(RightWing.org) – For 20 years, the United States military was preoccupied with fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. In February 2020, then-President Donald Trump began the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan. Then, President Joe Biden pulled the US armed forces out of the country, ended operations, and pivoted the government’s attention toward China and Russia in August 2021.
Over the last few years, the Chinese have continually threatened to invade Taiwan and re-incorporate it into the country’s fabric. At the same time, North Korea has threatened the region and the United States. It’s now reported that the US and its allies are preparing to set the theater for a possible war in the Pacific.
US Military Preparing for Potential War in the Pacific
Experts aren’t sure whether China or North Korea will be the first to trigger a potential war in the Asia-Pacific region. Still, a consensus is growing that either could purposely or accidentally set off a full-scale conflict. As a result, the United States is increasing its presence in the region to deter a potentially brutal fight.
Recently, the Pentagon began coordinating with Japan and Australia. In early December, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin began high-level discussions with Australia and the United Kingdom (UK). Austin noted the purpose of the meeting was to strengthen relations of the “unbreakable alliance” and discussed how to improve cooperation with Japan and India.
Japan plays a vital role in the region due to its proximity to China and North Korea. Over the past year, Kim Jong-un has continually threatened Japan and South Korea and has acquired nuclear capabilities and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Some experts believe the hermit kingdom is developing new tactical and battlefield-equipped nuclear weapons.
China’s growing threat to Taiwan has been well chronicled. Still, on Monday, January 16, Chinese fighter jets and naval ships entered the small island nation’s territory. Over the last year, it’s tried to intimidate and coerce the self-governing island by deploying attack ships and aircraft in the Taiwan Strait.
Lt. Gen. James Bierman, commanding general of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Forces Japan, said the military success by Ukraine was due to a preparatory plan on how to pre-position equipment, supply lines, and bases of operations. “We call that setting the theater,” Beirman said. He noted the US was now doing it in Japan, the Philippines, and other places.
US Could Sustain High Costs
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) recently developed and executed a war game scenario of a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan. It ran the scenario 24 times and determined the US defense of the island would come at a high cost. It said the United States would lose dozens of naval ships and hundreds of planes and noted tens of thousands of service members would die. In addition, Taiwan’s economy would be destroyed.
The study noted that China wouldn’t win easily and would suffer catastrophic results. CSIS said it could also destabilize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The group also called for strengthening deterrence in the region immediately. The US and South Korea are discussing nuclear deterrence options. Additionally, Tokyo is boosting its military strength to the largest since World War II over concerns about China and North Korea’s buildup.
Time will answer many questions about either country’s determination and resolve. Still, it could also be a telling moment for the United States if either adversary makes a move.
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