US Plans to Deploy B-52 Nuclear Bombers to Australia, This is Indonesia's Response!

US Plans to Deploy B-52 Nuclear Bombers to Australia, This is Indonesia's Response!
US Plans to Deploy B-52 Nuclear Bombers to Australia

Jakarta - The United States military has drawn up plans to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers to Australia. Spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) Ambassador Teuku Faizasyah said it was a challenge in itself in the region. "This is a concern for Indonesia. We see that Indo-Pacific security is a joint commitment of regional countries," he said in a press briefing, Thursday (11/3/2022).

According to him, the United States also wants peace in the Indo-Pacific. "Indonesia wants regional countries to create a stable situation," he said. Earlier, the ABC's "Four Corners" investigative program on Monday reported the planned deployment of the B-52s, which Washington claimed was a long-term rotation mission.

In addition, to turn Australia's Northern Territory into an important military hub in the US standoff with China. According to the report, the Pentagon is seeking to build a squadron operations facility, which will include a maintenance center and ample parking area for six B-52 aircraft at Australia's Tindal air base.

The expansion of the air base could cost up to $100 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. "New facilities are required to support strategic operations and to run several 15-day drills during the Northern Territory dry season for deployment of B-52 squadrons," the Australian media report said. “Enhanced aerial cooperation between Australia and the US was discussed during the AUSMIN [Australia–US Ministerial Consultations] ministerial meeting last year, but while the two sides agreed on the rotating deployment of US aircraft of all types,” the report continued.

At last year's AUSMIN meeting there was no official confirmation of plans to deploy B-52 nuclear bombers in 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 told the ABC's investigative program.

China has criticized the US plan. Its Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said by sending bombers to Australia, the US had increased regional tensions. "Seriously undermines regional peace and stability, and could trigger a regional arms race," he said. "Defense and security cooperation between any country must be conducive to regional peace and stability and not target or harm the interests of third parties," he continued.

Zhao said Beijing urges all concerned countries to abandon outdated Cold War zero-sum thinking and narrow geopolitical concepts. "The focus should be more on contributing to regional peace and stability and enhancing mutual trust," he said. Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-run Global Times, issued an ominous warning to Australia.

According to him, Australia needs to bear the risk of America's move. "The PLA Dongfeng missile definitely flies faster than the B-52 bomber," Hu wrote on Twitter. "If Australia wants to become 'big Guam', it will have to take the strategic risks it deserves," he continued.

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