As our nation endures with resources, grit, and ingenuity to overcome the Coronavirus, Russia and China remain dedicated in competition against the United States to gain world influence and strive for readiness to negate U.S. deterrence. On March 9th two Russian Aircraft where were intercepted by U.S. and Canadian Jets. Russia was first to assist Italy and now Serbia and remains resolute in its Victory Day celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II with massive crowds and a military parade on May 9 in Moscow. Also remaining scheduled is its major defense exercise in the Caucasus with full massive grouping and demonstration of readiness on the eastern and southern borders of Europe.
China’s actions this week in the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the South China Sea are in direct conflict with the United States in its leadership for an open and free Pacific. China is also currently doing a full readiness exercise with Pakistan, strengthening its capacity with little transparency like it has done with the Coronavirus while reacting globally and rapidly in competition with the world in support of countries on its new Silk Road of networks made from financed transportation infrastructures to regain trust and shaping its government’s containment of the virus as best solution. The Silk Road was established and made notable in 1271 by Marco Polo of Italy connecting China to Europe in trade and also laid the ominous route in 1331 of the bubonic plague which traveled both by land and sea from China where it originated to Venice, Italy and throughout Europe. The new Silk Road known too as the Belt and Road Initiative, as of a year ago has over 70 countries and organizations that have engaged and signed various contracts with China as the economic power and influence of China continues to grow.
“The Department of Defense is greatly concerned by reports of a China Coast Guard vessel’s collision with and sinking of a Vietnam fishing vessel in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The PRC’s behavior stands in contrast to the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, in which all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules and norms. The United States will continue to support efforts by our allies and partners to ensure freedom of navigation and economic opportunity throughout the entire Indo-Pacific. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of the rules based international order, as it sets the conditions that enable us to address this shared threat in a way that is transparent, focused, and effective. We call on all parties to refrain from actions that would destabilize the region, distract from the global response to the pandemic, or risk needlessly contributing to loss of life and property.” – Department of Defense Statement on April 9th, 2020.
The United States through and post this fight against the Coronavirus, with transparency, must continue to lead in front of Russia and China to win, regain, and force multiply its global influence and alliance building to keep the status quo for western democracies.
“The U.S. military is very, very capable to conduct whatever operations are necessary to defend the American people. We will adapt ourselves to operating in a Covid-19 environment. We are already doing that. [Anyone who thinks the armed forces are not prepared would be making a] terrible, tragic mistake.” – General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In European allied reaction to the Russian long buildup of aggression since the end of the Cold War and its recent takeover parts of Ukraine, the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) was established nearly six years ago and has received funding of $22.5 billion from the United States Congress, of which $2.2 billion was aimed at creating infrastructure and supporting our European allies to stay ahead in deterring the Russian threat to Europe. The United States has determined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy there has been a return to great power competition China and Russia. However, China is the number one threat to the United States and the U.S. has allocated priority to defeat and deter that threat from the Indo-Pacific region. “The NDS states that we are now in an era of Great Power Competition, with our principal challengers being China, then Russia, and that we must move away from low intensity conflict and prepare once again for high-intensity warfare…. Being in Europe, I know that there has been much discussion about the challenges from Russia, so this morning I want to focus on the Pentagon’s top concern: the People’s Republic of China.” – Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Munich Security Conference on February 15, 2020.
Though policy directed at the highest levels and covering a much larger area of responsibility than Europe, there is still no congressional mandated Pacific Deterrence Initiative and no additional funding bringing our Pacific allies to stay ahead and in front of the China threat as the EDI does with Europe.
In lieu of a missing Pacific Defense Initiative, and an over promised “Pivot to Asia” first announced in 2011 under the Obama Administration, Admiral Phil Davidson, the Indo-Pacific Commander submitted on April 1st, per Congressional request, the “Regain the Advantage”. It requested an additional $1.6 billion for fiscal year 2021 and $18.4 billion between 2022 and 2026.
“The most important action we can take to increase the lethality of the Joint Force and fully implement the NDS is to introduce a 360-degree persistent and integrated air defense capability in Guam – Homeland Defense System – Guam (HDS-G). This system is my number one unfunded priority and is critical for defending the Homeland, including our most important operating location in the Western Pacific. America’s day begins in Guam and is not only a location we must fight from, but we must also fight for – given future threats” – Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), on April 1st, 2020.
In this document, the resourcing for basing of cross domain missile defense capabilities with space sensors sprinkled with Long Distance Fires and potential hypersonic strike on Guam and the first Island chain defines a new regional deterrence and would be the path finder with Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) of the future deterrent regional architectures around the world.
“The NSS, NDS, and various intelligence estimates have illuminated the renewed threat we face from Great Power Competition. The greatest danger for the United States is the erosion of conventional deterrence. Without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant U.S. interests” – Admiral Phil Davidson, 25th Commander of USINDOPACOM, April 1st, 2020.
We beat the competition that doesn’t stop!
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