Battlefield Asia heats up this year with rival war games planned in Russia and Australia. In June "Talisman Sabre 2007" will bombard Australia's Northern Territory
including ecologically sensitive areas around the famed Great Barrior Reef. The joint exercises will involve up to 14,000 USA troops and 12,000 Aussies and test all sorts of new weapons in a massive training of land, sea, and air forces in various simulations of an attack on China. The air component will fly B1 and B2 bombers from Guam on a round trip to rain bombs on the land below. The games are a result of permissions granted the USA in 2004 by the government of Australian Prime Minister Howard. There is some popular opposition building in Australia and the games could impact Howard's chances in this year's elections.
Not to be outdone, Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders Russia and China will kick off "Peace Mission 2007" in July a joint excercise in the Chelyabinsk region
of Russia's southern Urals. Chelyabinsk
is an industrial powerhouse and home to Russia's biggest iron and steel complex. Both Presidents Putin and Hu are rumoured to be attending. The games will take place in a region close to the Kazakhstan border around 1,000 miles from the borders of Iran and Iraq. It is believed Russia is pressuring China for a direct military alliance perhaps by joining the Collective Security Treaty Organization. But Beijing appears in no hurry to forge an alliance although a change in Iran could change that quickly.
Labels: australia, china, games, peace mission 2007, russia, talisman sabre, usa, war