Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake: Revelation 6

Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Roger BilhamQuakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.

Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.

Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.

She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.

Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.

Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.

In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.

The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.

“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.

Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.

What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

US warned of Iranian attack on targets in Saudi Arabia

US warned of Iranian attack on targets in Saudi Arabia, Iraq: report

BY ELLEN MITCHELL – 11/01/22 5:06 PM ET

Saudi Arabia has warned the United States of an imminent Iranian attack on targets in the kingdom and in Iraq, with the U.S. military now on heightened alert, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. 

Riyadh shared intelligence with Washington indicating the elevated danger, causing Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and other neighboring countries to raise the alert level for their military forces, Saudi and U.S. officials told the Journal. 

Asked about the report later Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said he would not talk about specific force protection levels but that U.S. officials “do remain concerned about the threat situation in the region.” 

“We’re in regular contact with our Saudi partners in terms of what information they may have to provide on that front,” Ryder told reporters. “But what we’ve said before, and I’ll repeat it, is that we will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere.”  

Pressed on whether the Saudis provided anything to the United States in the past few days that would be a cause for concern, Ryder said he did not have any additional information to provide. 

“We continue to communicate regularly,” he said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

U.S. forces are currently in Saudi Arabia and in Iraq to help train, advise and protect against attacks from Iran-backed fighters. Trump lawyers pinned hopes of overturning election on appeal to Thomas: emailsAFL-CIO bashes Federal Reserve over rate hike

Saudi officials told the Journal that Iran is set to attack areas in the kingdom as well as Erbil, Iraq, to try to distract from ongoing women-led protests in Iran. The protests began in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who died while being held by the country’s morality police  

Since late September, the Iranian military has steadily attacked bases of an Iranian-Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq, using ballistic missiles and armed drones. 

During the strikes, U.S. forces brought down an Iranian drone that officials said appeared poised to attack American troops in Erbil.

Palestinians fear Israeli strikes against terrorist leaders outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 Palestinian Hamas terrorists attend an anti-Israel rally in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

Palestinians fear Israeli strikes against terrorist leaders in Gaza – report

Palestinian factions have warned Egyptian mediators that any attack inside the Strip would be considered a “declaration of war.”

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Published: OCTOBER 31, 2022 21:10

Palestinian Hamas terrorists attend an anti-Israel rally in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2021

(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

The Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have reinforced security measures around figures in the Strip linked to terrorism in the West Bank, due to concerns of Israeli strikes against these figures, the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Monday.

The report referenced the 2017 assassination of Hamas official Mazen Faqha, which Hamas blamed on Israel. Faqha was shot and killed near his home in Gaza by suspects which Hamas claimed were working for Israel.

According to al-Akhbar, there has been a “remarkably active” movement of drones over the Gaza Strip recently. Later on Monday, the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency published footage it said showed an Israeli Orbiter drone over Gaza City.Top ArticlesRead More

Lavrov: Western reports could spark ‘dangerous escalation’ in Persian Gulf

The Palestinian factions have warned Egyptian mediators that any attack inside the Strip would be considered a “declaration of war,” according to al-Akhbar.

 ISLAMIC JIHAD members take part in an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, Gaza Strip, after Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)ISLAMIC JIHAD members take part in an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, Gaza Strip, after Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

Earlier this month, al-Akhbar reported that there has been intense drone activity over the Gaza Strip since the end of Operation Breaking Dawn, with sources from the Palestinian factions telling the newspaper that there were “indications” of an expected strike.

Nuclear weapons and Putin’s ‘unholy war’

Nuclear weapons and Putin’s ‘holy war’

The notion that Russia, a nuclear superpower, could use its nuclear weapons in a war of choice against Ukraine – a country a fraction of Russia’s size, population and military and economic strength – seems absurd. And yet, while Russian propagandists regularly call for nuclear strikes, the Western predictions about whether Russia will use nuclear weapons range from “unlikely” to a near certainty that the United States and Russia will enter a direct nuclear exchange.

Russia has never used nuclear weapons in war before so there is no good benchmark, nothing to reliably measure the current risk against. Most arguments show that using nukes would not help Russia achieve its objectives at an acceptable cost. However, these arguments are implicitly predicated on the assumption that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decisions are motivated by a basic cost-benefit analysis, where the costs are adequately assessed, and the benefits are security, stability and development.

So far, the dominant view of the war, and of Putin’s decisionmaking, has been that he is indeed acting rationally, albeit on inaccurate information. There is also the compelling evidence of Putin’s wealth-maximizing rule for the past 20 years, even if the benefits of progress were not evenly distributed. In the same period, Russia has achieved many of its foreign policy objectives at a relatively low cost.

