Home North America US Lawmakers Worried About Chinese Missile Threat In The Pacific, Demand...

US Lawmakers Worried About Chinese Missile Threat In The Pacific, Demand Administration Build Up Defences

 US lawmakers have warned that China poses a great threat to American bases in the Pacific for which Washington needed to be better prepared.

In a joint letter addressed to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, 13 members of Congress pointed out what they said were glaring vulnerabilities in the Pacific region and demanded “immediate changes.”

The immediate threat, the letter warned, was from Chinese missiles for which the US had few options at the moment.

China possesses a significant missile arsenal with the capability to target all US bases in the Pacific, posing a serious threat to American service members and assets in the region.

The lawmakers warned that these vulnerabilities could severely hamper US military response in the event of a conflict.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The letter said that the need of the hour was to create “passive defences” such as hardened aircraft shelters and underground bunkers. Currently, US bases in the Pacific remain unhardened, leaving aircraft and assets exposed to missile strikes.

“We are concerned about the alarming lack of urgency by the Department of Defense in adopting such defensive measures,” these lawmakers, including the Chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Rep. John Moolenaar, wrote.

The letter stated that the other problem was the huge disparity between the number of Chinese and US hardened aircraft shelters in the Pacific, with China having constructed over 400 shelters compared to just 22 by the US. The absence of US shelters in Guam, home to Andersen Air Force Base, was particularly concerning. In the event of war, almost all the US bases in the region were then at risk.

“China can attack all US bases in the region, targeting US service members from Okinawa to those on US territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” said the letter. It noted that the budgets for such projects were missing in the 2024 budget.