Join the Alliance

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Skyline picture of Tumon Bay, Guam - Oct 28th 2021 picture taken by Riki Ellison

The most consequential region in the world today is the Pacific. On the forward edge in the most forward position U.S. in the Pacific lies Guam – it lends stability to our national security interests in the South China Sea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and throughout the Marianas. Guam is as pivotal today as it was in World War II. Guam was occupied by Japan on December 8th, 1941, just one day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Admiral Chester Nimitz moved his headquarters there in 1944 after the U.S. seized the Island back from the Japanese. By 1945 Guam was the launch point for B-29 bomber operations that ended the war. It is of immense strategic value as world geography and strategic high ground has not changed. The stability of the international system is being challenged once again in the Pacific, and once again Guam will be critical to maintaining the free and open Indo-Pacific sought by the US and its allies and partners. 

More then 7,000 miles off the coast of the continental United States, 4,000 miles away from Hawaii, 2000 miles from China, and 1700 miles from Taiwan sits Guam on the edge of the Marianas island chain. Ferdinand Magellan made landfall on Guam in 1521 when circumventing the globe. With its natural deep-water port, Guam has been a sanctuary for the U.S. armed forces since Marine Barracks Guam was built in Sumay in 1901 to accompany the US Naval government. Guam has been a permanent home to the U.S. Navy base since 1944 when it was recaptured from Japan. Today, its naval base is critical to the operational effectiveness of the U.S. Navy and key allies such as the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Australia Germany and others as it hosts the navies of our allies in their cruises in the Western Pacific. 

Andersen AFB on Guam is a key Pacific power projection platform for the United States Air Force. Guam is also the a new forward deployed home for the Marine Corps, with 1,300 Marines ready to be deployed throughout the Pacific when necessary. Since 1903, Guam has served as a critical logistics hub as the first submarine communications cables connecting the U.S. to Asia were laid down in Sumay.  

What Guam does not have is an enduring land-based air defense capability to negate, deter, or change the strategic calculus of China and its highly capable land-attack missile capabilities. Guam is undefended against China’s cruise and hyper glide vehicle missile threat that can be launched from multiple platforms across multiple domains in multiple directions. There is no land-based capability for a multi layered missile defense of Guam against China’s missile threats. The United States Army defends Guam from North Korea’s medium range ballistic missile threat with an in-place THAAD battery limited by capacity in interceptors and lack of additional launch pads. Unlike comparable air power projection bases in Korea, Okinawa, Qatar, and UAE, Andersen AFB does not have Army land-based missile defenses.  Unlike critical US naval ports in Bahrain, Korea and Japan, the U.S. Navy base on Guam–home station to US nuclear submarines, a critical port for Marine expeditionary forces on Guam, and a strategic deep-water port in the far western Pacific–does not have Army land-based missile defenses. Instead, today Guam must rely on the United States Navy Aegis BMD ships to be called back from other important missions at sea to be put on tether to defend the land mass of Guam. 

Hesitation or extended debate is not a winning strategy. The acceleration of escalation between China and the United States regarding Taiwan in the South China Sea is a stark reminder that deterring conflict in the Pacific is critical to U.S. security. The recent 400 plus PRC military air intrusions on Taiwan airspace last month highlights the PLA’s ability to escalate conflict and showcase that they have the tools to do so. Missile launches, whether on accident or with purpose, are a reality and the ability to negate them creates stability in the event of a ramp up of aggression by China.  

Having just returned from Guam for a five-day visit and our USC Global Space and Defensive Program having the Deputy Commander of Indo Pacom Lt Gen Steve Sklenka and MDAA Board Member Mark Montgomery present to the Cohort this past Friday our perspectives are relevant to the challenges that the nation faces in the Pacific and Guam is a strategic US territory with 170,000 U.S. Citizens. Guam remains on the forward edge of America’s National Defense architecture within the Indo-Pacific. Unfortunately, recognizing the rich historical context of WWII, the strategic airfields, and deep-water port, Guam remains dangerously vulnerable  to Chinese missile threats. This is unacceptable, Guam represents an operational bulwark and power-projection platform for strategic reach across Northeast Asia, the Arctic/Antarctic regions, the South China Sea, and Oceania. Guam is our US strong-point and fulcrum for Integrated Deterrence Theory and US National Defense campaigns and constructs. Guam is an operational Center of Gravity with strategic linkages and implications for National Defense. Guam is absolutely indispensable to US National Security, and it remains a vital National Security interest for US power-projection and presence within the Indo-Pacific. 

 Guam is not expendable it is the true Joint Force and combined Allied center of gravity, defending the forward edge in the Pacific to preserve World Order. 

“Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.” William Shakespeare

Recent Alerts

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.