Underwood comments on threats to Guam and greater Indo-Pacific region

(UOG photo)

The threat to Guam has grown significantly over the past several decades as highlighted by a variety of actions from China. In particular, the threat to the people of Guam continues to increase.

This was recently highlighted in a warning by Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu. His comments, featured recently in Breaking Defense, mean that Guam may be in a similar situation today as it was in the time period before World War II.

Davidson’s point of view has been expressed in other forums and publications and points up the need to establish a robust missile defense shield in Guam. Davidson said that we can’t wait for 15 or 20 years, we are in the “threat environment now.”

The annual DoD China Military Report has repeatedly stressed the improvement in a range of Chinese systems including land-based conventional missiles and their improved bomber fleet as targeting and putting the island of Guam at risk.

In fact, the most recent report states, “The H-6K can carry six LACMs, giving the
PLA a long-range standoff precision strike capability that can range Guam from home airfields in mainland China.”

The recently passed House and Senate National Defense Authorization Bills created the
IndoPacific Deterrence Initiative. The bills create an addendum to future President Budget
releases to clearly indicate specific resources the Department of Defense is putting towards
forces in the IndoPacific Initiative.

However, only the Senate bill includes authorization for several billions in unfunded priorities for INDOPACOM as articulated by ADM Davidson. Included in that unfunded request was over $78 million to begin development of a robust missile defense capability to protect Guam from the threats highlighted in the 2020 DoD China Military Power Report. Unfortunately, the House bill did not include funding for that critically important unfunded requirement.

Robert Underwood, Candidate for Congress, again stressed that this is the reason why it is absolutely imperative that the Guam Delegate sit on the House Armed Services Committee.

A failure to be actively engaged in Defense planning not only reduces potential economic benefits to Guam, it puts our island at risk. “It is better to be ahead of the curve rather than behind the curve,” Underwood said, adding that this can only be done from active and constant engagement with the Pentagon that a seat on Armed Services affords the Delegate.

“Not being on the House Armed Services Committee has cost the island of Guam important oversight for the protection of the island. There is no funding in the House bill for the development of missile defense on Guam. The Guam Delegate has missed critical opportunities to directly shape the future of our island and the necessary protection of our people from the growing threats from China. We need to be at the table to fight for our people,” Underwood said.

(Robert Underwood for Congress News Release)