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Friday, May 15, 2015

Australia Hoses Down U.S. B-1 Bomber Talk

B-1B LancerPrime Minister Tony Abbott said a senior Pentagon official misspoke about plans to place U.S. long-range strike bombers in Australia, adding that steps to boost America’s military presence there weren’t aimed at any particular country.

David Shear, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for Asian and pacific security affairs, told a U.S. Senate hearing this week that strategic bombers would be sent to Australia. “We will be placing additional air force assets in Australia... including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft,” he said.

The presence of B-1s—designed in the 1980s for long-range nuclear strikes—would represent a significant boost to the deterrent capability of U.S. forces in Australia, where ports and air bases are attractive because of their close access to Asia at a safe distance from potential aggressors.

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