The 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, on his 20th day of his new Presidency made his presence and support felt to the United States Department of Defense and its workforce in a predetermined visit of leadership to the United States Pentagon. President Biden directly addressed China as a top priority for the Department of Defense and announced the formation of a China Task Group as one of his first Presidential Initiatives for the National Security of the United States and to the Department of Defense. The creation of a DoD-run China Task Force will provide Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin with a wide-ranging report within four months.
“If we don’t get moving, they are going to eat our lunch”, President Joe Biden stated on Wednesday, February 10th, in a call with U.S. senators after a phone call interview with President Xi Jinping.
This initiative comes on the back of several other key readiness-related developments in the Pacific. On February 9th, two U.S. Navy carrier strike groups, CSG 9 and 11, conducted dual-carrier exercises in the South China Sea. On February 3rd, the U.S., Japanese, and Australian air forces, along with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, all converged on Andersen AFB, Guam, for Cope North 21, in a trilateral field training exercise. In addition, the Pacific Fury exercise was completed this week in San Diego, with a series of training exercises that focused on joint training integration among U.S. forces designed to exercise U.S. Pacific Command headquarters staff and command.
The United States President, the Department of Defense and the new Congress are putting forward the Pacific Defense Initiative at 2.2 billion to strengthen and harness both soft power and hard power with the Pacific allies to create a stronger deterrent to China.
More broadly and in support to best position to compete against the near peer of China is the review of the U.S. military and its readiness capabilities.
President Biden is sending strong messages to China, that the United States and its allies are taking actions, prioritizing and are taking the necessary steps to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
We must defend ourselves and our allies and partners in the Pacific and around the World against the growing influence and power of China.