And yet, the mounting costs and mistakes of this war call the rational actor assumption into question. If the initial miscalculations can be excused, the recent unlikely-to-pay-off-gambits (the chaotic mobilization and annexation of additional four regions of Ukraine) are increasingly hard to explain in the cost-benefit paradigm. After all, how long can one be misinformed? Why send untrained mobilized soldiers into battle if Russia’s main problems are poor tactics, low morale and persistent logistical issues? Why make negotiations impossible while losing ground?

Of course, Putin would not be the first leader to pour soldiers into a lost cause. And perhaps Russia’s quantity will ultimately overtake the Ukrainian’s quality and turn the tide. But there is another possible explanation. If Russia is not fighting a war for security, but a war for its imperial identity, then a monetized cost-benefit analysis may not be entirely applicable. Unfortunately, identity is not a negotiable issue where expected value calculations determine the bargaining space. In many ways, the more useful lens through which to view identity might be akin to religious belief.

This brings to mind a telling episode from the Red Square annexation rally, where an actor and a former Orthodox priest named Ivan Okhlobystin proclaimed that the “special military operation” should, in fact, be called a “holy war.” Okhlobystin went on to explain to the crowd that “jihad” meant both the fight against the enemies of Islam and one’s own sins, and that, in Ukraine, the stakes for Russia were similar — a battle for the very soul of his nation and its people.

Okhlobystin is not alone. His words were recently echoed by the leading Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. Russian commanders have also repeatedly reminded their soldiers that they are fighting a “holy war” against the gay parades and Satan himself, an argument Putin also used during his annexation speech in the Kremlin. Indeed, Putin’s proclamation of Moscow’s jurisdiction over areas Russian troops don’t even control was reminiscent of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s proclamation of the Islamic State’s jurisdiction over the entire Muslim world.

As uncomfortable as it is to propose that Russia might be well on its way to becoming a nuclear equivalent of ISIS, Russian narratives about the war, and Russian troops’ conduct within it, share many aspects to global jihad as a “movement of rage”; both seem to aim for apocalyptic ideology and nihilistic violence. If Putin personally subscribes to the “holy war” narrative, he may use nuclear weapons simply to show that he will stop at nothing to prevail in such an eternal struggle.

Of course, it’s impossible to know Putin’s state of mind. But even if Russia is waging its war for the non-negotiable reasons of identity wrapped up in religious zealotry, this in no way justifies the West giving in to its nuclear blackmail. As scary as it may be, supporting Ukraine is not, at this point, simply a matter of principle. Enabling Russia’s blackmail doesn’t prevent the catastrophic costs of nuclear escalation. It merely shifts those costs away from Russia and into the future, inviting other nuclear states to pull the same move for their conquests, which could well lead to further nuclear proliferation and conflict spirals.

Russia’s nuclear saber-rattling has shifted the stakes of the war. Now, the survival of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake — something even most cynical realists cannot give up easily. To stave off the catastrophe, the United States could engage the nuclear powers Russia trusts. After all, the stability between China, India and Pakistan rest, in part, on the nuclear taboo, too. They could help Putin understand that he still has time to spin a loss in such a way that he will be remembered by the Russian people as a visionary who was betrayed by his lying generals. But if he nukes Ukraine, he will likely be remembered as a madman, if there is still anyone left to remember.

Krystyna Marcinek is an assistant policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and a PhD candidate at Pardee RAND Graduate School.

The nuclear threats that hang over the world: Revelation 8

The nuclear threats that hang over the world Even a limited strike in Ukraine would have catastrophic global effects

