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House Republicans Identify Missile Defense as Top Concern

Posted on Friday, June 30, 2023
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by AMAC Newsline
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20 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Missile

Amid Joe Biden and congressional Democrats’ continuing neglect of the country’s missile defense infrastructure, House Republicans are calling for more attention and resources to address the problem.

A slate of amendments offered by Republicans to the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) version of the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which was released late last week, are aimed squarely at countering the threat from Chinese and Russian missiles.

One amendment, offered by Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), directs the Pentagon to provide “options to improve the existing integrated air and missile defense architecture.” Another proposed by Guam’s non-voting delegate James Moylan would require a report and briefing to Congress by November on the new missile defense system for his home island to ensure the program “maintain[s] schedule and remain[s] on track to achieve an initial operational capability.”

The HASC bill would also require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress by June of next year determining if the military has enough resources and capabilities to defend itself from “hypersonic-, ballistic-, cruise-missile and air attack.”

If recent developments and warnings from top military experts are any indication, the answer to that question will likely be a resounding “no” – particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

Both China and Russia have made major advancements in missile technology in recent years, which Russia has demonstrated in its brutal assault on Ukraine. Meanwhile, China has grown more aggressive in the South China Sea, particularly with respect to Taiwan.

Many Indo-Pacific analysts who observed China’s military exercises around Taiwan last August believe that Beijing unintentionally revealed its true ambitions in the region, which go far beyond reuniting Taiwan with the mainland.

Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, a fluent Mandarin speaker who is now a professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College, has said that he believes a potential Chinese assault on Taiwan would be just the first part of a multi-pronged offensive against the United States in which China’s hypersonic missiles would be the tip of the spear.

Dr. Yoshihara and other experts believe that in a potential offensive, China would stealthily deploy its submarines near to the American west coast to attack targets on U.S. soil. Meanwhile, Chinese naval forces would use DF-26 missiles, with a range of 950 miles, to target U.S. bases in places like Guam and Okinawa, as well as American allies like Japan and Australia. Although Chinese subs are currently noisy and relatively easy to detect, closer cooperation between China and Russia could lead to technology sharing that tilts the balance in underwater warfare in Beijing’s favor.

The Bangkok Post also reported earlier this month that China is building “the most powerful warship on record.” The new vessel can detect ballistic missiles up to 2,800 miles away – far superior to most ships’ capabilities of a few hundred miles.

Japanese military leaders have also warned that increasing cooperation between the Chinese and Russian militaries could put the U.S. and its Pacific allies – including Japan – at increased risk from missile threats. General Fumio Ota, the former Director of Intelligence at Japan’s defense agency, has said the presence of Chinese naval vessels operating alongside Russian ships last year in the Sea of Okhotsk, just north of Japan, should be concerning for Japanese and American leaders.

According to General Ota, Putin, under increasing pressure owing to Russia’s struggles in the Ukraine war, may consider opening Russian bases to Chinese missile installations in the Kamchatka peninsula – just over 3,000 miles from Seattle – and Chuguyevka northeast of Vladivostok, from where the Su-15 took off that shot down a Korean Airlines civilian flight in 1983. From these positions, China could have direct access to American cities without having to risk their submarines being detected by the U.S. Navy. Chinese-Russian cooperation in the Arctic also opens alarming new possibilities for Beijing.

Major General Charles Corcoran, a former Assistant Deputy Chief at Air Force headquarters, has said current missile defense measures are essential but insufficient to address this mounting threat. He has called for the rapid deployment of 24 satellites with sensors to track hypersonic and ballistic missiles in order to assist U.S. interceptor technology – something President Biden has been reluctant to invest in, but which HASC Republicans called for in their defense budget.

But aside from just military investment in projects like missile defense and response capabilities, the Biden administration also needs to realize the importance of America’s alliance system in the Indo-Pacific. In May, Biden canceled a meeting with the so-called “Quad” alliance of the U.S., Australia, Japan, and India in what many observers viewed as a sign of the president’s insufficient focus on the region.

Indo-Pacific specialists have also said that Biden’s strategy focuses too much on ideological items like “climate change” and not enough on real issues like supply chain resilience and military cooperation with allies. This presents a sharp contrast to President Trump’s approach, which prioritized the Quad relationship and building a united front against Beijing.

President Biden and his foreign policy team continue to tout the big bucks they are spending on defense. But unless those dollars are invested wisely, and until the administration acknowledges the nature and depth of the threats the country faces in the Pacific, the United States and its allies will continue to be at risk.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
9 months ago

The Democrats are merely continuing their long standing policy of cutting defense appropriations so they can concentrate on more urgent matters things like providing welfare programs to illegal aliens, fighting fictitious threats of global warming, promoting wokeism in our military services, etc, etc. When we lose the next war they will blame it on Trump.
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FJB
FJB
9 months ago

Defending against an EMP attack and sealing off the southern border should be higher priorities.

Morbious
Morbious
9 months ago

The ccp doesn’t need the russians. We will sell anything for a price, including top secret military tech. Clinton, the po boy from Arkansas, set this precedent in the 90s. He and the beast were determined to become hyper wealthy and by now im guessing they’re close to being billionaires.

anna hubert
anna hubert
9 months ago

we have armed forces not capable to defend the country but as long as they can put on a good drag queen show all is good

Ann S
Ann S
9 months ago

The big bucks for defense are going into the pockets of those that govern.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
9 months ago

All the way to June of next year? Why the long wait? We need it now, hello? China has already threatened and to get it fixed before a war…good grief.

sdg
sdg
9 months ago

We might AS WELL SURRENDER NOW, ITS WHAT THE BIDEN/OBAMA CRIME FAMILIES WANT

Barbara W.
Barbara W.
9 months ago

This is very concerning and another indication that the Bungling Biden administration is not looking out for the best interests of our country. Our president’s duty is to keep us safe, and the person occupying the White House is not doing that. He and his giggling VP should be impeached and removed from office.

Jim
Jim
9 months ago

The federal governments first and most important duty is defense of the United States and protection of American citizens. All the rest of the crap the federal government does is political garbage.

Dee
Dee
9 months ago

OK AMAC, answer this, please. Why am I getting this message “You’ve already voted for this comment.” when I haven’t voted? Also, why am not able to vote on a comment, I am getting this message “You are not allowed to vote for this comment.” Why? Can you answer those please? My continued subscription and membership will depend on your answer.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
9 months ago

Revive BUT update Reagens SDI alone

Nicole
Nicole
9 months ago

Thank you

Let's Go Brandon
Let's Go Brandon
9 months ago

Biden has sold us out to China before the first missile, but hey, Biden has made the armed forces woke

Jim
Jim
9 months ago

Too many American Patriots (citizens) have kept their mouths shut for too many years. We all, democrats and republicans should have been screaming at politicians to stop the political bullsh*t of welfare and foreign aid and kept our money here in America. Had we done that our dollar would be worth a dollar, backed by gold or silver. Instead our dollar is basically worthless and that’s thanks to biden/obama – biden being greedy/stupid and obama the devil. And, I’d add one more thing: we need many insane asylums for severely troubled citizens.

Texas Resister 64
Texas Resister 64
9 months ago

Great improvement to this website; I can actually get to the topics from the daily email!

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