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(Opinion) The Pentagon's South China Sea Overkill

2015-05-19 08:50:19       source:The Diplomat

By Greg Austin

May 19, 2015

"Australians woke to the news last Friday that the United States would be sending long-range B-1 strike bomber aircraft to the southern hemisphere country to help deter China’s intentions in the South China Sea. As the Middle East and its people face escalating wars and civil strife, as the world stares down terrorism from Islamic State, and as the world struggles with escalating human trafficking, there was disbelief in Australia. It appeared, on the surface at least, that someone in the Pentagon had his or her priorities wrong.

The story was scotched later in the day, when the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, said there was no plan for B-1 deployments to the country. The Pentagon recanted and said that the senior official who had made the statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Wednesday had 'misspoken.'"

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