GIDEON RACHMANAdd to myFT © James Ferguson

“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” That joint statement was issued at the beginning of this year by China, France, Russia, the UK and the US — the five official nuclear weapons states. The following month, Russia invaded Ukraine. Ever since, world leaders have been grappling with the threat that a nuclear war might indeed be fought — quite soon. From the outset, Vladimir Putin has described the conflict as existential for Russia and hinted that he might use nuclear weapons to prevail. A little more than a week ago, western security officials rushed into their offices over the weekend — alarmed that Moscow’s accusations that Ukraine was poised to use a “dirty bomb” might be a signal that Russia itself was seeking a pretext to go nuclear. Although that immediate crisis receded, the overall threat that Russia will use a nuclear weapon is still judged to be rising. One scenario discussed in the US government is that a humiliating Russian defeat in the battle for Kherson might persuade Putin to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainian troops in an effort to reverse the tide on the battlefield. It is sometimes counter-argued that Putin would not use nuclear weapons so close to Russian territory, for fear of contaminating his own country. But senior US officials point out that the smallest tactical nuclear weapons might kill hundreds of people, rather than thousands — and devastate and irradiate just a few square miles. The US and its allies are focused on preventing Russia from making that fatal step across the nuclear threshold — through a mixture of deterrence and diplomacy. But they are also already thinking hard about the global aftermath of the use of a Russian nuclear weapon. This is unknown territory and the pressure is intense. As one senior US official puts it: “People will be studying how this crisis was handled for decades to come.” Broadly speaking, there are four main scenarios to consider: nuclear normalisation, nuclear blackmail, avoidance of war, and Armageddon. It is not hard to see how the use of a Russian nuclear weapon could spiral into an all-out nuclear war — leading to what President Biden himself has termed “Armageddon”. Washington has warned that if Moscow were to use a nuclear weapon, there would be a response with “catastrophic” consequences for Russia. The Americans have not spelt out in public what that response would be. Many commentators think that it would be military, but non-nuclear. General David Petraeus, a former CIA head, has talked of Nato forces attacking Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine with conventional weapons and sinking the Russian Black Sea fleet. The argument for a western military response is that if Russia got away with using a nuclear weapon — and even succeeded in reversing the course of the war — then the nuclear taboo that has held since 1945 would be smashed. But direct western military involvement would probably trigger a further Russian response. The west and Russia might then rapidly move up the “escalation ladder”, making the nightmare of all-out nuclear war distinctly possible. As one US official puts it: “I don’t think anyone should be confident that we can control the escalation risks.” Recommended Rachman Review podcast30 min listen Russia’s nuclear threat Because the prospect of escalation to Armageddon is so horrific, there is also a real possibility that even the use of a Russian nuclear weapon would not trigger a direct western military response — with the US instead trying to organise the complete economic and diplomatic isolation of Russia. But that would open the door to another disturbing future: “nuclear normalisation”. Nuclear weapons would have been shown to be tools that can be used in a war of aggression — not just for deterrence. Russia, and even China, might be tempted to cross the nuclear threshold again. And non-nuclear states — such as Japan, South Korea, Germany and a host of others — would rush to acquire nuclear weapons to protect themselves. Global turmoil would follow the use of a nuclear weapon. Markets would crash and publics might panic across the world, with the possibility of large-scale population movements out of cities. The fear of such effects is leading to increasing chatter about the need to start peace negotiations with Russia. But western officials are resistant to that move now for fear of a third scenario — successful nuclear blackmail. If Russia discovers that it can succeed in wars of aggression by simply threatening to use nuclear weapons, another dystopian future beckons. What would stop Moscow from making further nuclear threats, perhaps aimed at eastern Europe? And what conclusions would China or North Korea draw about future conflicts over Taiwan or the Korean peninsula? The three darkest scenarios — Armageddon, normalisation and successful nuclear blackmail — are all far more possible than they should be. But, collectively, they remain less likely than the fourth possibility — that nuclear war is avoided. In all previous nuclear crises since 1945, the leaders of great powers have drawn back from the brink. The knowledge that a false move could cause millions of deaths — or even destroy the planet — is enormously sobering. It has kept the world from sliding into nuclear conflict since 1945. It should work again. Probably. gideon.rachman@ft.com

Babylon the Great’s newly released US nuclear strategy continues to endanger global security

Newly released US nuclear strategy continues to endanger global security

SourceChina Military OnlineEditorLi WeichaoTime2022-10-31 18:20:07

By Guo Xiaobing

The Biden administration finally released the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) after several delays. Although embellished by the rhetoric of nuclear arms control, the 2022 NPR is, in essence, no different from the nuclear strategy of the Trump administration.

Has the practice of increasing the use of nuclear weapons and lowering the threshold for nuclear weapons use of the Trump administration been changed? No. When the Trump administration first threatened to use nuclear weapons in retaliation for space and cyber-attacks, it was immediately criticized by the international community. The Biden administration has been vocal about the importance of nuclear arms control and promised to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy. But it not only refused to adopt the “no first use” policy, but also changed its declaration that “the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter and retaliate against nuclear attacks”. The Biden administration wants to use nuclear weapons to deter both nuclear attacks and other non-nuclear strategic attacks.

