Pakistan may have let Chinese engineers photograph and take samples of the charred wreckage of the stealthy Blackhawk helicopter that crashed during the Osama bin Laden raid, reported the Financial Times. US officials say they do not have “definitive proof” that the Chinese were allowed to visit Abbottabad, where bin Laden’s compound was located, but American intelligence officials allegedly “intercepted conversations with Pakistani officials” in which they “discussed inviting the Chinese to the crash site,” reported the New York Times. Such cooperation between the Pakistani intelligence operatives and the Chinese engineers, many of whom already work at military bases inside of Pakistan, could be just one more example of Pakistan’s anger over the operation, which was carried out without the country’s approval. US special operators who participated in the raid attempted to destroy the aircraft before leaving the scene, but the tail section remained largely intact.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.