The head of the Indo-Pacific Command has warned that Guam continues to be under threat from North Korea and China, which has developed a “profound” advantage in ballistic missiles against the United States.”
Adm. Phil Davidson, during an online talk hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said there are a number of challenges in the Indo-Pacific Command.
“We recognize five major threats, beginning with North Korea actually. North Korea, as long as they retain the capability to shoot long-range missiles and to continue to develop nuclear weapons, will remain, really, in my view, our most immediate threat,” Davidson said.
He added: “General Abrams, our US Forces Korea Commander in Korea and myself are very focused on what that means, not only for our ally, the Republic of Korea, but our allies in the region and certainly the U.S. Homeland territory in Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, all the way to Hawaii, and then of course the continental United States.”
Despite the immediate threat of North Korea, Davidson stressed that China is the most significant strategic threat and will be the challenge to the United States for the 21st century.
“China has a 100-year plan in place. They are some 70 years into it now, and it’s fully designed to supplant the United States’ role as the global economic leader, as the global military leader, and the diplomatic leader, to enable peace and prosperity in the region. In the military sense, they invest very heavily in sea, air, missile, space, and cyber offenses and defense. And they hope to project that capability to challenge the idea of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Davidson said.
Aside from its ballistic missile, Davidson warned that China also has an advantage in ground-launched cruise missiles.
Davidson singled out Guam as a possible priority target of Chinese missiles because of the presence of two major U.S. military bases on island.
He said Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam represent billions of dollars in assets and should be protected at all costs.
Davidson recommended the deployment of an Aegis Ashore missile system to complement the THAAD missile battery that’s already here.