Has the practice of preparing low-yield nuclear weapons for a limited nuclear war of the Trump administration been changed? No. The planned use of submarine-launched ballistic and cruise missiles to carry low-yield nuclear warheads is another widely criticized aspect of the Trump administration’s nuclear strategy, as it would increase the risk of nuclear conflict. After a long assessment of its predecessor’s practice, the Biden administration just came to the conclusion that it must “contain limited use of nuclear weapons” so the US can use conventional military power withoutscruple. And the low-yield nuclear weapon is an important tool to “contain limited use of nuclear weapons”, so it decided to continue to install low-yield nuclear warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Has the practice of increasing nuclear investment and promoting the modernization of nuclear triad of the Trump administration been changed? Not at all. In terms of the land-based force, the Sentinel ICBM will replace Minuteman III as a new-generation land-based deterrent force as scheduled. In terms of sea-based force, the Columbia-class strategic nuclear submarine will replace the Ohio-class strategic nuclear submarine from 2030. In terms of air-based force, the B-21 Raider strategic bomber will replace the B-2A strategic bomber. The F-35A fighter jets will also carry nuclear warheads and gradually replace the F-15E fighter jets for NATO’s nuclear missions.

Moreover, the new NPR also goes further in the discussion of the nuclear landscape and the application of the nuclear umbrella. Unlike the previous version, the new NPR ignores the fact that the scale of China’s nuclear forces is vastly smaller than that of the US and Russia and creates the illusion of a “three major nuclear countries era”. The new NPR states that the US will, for the first time in its history, face two nuclear powers as two strategic competitors and potential adversaries by the 2030s. It even disregards China’s consistent policy of no first use of nuclear weapons and baselessly speculates that China may be “the first to use nuclear weapons”. The new NPR takes a step further and seeks to further strengthen “nuclear sharing” with allies. It plans to hold higher-level meetings between the US, Japan, and the ROK, as well as between the US, Japan, the ROK, and Australia, and strengthen so-called crisis management. The US will also continue to deploy strategic bombers, dual conventional-nuclear fighter jets and nuclear weapons in the Indo-Pacific region and demonstrate its nuclear muscle through ballistic missile submarine visits and strategic bomber patrols.

Currently, the international community is facing the most severe nuclear situation since the end of the Cold War. The NPR launched by the Biden administration is no different from that of the Trump administration and is even more extreme in some respects. How can the international community believe that the US will manage and use its nuclear weapons “rationally”? Will the US, which is making threatening gestures, intimidate countries it regards as “competitors” or “potential adversaries”, or will it stimulate more countries to develop self-defense capabilities, including nuclear capabilities, to prevent US military interference and blackmail? For some regional crises that continue to be tense or are already on fire, is the US adding fuel to the fire, or helping solve the issue? For the increasingly divided international society, is the US promoting world harmony or stoking group confrontation? Anyone with a discerning eye can easily give the answer.

(The author is the director of the Center for Arms Control Studies of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations)

Editor’s note: Originally published on huanqiu.com, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.

U.S. plans to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

FILE PHOTO: A B-52 Stratofortress, flown by Capt. Will Byers and Maj. Tom Aranda, prepares for refueling over Afghanistan during a close-air-support mission
FILE PHOTO: A B-52 Stratofortress, flown by Capt. Will Byers and Maj. Tom Aranda, prepares for refueling over Afghanistan during a close-air-support mission in this undated handout photo. U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. To match Special Report USA-CHINA/BOMBERS/File Photo  Photo: Reuters/U.S. Air Force

World

U.S. plans to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia’s north: report

Oct. 31  01:30 pm JST  55 CommentsBy Renju Jose and Lewis JacksonSYDNEY

The United States is planning to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in northern Australia, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday, amid heightened tensions with Beijing.

Dedicated facilities for the bombers will be set up at the Australian air force’s remote Tindal base, about 300 km south of Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern territory, said the source, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

The development was first reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC)’s “Four Corners” program, citing U.S. documents.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia engages with the United States on defense alliances “from time to time.”

“There are visits, of course, to Australia, including in Darwin, that has U.S. Marines, of course, on a rotating basis stationed there,” Albanese said during a media conference.

Australia’s Northern Territory is already host to frequent military collaborations with the United States. Thousands of U.S. Marines rotate through the territory annually for training and joint exercises, started under President Barack Obama.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles’ office declined to comment.

The United States 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 the B-52s, the ABC report said.

The ability to deploy the long-range bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about Washington’s ability to project air power, the U.S. Air Force was quoted as saying in the report.

Last year, the United States, Britain and Australia created a security deal that will provide Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, riling China.

Putting B-52s, which have a combat range of about 14,000 km, in Australia will be a warning to Beijing, as fears grow about an assault on Taiwan, Becca Wasser, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Centre for a New American Security, told the ABC.

This year, the U.S. deployed four B-52s to its Andersen Air Force base in Guam.