“The most important thing I’d like you all to take away from the discussion is a fundamental understanding that the period between now and 2026 -this decade- is the time horizon in which China is positioned to achieve overmatch in its capability, and when Beijing could -could- likely choose to forcibly change the status quo in the region. And I would say the change in that status quo could be permanent.” — USINDOPACOM Combatant Commander Adm. Phil Davidson’s remarks on March 4, 2021.
China has never been constrained by treaty or in principle by the framework and tenets of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty. As one of the greatest proliferators of missiles in the world, China has produced an unmatched arsenal of missiles that are targeting American lands and the land and seas of our Allies and Partners across the Indo-Pacific. China currently trains against mock-ups of our homelands as target practice signaling their intent. China is aggressive, provocative, and unprincipled across substantive international rules and norms. China is not a fictional threat nor a second-tier power. It’s here, it’s real, and it’s expanding at a rapid pace. Their ambition is vivid in their public display of supremacy: https://youtu.be/8U5sl0kpPpI.
“China’s military modernization is the pacing challenge of our time. China can contest every operational domain and has undertaken aggressive Space development programs over the last 15 years..” — Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, on March 2, 2021.
At its annual National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, the Chinese government announced its plan to increase its defense budget by 6.8%, to the equivalent of US$209.16 billion. Importantly, many sources, including the United States Department of Defense, believe that China greatly underreports its defense expenditures when giving official statements. China’s military expenditures cannot be compared to the U.S.’s in pure dollar terms. When adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) and personnel costs, China’s years-long military buildup becomes even more dramatic. “The fault line of the international order is the First Island Chain”. — Adm. Phil Davidson’s virtual event, March 4, 2021.
Chinese soft and hard power projection actions speak loudly to their intent. The People’s Republic of China continues to intensify conditions on the Western Pacific, with deliberate violations of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) getting more frequent and serious. Chinese military drills in the South China Sea, also reflect the increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing. Last week, the PLA staged a series of live-fire missile drills in response to the USNS ‘Impeccable’ sailing around the Paracel Islands. Earlier, PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) bombers conducted exercise air assaults in the vicinity. Aspects of China’s recent actions have been covered previously by MDAA, as China has grown increasingly bold in the past months.
These actions are mirrored by capability developments. This includes the PLA Rocket Force’s (PLARF) conventional, theater-level strike capabilities and the development of the hypersonic DF-17. This scramjet missile, is a game-changer, as there is no yielded defense against it and it slices thru the boundary from regional to strategic threat as it launches from stand-off distances and from cross-domain platforms. China is developing these types of systems with incredible pace and combines them with operational concepts and doctrine in order to improve their capabilities and achieve overmatch with respect to the United States. Recent satellite images show 16 new ballistic-missile silos are under construction in a missile training and operational site in the northern part of central China that have ranges to strike the first island chains.
The only major security initiative that our nation is putting in place to challenge and negate the momentum of the Chinese projection is the Pacific Deterrence Initiative plan, a combination of hard power and soft power to enhance deterrence and incentivize stronger partnerships with our Pacific Allies. One of the key elements of this plan is deploying an integrated air and missile defense of the U.S. Territory of Guam, our nation’s forward power projection base. Putting the SM3-Block IIA on Guam with an Aegis ashore system releases the cost and burden of three $2.5 billion U.S. Navy Aegis BMD destroyers and a $1 billion THAAD system currently deployed on Guam. Aegis ashore system presents the fastest solution to be operationally deployed on Guam and offers, the Aegis combat system to be fully employed to 360 cruise missile defense and anti-Ship strike. Guam is a sovereign U.S. territory where “America wakes up each day”. It houses critical joint forces that are both regional and strategic, with U.S. nuclear submarines and strategic bombers that provide an active deterrence to China.
Guam is America, and America is Guam — the Land, the People, the History, the Culture, and the Hallmark of Freedom remain American. America’s courageous sacrifices on Guam to preserve Freedom, Liberty and our most precious American Way of Life are legendary throughout our history. Guam is a strategic cornerstone for America’s Homeland Defense in the Indo-Pacific. Guam gives America Strategic Positional Advantage — it is our regional Watchtower and Guard Post!
Tomorrow and throughout this week, Admiral Philip S. Davidson is providing testimony to the United States Congress to put in place the 22.69 billion dollar (FY2023-FY2027) Pacific Defense Initiative to deter China’s aggression in the Indo Pacific Region. Over 26.9 billion has been spent on the European Defense Initiative with a $5.91 billion ask this year against a Russian threat that is not comparable to China’s designs and vision on the Western World.
“I think there’s been broad recognition across, certainly the Congress, and certainly the Department of Defense, that what needs to be resourced are the critical enablers that provide the joint integration and what might provide for coalition integration as well. That doesn’t really come out in service budgets,” Davidson continued. “And so we focus our advocacy on that joint integration piece, and frankly that’s where Guam comes in.” Admiral Davidson’s comments on March 4, 2021.
Credible Defense is Credible Deterrence. As China proliferates offensive missiles, we must proliferate left of launch and right of launch Missile Defense — it starts with this administration, this congress, this initiative – PDI is a National Strategic and Moral Imperative.