“Currently, in the Indo-Pacific, that foundation of deterrence is crumbling as an increasingly aggressive China continues its comprehensive military modernization. This not a partisan issue.” – Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the SASC, in an op-ed featured in War on the Rocks on May 28th.
“The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will not be a panacea. It will not solve every military problem America faces in the Indo-Pacific, let alone the numerous non-military challenges the United States faces there. It is clear that China presents as a challenge that requires a comprehensive response that includes a focus on economic security, international development, diplomacy, human rights and democratic norms, and multilateral cooperation. Moreover, while the Pacific Deterrence Initiative is a regionally-focused initiative, we recognize that the challenge form China is global in scale. But it is an essential step to reorganize US thinking and resources around the key priorities for the joint force, and restore the credibility of American deterrence in the Indo- Pacific.” – Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Jack Reed in an op-ed featured in War on the Rocks on May 28th.
The Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) starts here in the United States Congress to be authorized and resourced in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is being debated amongst Congressional members and staff.
The PDI starts here on the U.S. homeland territory of Guam, the most western U.S. homeland territory in the Indo-Pacific region and closest U.S. homeland territory to China.
The PDI starts with the recognition of the critical and strategic value that the U.S. homeland territory of Guam represents in the larger overall strategic deterrence posture of the United States. It provides key forward logistical support to U.S. strategic forces like the U.S. Navy’s ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and the U.S. Air Force’s strategic bombers that the United States depends on for deterrence and a credible first response to aggression in the Pacific region.
The PDI starts with convergence of bringing together joint effectors, as General John “Mike” Murray, Commander of U.S. Army Futures Command, invites the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) to the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence exercise.
PDI starts with bringing joint sensors and joint fires together on U.S. homeland territory of Guam with a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) dynamic to bring credibility of a new American deterrence in the Pacific.
PDI starts with integrating existing deployed cross-domain weapon systems, both offense and defense, in the United States’ inventory to defend the U.S. homeland and its Pacific allies from China.
The PDI then builds outward and upward with future cross-domain and integrated technologies and systems in an architecture that will be the pathfinder for the new American deterrence around the world.
In defending the U.S. homeland territory of Guam with today’s joint weapon systems would have to include persistent and 360 degree over the horizon coverage beyond 20 miles from under the sea through sea level, air and to space and across the Pacific to the Asian continent, where there is a plethora of Chinese overmatch missile capacity – including hypersonic glide and cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Guam defensive systems can never be limited to just being deployed on land and/or at sea, nor can they be limited in service stove pipe culture, command and control systems, and linear weapon systems that are not integrated all together to leverage the best sensor with the best effector. It is far too easy for Chinese planners to target successfully with overmatch missile capabilities the U.S. land- and sea-based defensive systems of command and control, sensors, and effectors located on Guam and off the coast of Guam coming from 360 degrees and with cruise, ballistic and hypersonic trajectories. The United States today does not have the capabilities in place to defend the U.S. homeland territory of Guam from China. The PDI will directly address that by the authorization and appropriation of policy and funding to fix that ominous position the United States is in today.
U.S. defensive systems deployed for the defense of the U.S. homeland territory of Guam today are for ballistic missiles from North Korea.
– One U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery for defense against intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) that includes THAAD interceptors and an Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2).
– One U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Destroyer for defense against IRBMs that includes the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B and SM-6 interceptors and SPY-1 Radar.
“The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will help deter Chinese aggression by strengthening the credibility of American Deterrence. The Initiative will focus resources on efforts to convince the Chinese Communist Party that there is no quick, easy, or chap victory to be had against the American Military. A well distributed posters will complicate Chinese Targeting of U.S. Forces and infrastructure. More capable missile defenses at American bases will make them more difficult and costly to strike. Greater numbers of combat-credible U.S. forces in the in the Indo-Pacific will make it harder for China to size and maintain the advantage early in aa conflict. More resilient logistics will make it hard to take U.S. forces out of the fight or delay reinforcements. New land-based, long-range strike capabilities will provide a new source of resilient and survivable U.S. power projection. The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will focus resources on these efforts and others with the aim of injecting uncertainty and risk int go Beijing’s calculus leaving just one conclusion: ‘Not today. You, militarily, cannot win it, so don’t even try it.’” –Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Jack Reed in an op-ed featured in War on the Rocks on May 28th.