Pentagon to build up US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China challenge

The Pentagon will focus on building up bases in Guam and Australia to better prepare the US military to counter China, a senior defense official said on Monday.

The moves have been prompted by the Department of Defense’s global posture review, which President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to undertake shortly after taking office in February. Austin started the global posture review in March. The review is classified, but a senior defense official provided some details about the review’s findings.
The Indo-Pacific region was a major focus, because of Secretary Austin’s emphasis onChina as the pacing challenge,” for the Department, the senior defense official said.
    The Biden administration has made countering China its main foreign policy priority as tensions have increased with Beijing, particularly over the issue of Taiwan and senior Pentagon officials have publicly expressed alarm about China’s efforts to upgrade and modernize its military. Last month Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said China had successfully tested a hypersonic missile in what was “baie naby” to a Sputnik moment.
      To counter China, the review directs the Department to enhanceinfrastructure in Guam and Australia,” and to prioritizemilitary construction across the Pacific Islands,” het die amptenaar gesê, sowel as “seeking greater regional access for military partnership activities.
        The global posture review also directs the Department to focus more on the Indo-Pacific region byreducingthe number of troops and equipment in other areas of the world, “to enable improved warfighting readiness and increased activitiesin the Indo-Pacific, het die amptenaar gesê.
        On Russia, the Department declined to provide specific information about how the global posture review is directing the US military to prepare to counter threats from Moscow. Broadly speaking, one of the goals of the review is tore-establish readiness standards,” so that the US military isagile and responsive to crises as they emerge,” het die amptenaar gesê.
          The US military is working tore-establish readinessin Eastern Europewith the goal of strengthening a combat credible deterrent vis a vis Russia and the specific requirements of that region,” the official said when pressed on the issue, but they would not go into more detail on how the US military is preparing to counter Russia.
          In the Middle East, the review directed the Department tocontinue to support the defeat ISIS campaign,” with the current US military presence in Iraq and Syria, as well as continuing to work on building upthe capacity of partner forces,” in those countries. But overall, the review directs Austin toconduct additional analysis on enduring posture requirements in the Middle East,” het die amptenaar gesê.
            Afghanistan was not officially included in the global posture review, because there is aseparateNational Security Council-ledprocess” dit is “reviewing the way ahead for US presence there,” het die amptenaar gesê.
            The review also did not includefunctional capabilitieslike nuclear, space and cyber, because those are being addressed in other Department specific reviews, het die amptenaar gesê.

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