airbase. At the same time, a joint US and Australian spy base Pine Gap near Alice Springs is reportedly undergoing a “major upgrade.”

Back in 2021, the US, Australia, and UK announced the creation of a new security pact AUKUS, which envisages providing Canberra with conventionally-armed and nuclear-powered submarines, thus significantly boosting its naval capabilities.

While AUKUS members claim that the pact is merely aimed at protecting the international system that respects human rights and the rule of law, China has slammed the alliance, arguing that its projects pose grave risks to nuclear security.

This view has to some extent been echoed by Russia. In August, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that AUKUS could “detonate” the entire Asia-Pacific region, since the pact has the makings of becoming “a military-political alliance.” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, however, dismissed the notion, saying that Washington is not seeking to set up “an Asian NATO.”

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