“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.” President Donald Trump, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, September 22, 2020.
On September 17th, the Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson, sent a clear message to our Pacific allies and adversaries, Identifying the People’s Republic of China as the “greatest long term strategic threat to security in the 21st century…not only in the Indo-Pacific, but to the entire globe” and Admiral Davidson specifically called out their efforts to “supplant the established rules-based international order to dictate new international norms and behaviors and new relationships in the region.”
Soon After, on September 21st China released an intimidating and graphic People’s Liberation Army Air Force video depicting a fictiontional striking and destroying of Andersen Air Force Base on Guam with cruise missiles from multiple Chinese H-6K “God of War” Bombers. This calculated demonstration of Chinese force, delivered by air-launched cruise missiles, attacking from 360 degrees was intended to intimidate the United States and its Pacific Allies, and underscores Admiral Davidson’s statements on the strategic vulnerability of Guam, an important part of the U.S. Homeland.
In the same timeframe on September 18th, the Congressional Research Service released a report titled “Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress” on the Aegis program that goes into great depth on Aegis BMD-related issues in the Indo-Pacific, such as Aegis Ashore Guam, SM3 Block II Alpha ICBM interceptor and the potential to release Aegis BMD ships in the Pacific from tethered BMD mission and further outlines Admiral Davidson’s remarks. Within the report, he is quoted from our event as saying “[Guam’s missile defense] is not necessarily about designing or creating a defensive system that is impenetrable or invulnerable against the entire missile inventory of a potential adversary. Rather, it is about developing a combat credible threat.”
This report states Aegis Ashore sites supporting the 360 degree defense of Guam are critical in supporting the strategic assets the US has to maintain stability in the Western Pacific. China’s ability to launch cruise missiles from submarines, surface ships, and long range aircraft drives the need for 360 degree coverage that the Aegis Weapon System with its Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) uniquely provides. Additionally, building Aegis Ashore with a full arsenal of Standard Missile variants, integrated with THAAD is the pathway to defending Guam against cruise, ballistic, and hypersonic missile threats.
The Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which we hope will be established in the upcoming fiscal year and follows the structure and justification of the 2014 European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), and is absolutely critical to resourcing the deterrence of China in the Indo-Pacific region. The PDI would allow for increased investment in key capability gaps and fund the U.S. Homeland Aegis Ashore Guam platform, the fastest possible program of record for the deployment of missile defense to Guam with the least amount of risks. Aegis Ashore Guam, with its open architecture based software, 4 panel modular solid state radar design and multiple Vertical Launching Systems to hold SM-3, SM-6, and SM-2, is capable of providing 360-degree Integrated Air and Missile Defense of the island. These modular components make AA easily upgraded to meet the continuing evolving threats. Guam is hosting the next ABMS On Ramp 3 this year, which enables cross domain, cross service integrated missile defense with integrated offensive missiles. Most importantly, PDI would encourage and enhance resource and compound increased investments by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) partners — Australia, India, and Japan, further deterring China.
A Free & Open Indo-Pacific will always be protected and defended with like-minded Allies & Partners.
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